Master's Profile: Xiaowei Gong
- From: China
- Undergraduate Degree: BS in Physics, The Ohio State University
- Duke Master's Program: Photonics & Optical Sciences
Why did you choose Duke?
Duke is a prestigious university and I liked the academic atmosphere. The Master of Engineering program offered specialized technical classes plus business leadership and management courses, which perfectly met my need.
What are some of the things that you have learned?
I think the most helpful optics-focused course I took is Advanced Optics. Since I didn’t have enough optics background in my undergrad, this course gave me the basic knowledge I needed.
The most important thing I learned in the business classes was how to communicate more effectively with people. I was not good at expressing my feelings, and those classes helped me a lot.
"The Master of Engineering program offered specialized technical classes plus business leadership and management courses, which perfectly met my need."
Tell us about your Master of Engineering project.
I did summer research in the lab of Warren S. Warren, a professor of chemistry and physics at Duke, studying the temporal characterization of mid-infrared femtosecond laser pulses. The research experience helped me realize what kind of job I want to do. I also improved my basic knowledge and practice ability.
What advice do you have for prospective students?
Be open-minded. The Master of Engineering is different from a traditional Master of Science program. You will have opportunities to take some business classes, which are different from engineering classes, but you will come to recognize they are useful.
What's next for you?
I got a job in China starting the summer after I graduate. It is with a LiDAR company, and I will be an optical engineer.
I am very excited—I think it’s the job I really want!