Roslyn Jin '15
Major: China & Asia-Pacific Studies
Hometown: Great Neck, NY
Why did you choose Cornell?
Going into college, I hoped to pursue international relations, politics, and business, but had no clear vision of the exact capacity and context in which to do so. What drew me to Cornell was the diversity of opportunity offered by a huge research university, along with the strength of a dedicated liberal arts program. The College of Arts and Sciences allowed for both the flexibility and guidance that allowed me to combine my interests but also to apply them in very concrete, real-world ways. Ultimately, majoring in China and Asia Pacific Studies—unique to Cornell and with its focus on international relations—and double minoring in English and Business, was the perfect answer. Also, as an only child, I was strongly encouraged by my parents to choose a school no more than five hours away from home.
What is your main Cornell extracurricular activity -- why is it important to you?
Since freshman year, I have been heavily involved in Project Hope, a community service organization that focuses on educational fundraising for children in rural China. Knowing the stories of my own grandparents’ experiences with, and having visited many impoverished regions of the country through my own travels, I recognized the profound need for fundraising and awareness to promote opportunities in education. As a small club with a large footprint, we have been a successful champion of this cause. Whether through partnering with a China-based non-profit organization, hosting small bake sales throughout the year, or holding our signature event, Hope Night, among other initiatives, we have raised thousands throughout the years. For me, Project Hope is about promoting community involvement, gaining leadership experience, and creating impact, not to mention the friendships forged through four unforgettable years.
What accomplishments/activities are you most proud of while at Cornell?
I am particularly proud and thankful for the academic and real-world experiences gained during my study abroad semesters through the CAPS program. In the Washington, D.C. semester, I was able to pursue my interests in international trade and foreign investment in both the term-long research paper and my internship at the Executive Office of the President in the U.S. Trade Representative's China desk. Later, during the Beijing semester, I was further able to pursue these interests as a research assistant for a renowned professor at Peking University's Guanghua School of Management, and received a small scholarship from the Robert S. Hatfield Award in Business Ethics for my independent study in this topic.
What Cornell memory do you treasure the most?
Not unlike that of many CAPS alumni, my favorite memory is the Beijing experience. The ability to apply a culmination of three years of study in theory and current events while putting my independence, research, and language skills to the test is an experience uniquely offered by the CAPS program. While so many individual stories come to mind, the entire semester was my most definitive yet at Cornell—the one in which I developed and solidified my future personal and career plans, and wrapped up an amazing undergraduate career.
Who or what influenced your Cornell education the most? How or why?
Even after four years, I am constantly inspired by the level of intelligence, motivation, and kindness exhibited by my fellow Cornellians. My friends and peers—be they biology pre-med students, healthcare policy majors, computer science aficionados, or future corporate lawyers—encourage me to become a better version of myself every day. Cornell, by truly fostering the “any person, any study” spirit, provides the ideal environment for diverse knowledge, experiences, and perspectives to interact and grow together.
What do you value about your liberal arts education?
From having the pleasure of taking Professor Cochran's Introduction to Modern Asian History my first semester at Cornell, to the many diverse, eye-opening, and inspiring courses in the CAPS major, elective, and language curriculum in subsequent semesters, I have had an unparalleled academic exposure to international affairs with a focus on the most important region of the 21st century. Broadly, and most importantly, the Arts and Sciences liberal arts education has allowed me to develop critical language and analytical skills from these courses, and a worldly perspective through which to view global issues.
What are your plans for next year; where do you see yourself in 10 years?
After graduation, I will be joining the Global Banking and Markets arm of Bank of America Merrill Lynch in its Sales and Trading division--a huge testament to how flexible and empowering the Arts and Sciences program is in accommodating business interests like mine in addition to the major curriculum. In the long term, I plan on returning to graduate school in law or business, and ultimately launching an endeavor in the nonprofit or social entrepreneurship space.