Graduate Student at Johns Hopkins University
This fall, I will be attending the Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), as a recipient of the Dalai Lama Foundation Graduate Scholarship. The scholarship exists to develop the human capital of the Tibetan people “by supporting the pursuit of excellence among Tibetan students in a ﬁeld of graduate studies of their choice.” As a Tibetan American, I often struggled to reconcile the hardships that my grandparents and parents had endured as refugees, with my American identity and newfound interests. However, through academic exploration and service within my local community, I understood that the American identity is not deﬁned by a single arc but by a plethora of unique perspectives.
My collective experiences, passion for international affairs and desire for a career dedicated to service have solidiﬁed my commitment to a career in diplomacy. I realize how a career in diplomacy requires the duality of tactfully representing one’s national interests while simultaneously understanding the nuances of a foreign culture. I am conﬁdent that the rigorous international relations program at SUNY New Paltz and at SAIS will help me develop the analytical skills and foreign policy acumen that will enable me to thrive within this duality.
Market Research and Due Diligence Analyst, Greater China Region
Currently based in Taipei, I conduct contract work for several investment advisors and due diligence firms. This usually involves utilizing open-source information and my own network to establish a firm understanding of the target firm/person's business and personal history, relations within the firm, the government, and other circles, other assets and interests, patterns of illegal activity or other unsavory behavior, and the firm's positioning within the industry and future outlook. I also work as an English teacher and occasionally co-lecture at a local university's Political Science Department.
Studying international relations, political science and economics laid the foundation for my general knowledge of the international situation and the dynamics of political economies, developing world issues and security. This has enabled me to identify an industry of interest and at once roughly understand the dynamics and influences of the political economies surrounding it. My thesis/capstone and independent studies gave me the tools required to effectively conduct independent research and analysis. I absolutely utilize these resources with every new project. Also, the comprehensive nature of the programs has given me an edge whereby I can seamlessly transition from one industry to another. As an example, when I arrived to Taiwan, I focused on military studies and security, business and government relations, then on to SOE and corruption cases, to today currently focusing on the Chinese online industry. Whatever new focus tomorrow brings, I'm certain I'll be utilizing the knowledge I gained at New Paltz to help me prepare for it.
Of course the most important and influential aspect of the programs were the resources provided by the professors both in and out of lecture classes. They constantly challenged us to create more informed and critical analysis, which continues to influence and strengthen my current professional work.
President of DragonSearch
I lead business development for a digital marketing agency. In addition to managing our sales efforts, I'm also a member of the company's leadership team, helping to drive the strategic direction of our company.
New Paltz gave me a great education, and more importantly an opportunity to take a leadership role in student government and to create independent study opportunities. I blended my political science studies with my philosophy minor to focus on a deep dive in political theory. Between the two departments, we put together texts that complimented each other and explored the foundations of political theory from the perspective of both departments. At the end of the day, you get out what you put in, and New Paltz was a great environment to grow.
I like to say that my liberal arts education taught me how to learn and how to reason. With this foundation, I feel as though I could step into any business and have an impact no matter what the subject matter or product. It helped me gain confidence as my ideas were constantly challenged by my peers and professors, and it helped me think critically about any situation.
Policy Analyst, Department of Homeland Security
As an undergraduate student in international relations at SUNY New Paltz, I never would have imagined that I would one day work as a policy analyst supporting the Department of Homeland Security. I attribute my academic and professional interests to the stimulating courses and dynamic professors I had throughout my tenure at New Paltz. The Honors Program further cultivated my interest in homeland security, and I wrote my Honors thesis on U.S. counterterrorism efforts.
To further advance my knowledge of security issues, I enrolled in and completed a Master of Arts in Global Security Studies at Johns Hopkins University, where I researched international efforts to combat Islamist radicalization.
Ultimately, I credit my New Paltz liberal arts education with giving me the confidence to pursue a field that I am deeply passionate about and make it a career.