In the future, I would put more time and energy into following local stories and events. I would also try to read up on a wider breadth of issues (major shoutout and gratitude to Global Perspectives on Society at NYU Shanghai for exposing students to everything from cosmopolitanism to artificial intelligence), as opposed to going too deep into my own field. Learn your CV and personal statement inside-out. They will make their way into the interview one way or another, so be prepared to talk about your accomplishments, learnings and future ambitions.
Michelle Huang ‘18Fellowship:Rhodes Scholarship FinalistMajor:Social Science (Environmental Studies)Advice:Invest time and energy into following local stories and events. Read up on a wide breadth of issues (major shoutout and gratitude to Global Perspectives on Society at NYU Shanghai for exposing students to everything from cosmopolitanism to artificial intelligence), as opposed to going too deeply only into your own field. Learn your CV and personal statement inside-out. They will make their way into the interview one way or another, so be prepared to talk about your accomplishments, learnings and future ambitions.
Nofar Hamrany ‘18Fellowship:Schwarzman ScholarsMajor:Social Sciences
Applying to global awards was the first time I dedicated myself to myself. While thinking about what I've done, why I've been spending my time on certain things, and what I want to do next, I got to know myself better, which helped me prepare to life after graduation with or without receiving any awards.Advice:Start NOW. That's as early as possible. No matter what class you're in right now, you should plan ahead to track your way through college and get the most out of it, in terms of social, professional and leadership experience. And it would improve your chances to have any successful application, too.
Roxanne Roman ‘17Fellowship:Schwarzman Scholar & NYU DC Global Leadership ScholarMajor:Social Science
"Use your NYU torch to ignite your light. Find ways to educate and inform, to lead inclusively and ethically." -NYU Commencement 2017 Student Address
Steven Yu ‘18Fellowship:JET FellowshipMajor:Economics
I entered university with an undecided major and graduated with an undecided future. However, the entire process of applying for fellowships forced me - in a very supportive way - to think clearly about what I wish to do with my life, both in the short run and in the long run. In the end, I've arrived at the conclusion that my passions and interests will be what guide me towards that future as they are what I can wholeheartedly put my efforts into. // The experience in JET so far is much like an extension of my time at NYUSH. It's a wonderful international community that has taken good care of me and has helped me adjust to lifeAdvice:Speak with other people about your aspirations! If you're anything like me, you will procrastinate despite knowing you should begin processes such as fellowships early. Find a mentor or person you trust and set deadlines with them. Hopefully your wish to not let someone else down will override your desire to put off facing uncertainty about the future.
Xiang Li ‘18Fellowship:Schwarzman Scholars Semi-Finalist & NYU DC Global Leadership ScholarMajor:Social Science
My overseas experiences [in Tel Aviv, Washington and Berlin] have pushed me to think about what it means to be a global citizen. As a former migrant child, I was keen to provide social aid in China. Every weekend for two years, I volunteered to tutor English. I was also the vice president of the Breaking Barriers Initiative, an NYU Shanghai student club that promotes cross-cultural communication. These are the experiences that have shaped me.
Xiaohan Yang ‘18Fellowship:Schwarzman Scholars Semi-FinalistMajor:Business and FinanceAdvice:"The secret to getting ahead is getting started" - Attributed to Mark Twain
Xiaoyue Gong ‘17Fellowship:MITMajor:Honors Mathematics
NYUSH was a safe place for me to try different possibilities that I might have been too intimidated by elsewhere. All my further studies, research, and entrepreneurship, originated from something I did or some decision I made during my time at NYU Shanghai, even though I might have no idea at that moment what they would lead to in the future.Advice:You don't know what you can or cannot accomplish if you never try it.
Zeyu Richard Zhao ‘17Fellowship:Schwarzman Scholars (Semi-Finalist)
The most important thing that I've learned through applying for Schwarzman, and then Rhodes, and now law school is that one really needs to figure out what he or she really enjoys doing. I started out as a finance major, performing really poorly in pretty much all the classes I took because finance didn't interest me. But then I discovered what interested me and what truly mattered to me. In my case, it's law and education/healthcare equality. Once you figure that part out, the rest kind of comes together naturally. You'll want to work hard on whatever is interesting to you, and then you'll have great stories to tell and awesomeAdvice:My one piece of advice for future applicants is that you need to know your stuff. As I said, figuring out what excites you is important, but what's more important is that once you've taken care of that, you need to put in the time and effort to learn more about it through research and first-hand experience. For example, if you really care about protecting the environment, you probably should know the names of organizations that advocate for environmental protection. You may also want to participate in events related to environmental protection. If you find yourself unwilling to put some effort into learning more about a particular field, you probably aren't interested in it after all.
Ziqing Chen ‘17Fellowship:Hans Wildorf Scholar & Rhodes Scholarship FinalistMajor:Gender Politics
One great advice I received during this process was to be myself, but in a magnified version. To do that, I sketched page after page and identified a few core ideas that represent my candidacy. This is a good “soul-searching” exercise. And your talking points are about not just arguments, but also stories. As I noticed during interviews, when I told stories, people listened. Snippets of your personal journey can bring interviewers to a more empathetic footing, and they are no one else’s but yours. Magnify that.Advice:Whether one wins or not, it is just the beginning of the real work.
Zoe Jordan ‘18Fellowship:Yenching ScholarsMajor:Global China Studies
Receiving a fellowship, and more importantly going through the application process, was an undoubtedly frustrating but confidence-building exercise. It was incredibly rewarding to transform my own string of events -- events that seemed inconsequential or "not good enough" in my own eyes -- into a narrative of growth. An honest, well-articulated story of where I am, where I'm going, and how I hope to get there is something I have aimed to illustrate for application readers, but also gives me a reminder of my own progress and trajectory. I was handed a lot of rejections, but eventually ended up in the best program for me andAdvice:For me, the scariest part of application writing is that it emphasizes how your ideas are only as good as you can communicate them to be. So its easy to spend a lot of time worrying about how a committee will respond to each word, or small sentence fragment, and lose sight of the big picture. I've found it helpful to find three to four trusted editors, who come from different backgrounds and might consider different elements of your writing, and after that, just make peace with your work and submit. You might never feel "done" with an essay, but it's necessary to know the boundary between polished writing and work that isn't your own anymore. Most of these essays are not formal academic pieces, but are meant to reflect your personality. That's challenging, but also empowers you with a lot of agency to create something uniquely 'you.'