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In the Focus

Class of 2018 Graduate Wang Siting: Ordinary Woman's Extraordinary Story

Jul 20, 2018 Special Report

Coming from Zhiren Residential College and the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Wang Siting considers herself a non-typical summa cum laude graduate. Compared with other top 10 graduates, her GPA and research experience does not stand out. But it was her hard work, resilient character and genuine passion that earned her this honor. 

Overcoming Obstacle Step by Step

Despite being admitted to SUSTech with a high examination score, Siting was not used to SUSTech’s education mode and did not perform well in freshman year. She felt like a failure and was deeply frustrated. However, she did not drown herself in the negativity and instead opted to reflect on the problems in her studies. Siting reminded herself to stay calm when facing obstacles and maintained a positive mindset when dealing with her academic challenges. Siting consequently changed her study habits by shifting her focus from exercises only to concepts and theories. Gradually, she got the hang of studying at SUSTech and made some significant improvements over the years.

Looking back at her college life, Siting believed it was SUSTech that gave her the courage to rise up after falling over an obstacle. She said: “If I could go back in time, I would tell my old self, ‘You made the right decision to come to SUSTech. Just work hard, do what you think is right. Don’t hold back, don’t be afraid of hardships. As long as you hold on, everything will turn out beautifully.’”

 “Multitasking Queen”

After breaking through in her studies, Siting began to devote her extra time to student societies and social practices. She became the art designer at Zhiren Residential College, class monitor of the Optoelectronic Information Science and Engineering concentration, founder of Student Union’s Communications Department, and more importantly, the most recognized President of the U.S. Optical Society SUSTech Branch. On top of applause from both students and faculty members, Siting also gained valuable experience during the process.

Huang Yuzong, current President of the U.S. Optical Society SUSTech Branch, jokingly said that she was the “society’s superwoman” and a true “multitasking queen.” These nicknames prove that she was the most reliable person in both club and society affairs, and Siting was happy people bestowed these nicknames upon her: “I know I don’t have superpowers. That’s just a scientific fact. I guess I may be compared with some people; I’m more willing to take on the urgent tasks when nobody else wants to. If I have the extra time and energy, I’ll definitely take on the urgent tasks because somebody has to finish it to make the society work.”

More importantly, after taking on the roles of “superwoman” and “multitasking queen,” Siting has truly mastered the art of adapting to changing circumstances. Her coordination and communication skills have significantly improved in the process. For instance, she managed to invite two Nobel Prize judges to guest lecture at SUSTech. Siting felt proud of herself for the successful experience and explained why she summoned the courage to do so: “I had the privilege of listening to their lectures in the past and felt very inspired, and I just wanted my peers to get the same inspiration from the Nobel Committee. Since this thought was in my mind for a while, I just decided to make it happen.”

In a nutshell, Wang Siting is just an ordinary woman with a strong sense of responsibility. She is always willing to take on extra tasks for the greater good, and she is always reaching for the goals that are within an arm’s reach for her. The life of a “multitasking queen” can be difficult, but it is definitely rewarding.

 

“Acrobatic” Time Management Skills

Despite multitasking on a daily basis, Siting is good at time management and never burns the midnight oil for deadlines – especially when it comes to preparing for exams. For her, everything is under control due to her time management, which is the factor that makes her stand out in SUSTech over time.

When asked about the secret to master time management, she simply smiled and said: “It all boils down to your habit. I’m the person who likes to plan everything much ahead of time, so I can take control of the situation.” Actually, Siting hasn’t always an expert in time management – she used to be buried in messy schedules during her freshman year. Siting recalled: “In my first year at SUSTech, I had so much going on. I had plans for myself, and I wanted to achieve a lot. It was almost impossible to do it all. But over time, I realized time management is just like acrobatic juggling performance. Study, work, and life are like the three balls in the air. They are all important, but there’ll always be one that’s most important at some point. What you need to do is to understand the most important thing at the moment, just like learning to throw one ball to the highest point at the right time. After finishing the most important thing or successfully throwing the ball to the top, you can start working on other things and balance your schedule. In this way, you can maximize your time by doing the most in a day.” 

Most Important Takeaway from SUSTech

In Siting’s opinion, the most important thing she has learned from SUSTech is the process of gradually realizing what she likes and what she wants in the future. “Many of my high school peers buried themselves in the National Graduate School Entrance Examination even though they had no idea what to do in graduate school. It’s nothing against them – I’m talking about a social phenomenon among Chinese undergraduates. They feel pressured to obtain a higher degree ‘just because.’ In comparison, SUSTechers have a much clearer vision of their academic path and future career. I think knowing what you want and taking control of your future is vitally important, and I’m thankful SUSTech helps me realize that.”

Speaking of her future academic pursuit, Siting was grateful for the faculty members at SUSTech: “My advisor Chen Shumiong, Department Head of Electrical and Electronic Engineering Sun Xiaowei and other professors of the Department have helped me a lot. My family’s not wealthy, so I never really dared to think about studying abroad. However, studying at SUSTech has broadened my horizons and made me realize the importance of receiving education overseas. When I began working at the laboratory, Assistant Professor Chen Shuming told me there were many opportunities for families with regular income to send their children abroad through full scholarships.”

Although having received four doctoral program offers from top-notch universities, Siting passed on the opportunities and decided to enroll in a master’s program at the University of Washington. Although master’s program cost much more than the doctoral program, Siting still chose the former because UW’s superior urban location compared favorably with the abovementioned top-notch universities.

“My experience at SUSTech taught me the importance of cities in one’s development. As one of the top four cities in China, Shenzhen is a place with infinite energy, possibilities, and room for improvement. Unlike many other places, production, learning, and research are more than just a concept in Shenzhen. It is being materialized all over the city – research results in the lab can be manufactured and commercialized in no time. It’s really motivating for STEM researchers. On the other side of the Pacific Ocean in Seattle, where the University of Washington is located, is the home of the world’s leading technology companies such as Microsoft and Amazon, and I believe such atmosphere can be really helpful for my future studies.”

Before the interview ended, Siting wanted the younger peers at SUSTech to seize the day and pursuit what they truly love: “Be bold, chase your dreams, and do what you think is right. Don’t be afraid to go forward just because you think you’re too ordinary – you could miss out on amazing opportunities over this. Remember, we are young, and we’re entitled to be proud of ourselves and embark on our life adventures.”

 

Original Article: Li Lingqi (Student News Agency) and Cheng Wenjing

Translation: Fan Yining

Proofreading: Chris Edwards

Photos: Wen Linju (Student News Agency)

Homepage Banner Design: Qiu Yan

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