Janice Zhong is a 2022 graduate who double majored in Global Studies and Criminology. Janice has had extensive experience working in counterterrorism, humanitarian organizations, and conducting research on U.S. diplomatic efforts. She presently serves as a virtual intern with the U.S. State Department’s Peshawar Consulate in Pakistan, promoting cross-cultural relations through English language programs. This fall, Janice will begin her graduate studies at King’s College at the University of Cambridge.
Words of Encouragement: Life and the choices that lay before us can seem especially daunting. Don’t reach an ending before you even begin. Make an effort to try for your passions and dreams even if the road seems impossible.
1) If we ask one of your friends to describe you, what would they say?
That I am driven and prepared; not by success but rather an image of the future. I am often known as the “mom” friend of my cohort and this is, in part, largely due to the fact that I like to have extensive plans in place for everything. Professionally, I often have a general idea of what I want my future to look like and the steps that I need to take to fulfill it. My friends would also likely describe me as adventurous. I love to travel and have an insatiable curiosity to fully immerse myself in things that I don’t understand (which is perhaps why I am so vested in pursuing a career in diplomacy).
2) What life events or personal mentorships, if any, directed you to the field of study you have chosen for your future endeavors?
One of my most memorable professors was Dr. Bojan Petrovic from the Global Studies Department. Over the course of my undergraduate studies, his expertise in Middle Eastern affairs encouraged me to explore a career in international politics. I came to recognize that many conflicts portrayed through the media fail to capture the entirety of world events. Many of which are borne from history, cultural differences, and a number of both domestic/international factors. Professor Petrovic and I would have long conversations about the political climate in the Middle East and the various motivations of warring parties. His guidance as a teacher and friend has certainly played a significant role in my hopes for serving the U.S. in the Middle East.
3) Did you ever seek information and advice from the SOP advising team? If so, what type of advice were you seeking and what was your experience with them?
Absolutely. Most of the advice I sought from the SOP office was in regards to navigating the application process for graduate school and scholarships. This past year was my first time applying to such significant scholarships. At the same time, I was also preparing applications for eight graduate schools (with each program being different enough to warrant separate statements). All in all, it was a lot of writing and revising but Brendan was with me each step of the way, reading to offer insight on changes that could be made. I am immensely grateful for the support I received from the SOP office and credit my acceptances to our teamwork.
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