Alumni: 95,000   Students: 16,000

Ou He ’93

Ou He ’93
College Admissions Director/Founder
To The Top Education Group

What three words best describe who and what you are?
Adventurous. Easy-going. Free-spirited.

What inspired you to earn your college degree? What was your “moment”?
As my high school valedictorian, I scored the highest at the college entrance exam of China – Gaokao and got accepted by the best university of China – Peking University. As a junior, I protested at Tiananmen Square 30 years ago, and had to escape China during my senior year, so I didn’t graduate from Peking University.

Why did you choose to attend ESC?
At the time, I lived in NYC. A Chinese friend of mine recommended ESC as it’s tailored for working adults and it has a metropolitan center in Manhattan, where I lived.

Who supported and encouraged you along the way?
My ex-husband and his mother, who took care of my baby daughter while I went to school at night. My parents encouraged me to finish my college degree in their letters to me from China.

What, if any, obstacles did you overcome?
Soon after I started school, my ex-mother-in-law had a stroke, so I had to take care of her and my one-year-old baby daughter.

What advice would you give to a prospective ESC student?
Just hang in there – you can do it! Never give up! It’s never too late to go to college.

Why do you give back to SUNY Empire?
SUNY Empire gave me a second chance to finish college. I was able to change my major from international politics to business and earn a bachelor’s degree in one year.

How has your experience at ESC changed your life since graduation?
My bachelor’s degree from ESC allowed me to pursue an MBA at San Francisco State University. After that, I worked for HP finance for 15 years then started two companies. I sold the IT company in 2015, now run my education consulting company, To The Top Education Group (, helping Chinese students get into US high schools and colleges. My students have been accepted by my alma maters SUNY Empire & SFSU. It has come a full circle.

Anything else you would like to share?
As a way to give back, I’d love to send more Chinese students to SUNY Empire, find you partner colleges from China and offer internship/job opportunities to your students and alumni.