Quoc Mai

Quoc Mai’s High School in Vietnam Led Him to UMKC

Chemistry | College of Arts and Sciences
Graduation Year: 2015

Where is UMKC taking you?

UMKC is taking me to a place where I can make a difference in life. After graduation, I plan to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and hopefully get into a quality medical school.

When I was a freshman, I started out as an accounting student. But after my grandfather’s death in Vietnam, I changed my mind. I can do more good as a doctor than as an accountant.

What led you to UMKC?

My high school in South Vietnam had a partnership with UMKC, so I heard about it through that. My brother in Rhode Island thinks UMKC is in the middle of nowhere. But I like Kansas City. There’s jazz, barbecue …


How has college inspired you?

It has inspired me to appreciate the boundless knowledge in this world and learn to love all the differences we have as a society.

Are you a first-generation college student? If so, what does that mean to you?

My parents were denied a college education due to their political differences in Vietnam 30 years ago. It would be shameful for me to not pursue a higher education.


What are your lifelong goals?

Hmmmm … it’s hard to say, because so many things can change, and at any time. I want to be in the medical profession, but mostly I want to be ready for wherever life takes me.

What word best describes you and why?

Freedom. I would like to live my life in my very own way and succeed.

What motto do you live by?

It’s something my mom says: “Stop complaining! If you don’t like an idea, change it.”


Do you belong to any organizations?

I am a student senator for the College of Arts and Sciences and the vice president of the International Student Council. These groups make me better, while at the same time I can improve UMKC and the lives of other people.

What’s your greatest fear?

Kittens. They crawl everywhere and get sick.