Prompt 1: What is your intended major? Discuss how your interest in the subject developed and describe any experience you have had in the field – such as volunteer work, internships and employment, participation in student organizations and activities – and what you have gained from your involvement.
I intend to major in Economics. This is not a new interest of mine. Indeed, I have been fascinated with the field even as a child, when I would listen to my father talk passionately about his trading company and how much he is able to earn from it. Back then, I deeply wondered about how my father’s business worked and how he earned a living from it, and he was always glad to explain it to me. He would say “the secret to success in the world of business is nothing more than knowing its underlying principles. If you understand these principles, you will not make bad decisions that can lead to your company’s downfall.” Although I was too young to comprehend what he meant, his words stuck to my mind, and ignited a passion for understanding the economy.
Filled with such passion, I decided to start realizing my dream of being an economist as early as the 9th grade. I took Economics as an elective subject and learned about various theories in economics and how they are actually applied into the real world. One example that my teacher gave which I can never forget was about how if the price of gasoline increased, it will lead to a decrease in the demand of cars as they are complementary goods. While the theories that I learned from that class were simple and my understanding of the economy during this time was not extensive, I was nevertheless able to get a feel of what the field was like and I found myself deeply attracted to its study, which seemed so closely related to our daily lives. Furthermore, I was able to use the knowledge that I learned in class to suggest to my father how purchasing new equipment in his company can improve productivity, and how the appropriate division of labor can boost the effectiveness of a company’s operations. My father was very proud of me, and urged me to study Economics even further.
Unfortunately, the economic crisis in 2008 hugely affected my father’s company. While he was wise in the workings of the economy, conditions beyond his control eventually found their way on his company’s doorstep and he had no choice but to let the downturn in. I realized during that time that no man is an island in the economy. Our actions affect the economy, and in turn the lives of the people who depend on the economy. This experience drove me even further to want to learn more about economics and apply my knowledge to help Chinese businesses like my father’s. It was at this point in my life that I completed my discernment about what I wanted to do with my life. I became resolved to go to the United States and pursue higher education majoring in Economics.
My journey to the states led me to Diablo Valley College, where I pursued my mission of excelling in Economics by becoming actively involved in applying economics concepts to real life situations. From the Spring Semester 2010 to the Fall Semester 2010, I served as one of the board members of The Associated Students of Diablo Valley College. (ASDVC) As student representatives, we had to discuss about some critical issues regarding the campus, among which was the amount of annual scholarships that was available to students and forming linkages with other clubs in holding festivals within the campus. I cooperated with other members of the ASDVC Activities Committee to hold The Student Service Festival in March, 2010. I approached the project from the viewpoint of an economist, and suggested to my co-organizers that we examine student demands, use labor specialization in assigning tasks, and collaborate with other cultural clubs in order to be able to pool resources together. My ideas were well accepted and through their implementation, the festival turned out to be a huge success, with food tasting, cultural booths, games, and a wide array of performances. My contributions to project planning benefited several other organizations. I participated in organizing a Halloween fund-raising event for SIFE; a business club at DVC. We wanted to hold a costume contest and I proposed charging only two dollars per ticket in order to increase the demand. True enough, we were able to attract more students into joining, and I was very proud that in contrast to previous years when the event ended up losing money, we were able to generate a net profit of $70 because of my suggestion.
Aside from using my knowledge in economics in my active involvement in student organizations, I also utilized it as a means to earn some extra income. I offered my services as a tutor to my fellow students at DVC, and helped them solve difficult economics problems. Not only was I able to profit financially from my venture but more importantly, I was able to hone my problem solving skills and reinforce the concepts that I had previously learned in my mind. I also discovered that I could effectively explain intricate economics concepts to students in a manner that they could easily understand.
My passion for Economics continues to burn fiercely. My goal is to become an Economics scholar and utilize my professional knowledge in helping our community. With the education that I can obtain from the University of California, I will be well prepared in my journey to become an economics advisor to the businesses in China.
Prompt 2: Tell us about a personal quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution or experience that is important to you. What about this quality or accomplishment makes you proud, and how does it relate to the person you are?
In my high school, students are categorized into four houses. When I was in the twelfth grade, the house advisor asked me to be the captain of my house. This meant that I would be responsible for leading my 300 fellow house members in inter-house activities throughout the year and ensuring that a team spirit developed.
One of my first jobs was to prepare our house to take part in the annual inter-house singing contest. It was my responsibility to gather fifty junior students from my house, pick a song, assign a specific theme for the whole task, and then set a practice schedule with the selected participants. Certainly, I realized that I could not accomplish all of these tasks alone. I believe that a good leader is an individual who possesses the ability to inspire human behavior of others in accomplishing a designated mission. Thus, I contemplated on the matter and was able to break down the project into various components. With these components as a basis, I developed eleven different committees and filled them with people who I knew could be depended on. I assigned tasks to the committees according to their members’ abilities and academic workload, and then I supervised them to ensure that their assignments were being carried out correctly and according to schedule. Throughout the process, I needed to accept opinions and even criticism whenever conflicts and arguments arose. These varying opinions helped fine tune the project to completion. Our two-month endeavor finally paid off when we won the championship! From that moment, I knew that I have proven myself to be a capable leader. I will never forget the moment when the school principal passed the trophy to my hand with 1,300 school students in the audience. I have a strong passion for leadership. I love to lead, motivate and organize people. I look forward to contributing my leadership experiences and abilities in my academic and extracurricular endeavors at the University of California.