Alumni Spotlight: Jenny Wu, COE Data Analyst

image of Jenny Wu

A warm welcome to Jenny Wu, the College of Education’s new Data Analyst and proud alumna!

Wu finds her new job immensely satisfying. “Working in the field of my interests is truly a blessing. Every day, I find joy in my work because it aligns with my passions. I am constantly eager and excited to delve into data analysis, as it allows me to uncover valuable insights.”

Jenny Wu is returning to the University of Oregon after graduating in 2020 with her master’s in educational leadership. Wu originally chose UO for its reputation for educational programs. Her favorite part of her student experience here was getting to know people from diverse cultures, immersing herself in pursuing academic success, and enjoying the natural beauty of the state.

Wu says that her experience as an international graduate student provided her with resilience, adaptability, and a broad global perspective. She feels these qualities gave her the foundation that ultimately helped her to thrive.

Wu’s advice to current UO students is to explore many different activities. “Engaging in different experiences will provide valuable insights into your interests and strengths, helping you gain a better understanding of yourself.”

As a graduate student here at UO, Wu’s two favorite places on campus were the EMU and the campus Rec Center. Wu felt comfortable in the EMU, she says, and spent countless hours there working on homework. “The EMU is a comfortable place where I could focus and immerse myself in my studies. The vibes, the energy, and the sense of community within the EMU have made it a cherished spot for me during my time at the university.” The Rec Center, too, occupied an important place in Wu’s life as a student. Wu says, “The Rec Center was an essential part of my university experience, providing a perfect balance between my academic studies and my physical well-being.”

As a student, Wu’s favorite professors included Ilana Umansky, PhD, and David Liebowitz, EdD. Her favorite class was Meeting Needs of English Language Learners, taught by Umansky. This course is designed to provide a strong introduction to the wide range of cultural backgrounds, potential challenges, and unique needs involved in creating an educational environment in which English Language Learners can thrive. Wu says, “As an English Language Learner myself in the past, this resonated deeply with me.”

Wu has known she wanted to be an educator from the very beginning. Her very first job was running the tutoring center at her high school. Her first job out of college led her further on her way towards her career in education. Wu worked as an English as Second Language (ESL) teacher in China after applying directly to the school. The job in Beijing gave Wu the opportunity to return to her own hometown.

 “My experiences growing up in Beijing, China, specifically in the largest city, exposed me to a fast-paced lifestyle that I became accustomed to. As a result of my years of teaching English and working with a global company that supported higher education, I eventually made the decision to personally experience higher education,” said Wu.

Wu’s experience at her job was unique since she only worked on weekends and had her weekdays free. She spent several years in Beijing before deciding to pursue her graduate degree in an English-speaking country to further her career in education. That’s how she found herself in Oregon.

Wu chose to enter her current field, data analysis, after an interesting experience in high school compiling student information to chart their academic progress. “The process of gathering data points and utilizing analytical tools to extract valuable insights fascinated me,” says Wu. She hopes that her work will have a positive impact on others.

She also welcomes the opportunity to return to the University of Oregon College of Education. “Having experienced firsthand the exceptional people at the College of Education, I am confident that working here will be an enjoyable and fulfilling experience.”

Wu finds it rewarding to be back at UO as a staff member. She says, “It's a unique blend of familiarity and new beginnings. There's a sense of comfort in returning to the campus environment, reminding me about my own college days. At the same time, it's fulfilling to contribute to the growth and development of current students, utilizing my knowledge and skills to support their educational journey.”

Returning to the campus she loves to start this new job, Wu says, feels exciting. “I am eager to begin this new journey.”