“Life is about choices. Some we regret, some we’re proud of. We are what we chose to be”
I am currently a Ph.D. candidate in Public Policy and Management at the University of Southern California (USC), with a focus on intergovernmental relationships, public personnel management, and institutional analysis. Prior to attending USC, I studied at Shenzhen University where I obtained a bachelor’s degree in Journalism, and at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) where I earned my master’s degree in Public Policy.
My family background has played the most important role in shaping my career goals. I grew up in a family of scholars. My grandfather was a professor at a prestigious university in China, and my father also obtained a teaching position during his tenure as a Ph.D. student in Accounting. Although this type of family seems to be commonplace today, it was a rare phenomenon in the 1980s given the extreme scarcity of educational resources in China at the time.
Raised as the only child in this family, I was endowed with tremendous hope and wishful thoughts from my family members. Education, in this respect, was stressed as the highest priority. Hence, even when I was in elementary school, I was often asked by my parents to invite multiple classmates into my house to read books with me as a team. In retrospect, despite the fact that I have now forgotten the concrete contents that my study partners and I collectively reviewed, I still remember how my classmates were amazed by the endless shelves of books all throughout our house. Gradually, as I got older, it became one of my passions to read constantly. I believe everyone has had a similar feeling of how our accomplishments pale in comparison when we read a literary masterpiece. We admire the authors’ knowledge, their unique perspective on life and hope one day we could be as intelligent and successful as they are.
Although my dreams of a scholastic profession were hazy at that time, I believe my love for study later inspired me to pursue an academic career and to absorb more knowledge in the ivory tower. Along with my nonmaterialistic goal of contributing further to the intellectual development of society, I also find myself intrinsically craving opportunities to transmit knowledge and help students whenever they encounter difficulties and need a receptive listener and/or an empathetic problem-solver. Since I have often fantasized about standing at the podium in a lecture hall at a top-notch university, students gazing up at me with rapt attention, my career plan in the short run is to obtain a tenure-track faculty position at a leading research-oriented institution in the U.S.