Class of 2016
Guiyang No. 6 High School, Guizhou
Li Ka Shing Foundationa Full Scholarship Recipient
I graduated from Notre Dame (ND) in 2016 with a Bachelors degree in Computer Science and a Bachelors degree in Psychology and Peace Studies. I grew up in Guizhou, China, and went to Guiyang No. 6 High School. At ND, I volunteered in multiple economically underprivileged areas of the U.S. In summer 2012, four other ND students and I started a cultural memory program in my hometown and cooperated with students from Guizhou Normal University. This program has turned into a social service learning program at ND’s Center for Social Concerns, which sends about two ND students to Guizhou each year for two months. In addition, I started doing computer science and psychology research as a sophomore. In the second semester of my junior year, I went to study abroad at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland for a semester. I also went to Costa Rica, volunteering in an animal sanctuary for one month. After spending four years at ND, I decided to immerse myself fully in the ocean of knowledge by staying at ND for a fifth year and studying Peace Studies. I feel deeply grateful that Notre Dame gave me enormous support and generous financial aid for my fifth year at ND. Upon my graduation, I had an internship opportunity to go to Zambia and work on education in rural Africa with Impact Network.
Now I am a fully-funded graduate student in the Personal Robots Group at the MIT Media Lab. The Media Lab is a place at MIT where students have opportunities to work on interdisciplinary research topics that integrate technology and humanity together. My research interest is to build socially intelligent robots that interact with children to help them learn storytelling and language skills more deeply and creatively. In addition, I am also involved in LGBTQA activism in Boston, and help promote LGBTQA culture and awareness.
Beijing No. 4 High School, Beijing
Li Ka Shing Foundation Full Scholarship Recipient
I was born and raised in Beijing, China. Notre Dame, with its rich international opportunities, strong academic support, and wide extra-curricular selection, has empowered me to pursue my dream of becoming a liaison between the East and the West.
On campus, I served as an International Ambassador, working with foreign students. In addition, my interest in business and commerce led me to examine accounting and consulting case studies. Beyond campus, I seized cross-cultural opportunities, including business case competitions in Canada and China, summer school in Israel, and an exchange program in England.
While I was studying abroad at the University of Oxford, I worked for the Student Consultancy and completed a consulting challenge with students from different countries. Interested in international business and financial markets as well, I conducted research on American cross-border trade legislation as well as banking regulatory systems in the United States and the United Kingdom.
In conversations between the East and the West, I see three major impediments: language, culture and law. Notre Dame has helped me work through the first two. Currently a student at Harvard Law School, I am exploring career opportunities that would allow me to contribute to conversations between China and the United States. The skills and values I acquired from Notre Dame continue to support me in this journey.
High School Attached to Hunan Normal University, Changsha
I graduated from Mendoza College of Business with a finance major and am now working as an investment consultant at China International Capital Corporation (CICC). It has been over a year since I left Notre Dame and returned to China. The real world has been a lot more sophisticated and the counter-cultural shocks stronger than I expected; the Notre Dame days, as I often recall them, had never been more precious to me.
I reflected a lot this year about my college experience. I wish I had spent more time interacting with the community instead of attending endless career sessions; and I wish I had not given up my history major in Arts and Letters. However, life is a box of chocolates, so now I guess I just have to live in the present and make every day count. What I would like to say to the incoming freshmen from China is that life in Notre Dame will not be easy, and may not always be happy, but it must be the most rewarding and memorable four years of your life.
Currently, I work as an investment consultant/wealth manager in CICC. While my friends are quitting IBD in HK or NYC due to intolerably long work hours, I find wealth management a very sustainable and entrepreneurial business. My schedule is very flexible as I can decide how to spend most of my week as long as I make money for the company.
Four years of studying at Notre Dame and living in the states empowered me as a global citizen --- that I am back in China now does not mean I will stay here forever. My ability to live alone and make a living in a new city is applicable in all the Chinese or English-speaking cities, thus I would not set boundaries for myself but try to live a fulfilling life.
Northeast Yucai School, Shenyang
I am from Shenyang. I graduated from the University of Notre Dame in May 2016 with a degree in computer science. I am currently an MD candidate at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.
In high school, I was primarily focused on environmental protection activism. I organized the Roots & Shoots branch of our high school, working on increasing students’ awareness of environmental problems. I established the Green Mock Trial, a club organizing mock trials during which students debated court cases related to environmental issues. The Green Mock Trial was successful and my team was invited to the IYSECC (International Youth Summit on Energy and Climate Change) to present our organization in July 2010.
At Notre Dame, I discovered my interest in medicine. I developed a passion for medical research through working with professors from the departments of computer science and biology. I spent all my summers in college working in research labs both on and off campus. I also gained valuable experiences through volunteering in both medical and non-medical settings. I worked with the First Aid Service Team during home football games starting my freshman year. I volunteered in hospitals as well as a hospice house. I also worked as a mentor for the robotics team, at Washington High School in South Bend. I found these experiences extremely rewarding. I believe that my desire to pursue a career in medicine has grown stronger through my academic and volunteering experiences.
After graduating college in 2016, I spent a year conducting research on pediatric brain tumors at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. In July 2017, I started school at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. I am very excited about applying the knowledge I learned at Notre Dame and beyond to patient care as well as medical research.
Wuhan Foreign Language School, Wuhan
I can’t believe that the last time I updated my profile for the Greater China Scholarship page I was still a student at Notre Dame, excited and anxious about my post-graduation life. Now I am living this life already. For the past school year, I have been missing the campus and the college life I had when I was still enjoying it. While walking on campus, talking to friends, staying up really late in Lafun, I was constantly and actively reminding myself how soon I would leave the campus and rage into the real world. I didn’t have a drastically different senior year; instead, I learned to cherish the mundane and even the things that I used to dislike or took for granted. I learned to appreciate even more the beauty of every discussion I was able to have in my philosophy class; I was able to discover the hidden messages and excitement buried within numbers and accounts when studying Accounting; I was able to make new friends with people who were much younger and older than me. I still remember many nights in my senior year when I feared what would happen after I graduated; I felt that I was not ready. However, at the same time, I realized - more than any single moment in the first three years of my college life - how much I have learned and gained through my Notre Dame experiences.
Living in Indiana for four years made me “snow-proof”; struggling through double majors in Accounting and Philosophy along with an art minor enabled me to talk to almost everyone and anyone; stressing out throughout the job-searching process made me realize who I am and what I want. I realized that talking to St. Mary at the Grotto was such a unique ND experience; only ND people know how real the connection can be at those mysterious and silent nights. I realized that most of the people we get to know on campus are sincerely sincere; the most of the religious and spiritual conversations I have had in my whole life happened in ND. I realized ND is really a family, although I have sometimes complained about how it needs more diversity. I realized that I have fallen in love with American football, avocados, and late-night quarter dogs because of ND.
As I am sitting in my office in Manhattan typing this passage, seven months after my graduation ceremony, I realize that ND has become my home, and that I miss everything about it even more than I do about my real home. I am satisfied and unsatisfied with it, I miss it and don’t miss it (the weather), and I love and hate it from time to time – it’s such a bittersweet journey. I guess that makes it even more precious of an experience. I hope that all my dear friends on campus are able to enjoy every bit and every moment of their ND experience, and I hope that more young people are able to join us in this great journey. Welcome to the family. You will live the most memorable four years of your life.