Higher ed profile: UMN Crookston graduate set up for success

Student says University of Minnestoa Crookston opened the door of opportunity for him.

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CROOKSTON, Minn. • Software engineering grad Changle Li “misses the snow” all the way from China as the University of Minnesota Crookston helps him capture two promising internships.

Changle Li, a transfer student from China and UMN Crookston graduate, recently discussed the numerous opportunities and “technical skills” that the University of Minnesota Crookston equipped him with, first with his positions at the United Nations International Institute of Global Health and then as a data analyst at Mitsubishi.

“Definitely, yes!” Li says as he describes how the school’s software engineering program and its professors from the business department helped guide him through various studies on campus that aided him when landing these large-scale internships. On top of that, he is also working towards his master’s degree in public health at the University of Tokyo.

“The things I have learned and accomplished at UMC have impacted me a lot, that’s why I’ve had such a great experience in the job force early on,” Li said. “I had no specific background before I came to UMC. My recommendations from UMC helped me get into the master’s program in Tokyo, so yeah, I love UMC a lot.”

Li’s path to Crookston began at a California community college. After his two years out West, he was looking to move on and excel in his desired field, but there was one issue holding him back.


“When I was looking to transfer from a community college to a major university, almost all of the tuition prices around my area were ridiculously high. So, after searching for prestigious universities with reasonable tuition I came across a slogan that stood out to me: Small Campus. Big Degree,” Li recalls.

Li liked the sound of that. “On larger campuses you don’t get the chance to consistently work with professors,” he said.

One of his favorite experiences in the Business Department involved the Harvard Case Study that students had an opportunity to be a part of, in collaboration with their professors.

“When I was at UMC I spent a lot of time with the business department professors,” Li recalled. “They provided me with more knowledge about the business, marketing, and financial side of things.”

Asked if he could sum up UMC in one word, Li didn’t hesitate: Opportunity.

After completing his master’s program in Tokyo in 2023, Li says his dream job is to become an investment banker.

Ethan Christopherson is an intern at the University of Minnesota Crookston campus.

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