Meet Your Fellow Anteater
My name is Huiming Guo. I am from Henan, China, a beautiful inland province with a long history. I am a master's student majoring in materials science and engineering and this is my third quarter at UCI. Now, I have started my research on all-solid-state batteries (ASSBs) and tried to make contributions to new energy applications and storage.
2. What is your favorite American food/snack?
I like crispy chicken sandwiches and classic french fries best. Mcdonald's is my favorite fast-food restaurant. I enjoy McNuggets with roasted sauce, McChicken, Small World Famous Fries, and McCafe. I fell in love with them when I was a child and my parents took me to Mcdonald's and KFC in China to have a meal. I loved the relaxing environment, parents' companion, delicious chicken, and a toy gift for a kid. At present, I often have them with my friends and we enjoy the delicious foods, share our happiness and sadness, and talk about our future.
3. What are three words you would use to describe yourself and why? OR what is one fun fact about you?
Energetic, positive, and humorous. I believe all challenges I have met are also opportunities that could facilitate self-improvement, so I enjoy facing difficulties bravely and dealing with them optimistically. Also, I often use self-humor to release my stress and comfort from my friends.
One fun fact about me is that I like making friends and talking with people. I really appreciate that the International Center always organizes various activities to encourage our international students to leave our comfort zone to learn more about American culture, make friends, and express our opinions. Participation in these meaningful activities stops me from feeling lonely and weak and helps me learn more from others and build up my social network.
4. Why did you choose to come to UC?
UC is a world-famous public university system and consistently recognized as a trailblazer in a broad range of fields. The campus's diverse academic offerings paired with world-class leadership create an environment worthy of many passionate and dedicated scholars. Plus, various academic and research centers and institutes there can provide students with an excellent platform to make any study program. Additionally, I enjoy the convenient transportation, wonderful scenery, and premier arts and cultural centers in California.
5. Who or what inspires/motivates you in life/school?
Academically, Professor William J. Bowman offers me a precious chance to join his group to do research about energy materials, gives me plenty of effective and valuable suggestions on my research work, and provides me with various useful resources to help me make good performance on my courses and experiments. I really appreciate him. With his inspiration, I feel I want to deal with more difficulties and challenges and try more new things.
6. What are some of your involvements here at UCI? What drew you to these specific involvements/organizations?
I participated in lots of workshops, communication activities, and accommodation courses organized by the international center, like I-STEPS course, English Conversation Program, Coffee Hour, South California Trip, and Campus Hiking. Besides, I enjoyed the afternoon tea time held by the MSE graduate student association(GSA) with my classmates each week before our MSE seminar. Plus, I attended some workshops about resumes and internships held by UCI career pathways.
The campus life is far more than the course study and we need to make comprehensive development. UCI offers us various and abundant opportunities and platforms to make social networks, experience diverse cultures, cultivate our hobbies, learn about career development after graduation, and relax. I really hope I can make full use of them to enhance myself and then try to help others to obtain benefits from these resources.
7. What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?
As an international student, the most challenging things are English and academic study. It is hard for me to communicate with others and to get on the same page with professors in my first few weeks in Irvine. I felt depressed at first but then I found complaining was useless and I must accept these difficulties and get them over. Firstly, I made a preview to make a good preparation for each class. Plus, I often participated in office hours to deal with homework problems.
Also, I attended the I-STEPS course, coffee hour, and English conversation program (ECP) to alleviate the culture shock, learn about various campus resources, improve my English, and make more friends. Gradually, I could get used to the academic life at UCI and make a good performance on my courses. Although I know that I cannot overcome these difficulties immediately, I am on the way to improve myself at least.
8. What advice do you have for other international students currently adjusting to life in the United States?
Leave your comfort zone and challenge yourself. Our potential is often stimulated when we feel desperate. We should learn about and accept the culture shock and then change ourselves to accustom the new environment. For instance, we can order meals bravely, join various workshops, communicate with local students, and travel around the US.
9. What has been your favorite experience at UCI and/or the U.S. so far?
The most impressive experience at UCI is that I did the final project with two of my classmates. We needed to analyze an article about the effect of thermal processing on steel mechanical behaviors and give a presentation to introduce what we had learned and to offer suggestions to improve the article. We read and analyzed the article independently, and then we spent a long time on discussion about our opinions and public speaking.
During this period, we used many campus resources, like borrowing books from the library, borrowing iPads from the multiple media center, and booking a study room at the gateway. Besides, we encouraged each other, learned a lot of new opinions from each other, and had a meal together to improve our friendship.
Finally, we gave a good presentation and obtained praise from our professor and classmates. We felt a sense of achievement, enhanced our teamwork and public speaking, and enriched our professional knowledge. This wonderful experience reflected the open, professional, and advanced academic environment at UCI, where I really would love to dedicate my youth to scientific research.