Gao explained that work experience and capability are more important than having a background in education, and has stirred heated public discussion after her story was disclosed by local media.
Gao previously worked as an assistant to the head of a public institution in Zhengzhou, after graduating in 2013 from Nanjing University, one of the top 10 universities on China's mainland, with a master's degree in social work.
Gao has worked as a waitress since December 2013, and she said she did not regret giving up her stable job and landing her knew "lowly" role.
"I quit mainly because I failed to handle the complicated interpersonal relationships there. I happened to notice a recruitment advertisement of the hotpot restaurant and then I applied for the job," said Gao. "The personal relationships here are easier to deal with."
Gao's family and friends were confused over her decision at first, and even said that what she was doing was stupid. Her colleagues and seniors did not understand why such a well-educated girl would rather be a restaurant waitress than a civil servant.
"Honestly, it took me some time to adapt myself to this new work, and when I came across my classmates and friends here, I did indeed feel a bit embarrassed to say hello to them," Gao said.
"Gao is an optimistic girl who has a strong sense of responsibility. She can perfectly complete each task that I assign her," said Liu Fang, the supervisor of the restaurant.
Gao said she liked the work atmosphere at the restaurant, and she enjoyed communicating with different people during her work, saying that it would improve her interpersonal skills.
"Gao is easy-going and always gives a hand to any of us who need help," said her colleague Fan Huijuan, "Sometimes she sacrifices her own interests to help us."
Now Gao has become a qualified restaurant waitress. "When you put your whole heart into life, you will find your efforts will be rewarding one day," she said.
"I used to be a pessimistic girl when I was in university, but I became more out-going since I have been working here," Gao added.
"I don't think a job in the service sector is beneath someone with a master's. If we try hard to work, we can still win respect from others," Gao said.
Gao usually leaves work after 11 p.m. due to the heavy workload, but she regards this as a necessary process to accumulate social experience and an opportunity for her to learn something that she could not learn from textbooks.
"Currently I can only earn slightly over 2,000 yuan (U.S. $322) per month, but the annual salary for a restaurant manager is around 200,000 yuan (U.S. $32,229). I focus more on the development space in the future," said Gao.