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A Dream Comes True for a UW-Madison Hopeful

by Staff Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Dandan Wang held the envelope anxiously. Since immigrating to Wisconsin from Yichang, China a few months earlier, she had been feverishly trying to improve her English for admission to college. Her dream was to attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Now, she held the answer in her hand…but the envelope was unsettlingly thin. Wang ripped it open to find the answer she dreaded: her application had been declined.

Wang didn’t give up. She enrolled at UW-Baraboo with the intention of applying again to UW-Madison as a transfer student. In Baraboo, she excelled, earning a 3.9 GPA while working as many as five part-time jobs that, at one point, totaled more than 60 hours per week. (Wang notes that she was able to do homework during one of the jobs, as a computer lab assistant.) She formed a plan to study actuarial science for her four-year degree.

“I like math,” she said, “and I like being challenged.”

Two years later, Wang tried again. This time, she applied for admission to the Wisconsin School of Business…and this time she received a thick envelope in response. She ripped it open. The packet inside included an acceptance letter and a form asking her to choose the dorm in which she wanted to live.

“It was very exciting,” she recalled. “It was a dream come true to attend UW-Madison and to be a Badger.”

Although she misses professors and friends from Baraboo, Wang is thrilled to finally be a Badger. She appreciates the school spirit of the Madison campus, and enjoys the student body’s diversity. She has secured a summer internship at the Sun Prairie office of the property and casualty insurer QBE. This may be a step toward another dream of hers: living in New York. QBE, it just so happens, has an office on Wall Street.

Wang’s story illustrates how transfer students with diverse backgrounds enrich the school as a whole: welcoming transfer students with different backgrounds, proven work ethic, and strong character benefits all students.