Getting to know Xiaoniu Yang

Name? Xiaoniu Yang

What is your job here at Western? “So, my title is pretty long. It's student services and social media advisor in Extended Education Language and Culture Programs.”

What does your department do? “Extended Education is pretty large. It's a huge program. But I'm more in the language and the culture program. Most of it is a combination of AUAP: Asia University America Programs, and IEP: Intensive English Program. My job is more help the student, student services, but at the same time, more for recruiting students from China or Japan because I can speak Chinese and Japanese. And I was an international student out at Western. So, I started at IEP, and I went to Western and graduated.”

What's your day-to-day like? “Come to work. Open my computer. So, most of the time I'm doing social media. And so, as IEP, I'm doing more social media for IEP. And at IEP we have Weibo, a Chinese version of Twitter. And then we have Youku, which is the Chinese version of YouTube. And then we have Renren, the Chinese version of Facebook. So, it's more social media. So that's why my title has student services but also social media. And more... We also have Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and then we also have Skype too. So, we have a lot of social media because we try to recruit the student from out of the country.”

Where are you from? “I was born in China, but I grew up in Japan. So, I say I came from Japan.” What part? “Tokyo.” And in China? “Closer to Beijing.”

How long have you been here at Western? Three years: One year as a student, followed by one year as a student and an employee and one year as an employee.

What's your favorite memory from here at Western? “My favorite memory is, after I graduated here, I could use what I have learned at Western, and doing my job at Western. International students, as students, we can only work at the campus. We are not allowed to work outside of the campus. So, as an international student, that's why I got a job from IEP, because I studied there, I had the connection, and I started to work. After you graduate at a university or college, we're on student visa, so we cannot work............. OPT: Optional Practice Training. My job's going to end at the end of this year. That means I'm going back to my country.”

Do you have any pets? “Oh, yeah! I have a dog! A cute dog. I adopted him from Tacoma Humane Society.” What kind of dog? “He's a Shih-Poo, it's the mix of Shih Tzu and a Poodle. They are smart. They are great, just great.” (His name is Cookie.)

What projects are you currently working on? “My OPT ends on the end of this year, and that means I'm going to leave. And the job that I'm doing is more using my languages, Chinese and Japanese. So, I am creating a social media portfolio for IEP and LCP. Without me, how can marketing people make sure they know how to manage the Chinese versions of social media accounts.” Does anybody else on campus know how to do that? “Not really. So that's why I'm really focused on my social media portfolio so that without me, they still can do something. That's the biggest project.”

What do you see yourself doing in five years? “I don't know. It's frustrating because I know I have to leave this country. It doesn't matter how much I love this job or this department, but I have to leave this country. And after I go back, I know what I want to do for the first job, but it's going to be part-time. So, I don't know. I really don't know. That's the hardest thing for me. Because if I'm going to stay in Japan, then first thing I need is to find a job. I love people. I love student services. I like interacting with people. So, I need to find a customer service or whatever that can use my marketing or... the best job for me, they say, is sales. Especially for whatever country speaks three languages. I might end up doing that.”

What's your favorite vacation that you've been on? “I took a quarter off after I came to the United States. And then I went to London for two weeks. And that was one of my dreams. I always, always wanted to go to London. And, yeah.” Why London? Different feel, different culture. “I really like Washington state. After I graduated my college, my friends tried to go to Florida or California because they didn't like the weather. But for me, I loved it. I don't like the sun much.” So, London would be... “Yeah! London was perfect! And Seattle and Bellingham is perfect too. Summer is just a couple months. After that, *claps hands* my day!”

Best drinking fountain on campus?The one on the first floor of the Wade King Recreation Center. The one that has a bottle-filler on it.