For the Haas School, there are four principles that, taken together, sharply define us relative to other business schools in the United States. As you reflect on these principles (Confidence without Attitude, Question the Status Quo, Students Always, Beyond Yourself) which one do you identify most with? Why?
Being a woman, I have always been conscious of the preferential treatment men enjoy in most societies. This may be why I identify myself more closely with “Questioning the Status Quo” than other three principles. I believe the leaders of tomorrow will also need qualities that women are usually better at such as compassion, communication skills, ability to put oneself in other’s shoes, and ethical conduct. Women are also determined to make more difference in the society because they face more adversity. Thus, the world will benefit when both men and women have equal opportunities for leadership.
In high school time, I directed a play “Southeast the Peacock Flies”, based on an ancient Chinese tragic love story. The story revolves around a newly married couple that is forced to separate in order to be remarried by their families due to the differences in families’ social status and wealth. But the couple chooses to commit suicide rather than giving in to their families’ demand. Even though I borrowed main ideas from the story, I adapted the story to suit modern times. I have grown up in China where there is rising gap between rich and poor, new generation is materialistic and parents still adhere to traditions.
I wanted to demonstrate ancient tragedies still occur today though in different forms. Society’s traditions and customs still take preference over basic human rights and a significant proportion of young generation is forced to marry against their wishes. The play included cross-gender performance and four local dialects and was a huge success because the audience could personally identify with it. The audience realized we have failed to modernize our societal values because they saw the issues facing the society from different perspectives. The audience seemed motivated to challenge old norms that do not fit in the modern society . I was the only female among the directors yet I still won the award for the best director due to my creativity as well as success at giving a modern twist to the story.
Only when we are pushed to the limits, do we discover our true potential. We have to be willing to step in uncomfortable zones. This is why I did a VIP sales assistant internship at China Telecom Co., Ltd. during the summer break of freshman year. My manager thought I was too young and inexperienced to deal with VIP customers but I didn’t let his low expectations discourage me. I closely observed my manager dealing with clients for first two weeks and by the end of second week, my manager started taking me to client meetings with small and medium-sized firms. My easy-going nature soon turned out to be an asset in building positive relationships with the company’s major clients.
My experiences have made me more confident in my creativity, people skills, communication, and analytical skills and have also helped me discover my leadership potential. I cannot wait to become a successful entrepreneur which is why I have chosen Haas Business School which is also not afraid to challenge the conventional wisdom and become the leading voice of progress in the world.
“Southeast the peacock flies” information: