[People of UIC] Mao Kailing: From UIC to Microsoft, and next station, Carnegie Mellon University

Mao Kailing is a UIC graduate from the Class of 2015. After graduating from UIC and working at Microsoft for four years, she gained her master's degree from the University of Washington, and now she has decided to head towards Carnegie Mellon University and pursue her doctoral degree.


Mao Kailing

Mao learned about UIC when she was still in high school. Attracted by its unique location and environment, she chose to start her college life as a student of the Computer Science and Technology Programme of the Faculty of Science and Technology (FST).

Just like many freshmen, Mao was confused about the roads that lay ahead, but luckily UIC helped her figure out her direction.

Immersed in UIC's liberal education and trained in an English-teaching environment, Mao participated in numerous presentations, student club activities, experiential courses of Whole Person Education and more.


Mao (middle) volunteers in Russia while studying at UIC, teaching students to use software including Photoshop

Her colourful school life yielded fruitful results. She became more confident and resilient when tackling challenges and pressure, and realised the essence of teamwork while absorbing knowledge diligently.

Mao managed to solidify her academic foundation through hard work at UIC. She expressed her gratitude towards the College's international teaching style and standards, which encouraged her to be brave to express herself, tolerant of failures and fearless to start over.

UIC FST has a 3D Innovation and Development Lab

She specially mentioned Prof Su Weifeng when recalling her study journey at UIC. She said Prof Su always taught his expertise in an interesting and in-depth way, and everyone was allowed to explore more profound knowledge through practice. "His inspiring and encouraging teaching style is similar to what I experienced as a master's student in the United States," she said.


Mao (left) with her schoolmates at UIC

UIC's training shaped Mao to be professional and strong. She joined the Microsoft Windows kernel group in Shanghai after graduation.

Although it was the most challenging group in the company, she successfully conquered all the hurdles with her excellent skills and learning ability. Four years later, she was admitted to the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering of the University of Washington as a graduate student.

During her master's study, the question about how technology will impact society and human beings stroke her. Therefore, she applied for a PhD programme at Carnegie Mellon University, seeking answers for the well-being of people.


Reporter: Cecilia Yu

Photos provided by the interviewee

Editor: Deen He