November 29, 2022

A view of Cornell College’s campus from the highest of McGraw Tower. (Courtesy of Julian Sorel through Flicker/Artistic Commons)

Elizabeth Han Wang graduated from Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration.

Elizabeth Han Wang graduated from Cornell College’s College of Lodge Administration.

By Elizabeth Han Wang

I went to a school preparatory personal highschool in Los Angeles throughout the late 90s the place the norm was to go to an elite faculty on the east coast. If somebody stayed in Los Angeles and even California, it wasn’t unusual to listen to questions like, “What occurred?” or “You solely received into your security college?”

The lofty expectations positioned uncommon quantities of strain on myself and the scholars round me. It compelled my focus to be on one purpose and that was moving into faculty. It was troublesome on the time to look past that.

By all means, I’m common. I went to highschool with some extraordinarily good individuals. I discovered to work more durable and research longer so as to compete. I toted round my textbooks to weekend dinners and household capabilities.

Highschool was the toughest time in my life, however I discovered that you could separate your self from the remainder with work ethic and self-discipline. I ended up graduating cum laude, one thing that I’m extraordinarily pleased with, as solely 10% of every class receives that honor.

Robust lecturers apart, so as to construct a powerful software, I pursued extracurricular actions. I performed cello within the college orchestra, softball and basketball. I additionally volunteered a bunch. By way of these experiences, I noticed that I appreciated working in a crew, a facet that I search for in my work now. Relying on others will be scary, however the satisfaction from a win or live performance was actually rewarding. It additionally helped me to be extra conscious and grateful for my household, buddies and schooling.

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With these two foundations, I utilized to about 20 faculties, 15 of them on the east coast. I selected these 20, not desirous about what I wished to check and whether or not the colleges had packages of curiosity to me, however moderately desirous about every college’s status.

When acceptance/rejection letters got here and faculty visits had been made, I in the end made my determination to go to Cornell College.

Its founder, Ezra Cornell wrote: “I might discovered an establishment the place any individual can discover instruction in any research.” For somebody who had no concept what she wished to check or what sort of profession to pursue, I assumed if there was anywhere I might discover what I used to be searching for, Cornell was it.

Quick ahead to my first upstate New York winter. I noticed I’ll not have thought of all of the aspects of the most important determination of my life thus far. I didn’t take into consideration how far-off or distant Ithaca, NY was from California. I didn’t take into consideration how a lot I’d miss my household, however trying again, I don’t suppose I’d wish to go wherever else.

First, I discovered what I wished to check. I began within the School of Arts & Sciences with an undecided main. I transferred to Cornell’s well-known College of Hospitality Administration as a result of I used to be drawn to it’s practicality.

The resort college, because it’s generally referred to as, taught enterprise abilities that I may apply once I graduated. I acquired an undergraduate enterprise schooling, which ready me for the office. We had been taught to be skilled, suppose sharply about enterprise issues, and apply our coaching of customer support.

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Secondly, Cornell’s status helped me land a job at a giant tech firm. I’ll not work within the hospitality trade, however enterprise abilities are common. My expertise in offering service to purchasers was a giant promoting issue that different faculty grads might not have had.

Final, however not least, I met my husband at Cornell. When my tour information stated one thing like 30 p.c of Cornellians marry different Cornellians, I didn’t consider him, however 10 years after commencement, I nonetheless work for a similar firm, I’m married to the identical man and we’ve got two youngsters.

Trying again, I’ve to confess that Cornell performed a giant half in shaping me and my life.

If I had been to present recommendation on faculty, I’d say, take into consideration location, take into consideration what you wish to research and what packages faculties provide, however don’t overthink it. It’s okay should you don’t know what profession you wish to pursue or what you wish to research. No matter the place you go, research arduous, get entangled in what pursuits you, and construct your community. With just a little luck, issues ought to fall into place.