Observe. Write. Share.
These three verbs, which together form a simplified model, capture the essence of my personal and intellectual journey thus far.
From early childhood, I have travelled in different parts of 28 countries with wide-open eyes. Daily encounters with cultural, social, linguistic, and what turned out to be political differences on those trips always fascinate me. Initially, the innocuous act of writing everything down served as a then-introverted girl’s medium of mentally processing observations and piecing them together, before sharing them with family and friends.
As I learn and mature, I have embraced such fantastic opportunities as serving as Editor-in-Chief of our undergraduate law review and founder of the North America-wide Intercollegiate Law Journal, designing a universal health coverage campaign for the World Health Organization, contributing original political research to the Hong Kong executive and legislative branches of government, and regularly publishing journalistic, academic, and creative writing via international media platforms such as the Huffington Post and South China Morning Post. These endeavors have allowed me to expand on my mechanism to engage others along the way. My work with the Claremont Journal of Law and Public Policy and the WHO, for instance, exemplify instances when I strive to amplify our collective voices to share knowledge with a broader audience and often, advocate for change and reform.
Reflecting on these commitments, I see an overarching message: the more I have confided in the power of words—spoken and written alike—with increasing confidence, the greater importance I place on having a mind that is as wide-open as the eyes of that eternally curious child in me.
My early travels and my education background (first as an international school student and then as a Chinese student studying in the United States) prompted an ever-expanding thirst for comparing and contrasting what I see across countries, drawing me to the study of international relations and politics. This thirst has importantly provoked many “why” questions—especially ones that concern inequity of development between OECDs and developing countries—that I felt I could only attempt to answer properly through observing, writing, sharing, and receiving feedback from others. For me, careful observations require discipline in deferring certain judgements, calling for thorough, objective research; insightful writing challenges me to organize my thinking logically and take on creative approaches, before sharing discoveries with others, who guide me as I constantly refine components of this mechanism.
Political science, as I have found, operates on a similar mechanism. So do the policy and lawmaking realms—which I hope to join—at large, for I believe that effective policy and lawmakers study our society closely before making normative judgements that would allow them to write new policies and laws, with which they aim to benefit the general public.
As I run through the Pomona gates once more as a graduate in May, I will certainly continue observing, writing, and sharing more by working in the international policy and legal realm as a think tank researcher or international organization officer.