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In the Focus

Class of 2018 Graduate Wang Xiaohan: Keep Going Forward for the Best Scenery Ahead

Aug 5, 2018 Special Report

As a competent young woman with a strong sense of logic, Wang Xiaohan has been interested in mathematics since she was a child. Having studied financial mathematics for four years at SUSTech, Xiaohan will further her studies in the field at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST).

With a gentle and humble appearance, Xiaohan has an adventurous mind and the spirit of a leader. She was the president of her residential college’s student union, the president of SUSTech’s Student News Agency, the editor of SUSTech’s Scientia student magazine, and a contestant in the provincial ping-pong competition.

Xiaohan has always been moving forward in the past four years, making the most of her college years at SUSTech.

 Not Being Swayed by Popular Opinion

I have always been a fan of mathematics and excelled in class in the subject. Therefore, I was already very determined to apply for mathematics-related majors before entering university.”

However, due to SUSTech’s strength in a variety of STEM disciplines, Xiaohan became unsure about her initial dream of mathematics. Fortunately, SUSTech allows students to declare their major in their third year, giving Xiaohan enough time to figure things out.

After venturing into multiple academic fields, I have found that I was not as interested in pure scientific research as most schoolmates do. I am more enthusiastic about applied science, which is closely related to real-life scenarios. Financial mathematics is a good combination of real-life application and my true love, so I chose it as my major. My father was initially concerned about my unusual choice compared with other SUSTechers. However, my achievements prove that the successful outcome after my major declaration is largely dependent on your own hard work, rather than listening to popular opinion.”

Speaking of hard work, Wang Xiaohan not only maintained her top academic performance in the department but also interned at four securities companies. Xiaohan’s hard work paid off right before graduation – she recently received the offer from HKUST’s master’s program in Financial Mathematics. Looking back on her experience, Xiaohan strongly recommended younger SUSTechers to follow their hearts and avoid being swayed by popular opinion when it comes to an individual’s major declaration. She believed if one works hard enough in an academic field, he or she will succeed regardless of the field’s popularity.


A Natural Leader in Student Activities

Xiaohan is the embodiment of fire and ice – seemingly quiet and tender on the outside, but powerful and passionate on the inside. The unique quality of hers has contributed to her success in student activities throughout her four years of college life.

At the beginning of her first year, she did not have any experience in organizing student activities. But with a strong passion, she contacted the student union, wrote an event planning report until 3 a.m. in the morning, and successfully organized a National Day event with over 200 people. The advisor was amazed by her ability and courage as a freshman, comparing her to “a newborn calf which is not afraid of tigers (Chinese idiom).”

After a successful beginning of organizing student activities, Xiaohan co-founded the Student News Agency under the guidance of the Office of Communications and Public Relations. As one of the first student journalists, she witnessed the growth of the agency from four members to over a hundred. The news agency has become one of the most recognized student organizations on campus, and Xiaohan believes it also shapes its members’ personality in a positive way.

Tang Jie, who worked with Xiaohan at the Student News Agency, told us about how she thought about Xiaohan. “Despite being a leader facing a lot of stress, Xiaohan is a very easygoing person who was very patient in sharing her experience. This healthy communication style not only helped us with our professional skills but also unified our news agency as a whole.” Tang Jie, who worked with Xiaohan at the Student News Agency, told us about how she thought about Xiaohan.

The growth of SUSTech’s Student News Agency also greatly improved Xiaohan’s professional skills. She started the organization out of her pure love for literature, but now she has learned a great deal about how to be a professional news reporter. Compares with her early descriptive works, Xiaohan’s recent news reports are far more in-depth and insightful. She has interviewed SUSTech’s first President Zhu Qingshi, Chinese Academy of Sciences Fellow Lin Guoqiang, Writer A-Lai and two Nobel laureates. Moreover, Xiaohan also co-created the magazine Scientia for the Student News Agency, which includes many quality works in both Chinese and English.

Looking back on her experience at Student News Agency, Xiaohan said: “I see the news agency as a bridge to connect students and campus culture. By joining the Student News Agency, students have the chance to create a campus culture that they like.”

If I like it, I’ll do it

Xiaohan lives by the motto “If I like it, I’ll do it” in all aspects of her life. Besides following her heart in her studies and campus activities, she also pursues a variety of other hobbies. As an erhu player (an erhu being a traditional Chinese two-stringed bowed musical instrument) of SUSTech’s traditional Chinese folk music society, she won the second prize with her schoolmates in the professional group of the provincial musical instrument competition. She was also a member of SUSTech’s ping-pong/table tennis team who represented the university in the provincial ping-pong/table tennis competition.

Despite her busy schedule on a daily basis, Xiaohan said she would always find time for her hobbies. “I like engaging in different activities in life, which makes my life feel like a kaleidoscope. I think it’s terrible if one doesn’t have any hobbies and only focuses on work or studies.”

When asked about how she achieved all the successes mentioned above, Xiaohan gave the following answer: “Figuring out what you really wanted and just going for it are my biggest secrets to success. In the past four years, I have always been on the road of pursuing my dreams. I am always moving forward – I do not step back or give up, not even once.”


Original Article: Ning Shuo (SUSTech Student News Agency)
Translation: Fan Yining
Proofreading: Chris Edwards

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