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Harvard, Yale calling (part 1)
Author:Raju Maskey  Date:2017-07-06  Clicks:

The secret of getting ahead is getting started. -Mark Twain

It goes without saying that WHU graduates are far more capable than what everyone including the students themselves think. Recent figures show the number of students who made it to Ivy League, Oxbridge and other top universities have spiked. The reason behind this unexpected success might be improvements in academic, extracurricular, and personal credentials of the graduating students. These honored graduates have eventually achieved what they have been dreaming of for so long. They are eager to begin anew and channel their drive, passion and optimism towards building a career worthy of admiration.

Many of the WHUers from the graduating class of 2017 have been able to peg spots at some of the world’s most selective colleges. Something they have been able to do is convince the colleges how outstanding their achievements are. Unlike other unsuccessful candidates, they had taken the admission process extremely seriously and had cautiously put their best foot forward. As the old saying goes: Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.

Now that they have received the acceptance letters, their excitement is unlikely to fizzle out. This spell of ineffable pride and joy that has engulfed them will not fade away soon. The downpour of affection and congratulatory wishes might have inadvertently put huge weight of expectations on their shoulders. But an unfettered and indomitable will to learn resonates through all these prolific graduates. Their success stories have incentivized juniors to follow the same roadmap.

Some of the graduates have been accepted into more than one college which has left them in a fix. They are trying to defer it for a few more weeks, leaving room for a change of heart. For them, the road now is open and presumably long. But it’s the first step that’s difficult. Their minds are shrouded with doubt but most of them have had exchange and volunteering experience abroad. They know first-hand what leaving their home soil and living in a different country feels like.

All the presumptuous goals they have set for themselves might sound daunting, but with the values instilled in them by their parents and WHU, they will undoubtedly overcome the odds. They have aced each and every course and their transcripts are abound with  the fruits of their travail. Apart from graduating at the top of their class, they have also earned internships at leading multinationals. They have proved that it takes an all-rounder and not just a whiz to get into these dream colleges. It’s not hard to prefigure what the future holds for these bright minds as they brace to hop onto this academic treadmill we all know as graduate school.

Here’s part one of our two part series where WHU overachievers reveal how they got through the selection process and what they expect from their prospective programs!

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Born in a family of doctors and growing up with dinner conversations on medical and health-related issues, I found my interest in human health at a very young age. Later as I grew up, the SARS in 2003 and the worldwide eradication of smallpox made me realize that having health professionals alone was not enough, various aspects of the society should be involved. I went to Duke Kunshan University for the first Undergraduate Global Learning Semester when I was a sophomore; during the summer in 2015, I was exchanged to Mahidol University in Bangkok, Thailand for one month, learning and exploring their health system; then last summer, I went to the University of Alberta in Canada, working with a group of epidemiologists to address community concerns about health risks from Helicobacter Pylori infection. I really enjoy working across institutions and cultures, as these are really great ways to explore the world and develop my own personality. I got accepted by several other universities such as Columbia, Johns Hopkins and the University of Michigan, but I decided to go to Harvard.

Zhang Yiwen

Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health

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To be honest, I still remember my feelings when I checked my mailbox and saw the "Congratulations, you have been admitted to Yale University" letter. Not only because stepping into the Ivy League is what most students strive for, but also, that it means my effort had paid off. Personally speaking, I think my passion and thoughts on the major I was applying for, and clarified career goals was perhaps what made the admission committee choose me. I will arrive there in the middle of August. Now, I’m exercising my English and learning how to cook, so as to get accustomed to life there as soon as possible.

Song Hongwei,

Yale School of Public Health

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I am excited that I have been accepted into WUSTL and can study my Master of Finance there. Actually I had prepared for my application for the Master’s program since my freshman year and was determined to hone my skills to reach America one day. To fulfill my dream, I transferred my major from interpretation to finance in my sophomore year. So I accomplished it in one and a half year, while others did it in three years. I participated in many activities and enjoyed experiencing different teamwork spirits. With years of efforts and adequate preparation, I think one deserves a good destination. I look forward to embracing my new life in WUSTL.

Peng Yunxian

Washington University St. Louis

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As a graduate-to-be in Wuhan University, I chose to go abroad for further Master’s study since I had already developed an appetite for academic and pragmatic knowledge regarding my major—financial engineering. Applying to an American university is not quite an easy task. It requires all-rounded development and a clear insight about what you want to do with your career. I started preparing for it since sophomore year, first through honing my English ability. When I finished my junior year, I already had already satisfied the TOEFL and GRE scores requirements and exceeded the standards of most universities. With multiple internship experiences, I better understood how financial markets work. Meanwhile, during the summer vacation of my junior year, I collected relevant information about what to expect when applying for a Master’s degree in the US via DIY , all while doing my internship in BNP Paribas. I will join the Cornell family with pride this August. And I expect to fulfill my dreams there.

Zhu Yingjin                                                                              

Cornell University

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When I first enrolled in my freshman year, I didn’t really want to learn, because I had just experienced the intensive college entrance examination and was physically and mentally exhausted.  However, during my summer vacation, I went to the University of Cambridge’s University Summer School. There I realized that I should not be so decadently pessimistic, and the desire to study abroad kindled in me at that moment. So, in the next few years, I studied hard, and used my vacation time to practice and participate in various competitions. In my senior semester, I got the chance to go on an exchange program to Columbia. During that time, I decided to apply for graduate school and finally return to the Columbia. In my perspective, undergraduate years are just a stage in a very long life. Everyone has to face ups and downs but in low times, we must cheer up, find the direction and strive continuously. This is the truth of life.

Renhe Li

Columbia University

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I started to prepare for my application to study in the USA from my second year in WHU. As a student majoring in engineering, I was looking forward to studying in a prestigious college which was specifically famous for their engineering field. When I got a comprehensive understanding of colleges in America, I realized that the University of Michigan, located in Ann Arbor, is really suitable for me. Not only for its outstanding academic materials, but also for its quiet and harmonious environment, which can help me become immersed in my studies. Speaking of my expectation for the next two-year study, I would like to absorb interdisciplinary knowledge as much as possible. And learning something about American culture will be interesting. Plus, I am always willing to expand my circle of friends with foreigners. I am hoping to realize all the goals I have set for myself.

Yuan Liang

University of Michigan

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I have a good command of both English and German, so I was admitted to the University of Gottingen as a visiting student during my junior year. There, I fully enjoyed the atmosphere of international legal study abroad as I saw how different it could be when people coming from diverse contexts comprehend a single issue. The European refugee problem attracted me so much that I wrote my graduation thesis on this topic. I believe that China needs highly-qualified international law professionals who bear diverse academic backgrounds. I hope that I can study international law in the USA, discussing international law issues in a diverse community with a strong faculty. Considering these factors, NYU was my best choice. I combined all my previous experiences, my future ideals, and my knowledge and expectations for NYU together to write my personal statement. In addition to having a GPA of 3.9 and ranking first among 167 students in my class, I was also recommended by my tutor and two famous international law professors, in China and in Germany respectively. Finally I was admitted to my dream school and also won the full scholarship from the China Scholarship Council.

Jiawei Zhao

New York University

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While majoring in finance in the Economics and Management School, I was selected for the mathematical finance and economics elite class at the Advanced Research Center. There I acquired profound knowledge in economics, finance, math, statistics and programming software, which laid a solid foundation for my future graduate study. After 4 years’ study, I have earned my Master’s offer from Cornell University, which is concentrated in financial engineering. After graduation, I wish to engage in the Quant Department in a top financial company such as Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan Chase & Co and Merrill Lynch. In the long run, my ambition is to be a project manager of a foreign investment bank in China and carry out projects targeted towards the Chinese financial market as I bring with me advanced research skills and management knowledge. I would also devote myself to cultivating preeminent youth and encourage them to make innovative contributions to the quantitative financial industry.

Yi Shen

Cornell University

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I spent the autumn and winter of 2016 in Boston, USA, during which I experienced all the anxiousness, hardships, and eventual sense of astonishment and satisfaction brought by my applications to several top British universities. I still remember my mom’s words when I finished the online interview for Cambridge. She is the person who always encourages me to hang in there. But after witnessing the whole process, two-weeks preparation for a mere fifteen-minute exchange, she said to me calmly that she was already very satisfied with me no matter what the final result was. During the journey of applying for higher education and striving for something better, maybe the most difficult thing lies in overcoming diverse unknown parameters, and bravely making decisions even when the future seems still obscure. For me, although I am still in the initial stage of becoming a competent historian, and I am perhaps even feeling a bit inferior compared to many competitors considering my intelligence or experience, still I dare to go farther.

Yijie Huang

UCL(Cambridge University, intended)

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Throughout my undergraduate studies in Wuhan University and some overseas experiences, I gained basic knowledge in public health and was fascinated by the art of disease prevention and health promotion among large populations. I started to prepare for the college application ever since my junior year by participating in my supervisor’s research group. After the application process, I had to wait for a long time and was really excited to get the admission offer from JHU. Hopkins as the leader in both medicine and public health, provides abundant resources in the healthcare field. I intend to dabble in different fields and explore my research interests by participating in various courses, lectures, seminars and research projects. JHU is known for its demanding schoolwork and academic pressure, so I hope I can survive in such an environment. 

Xintong Li

Johns Hopkins University

 

Photo credits-individual students

Edited by Edmund & Hu Sijia

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