Major: B.A. in Economics and Mathematics
Year of Graduation: 2011
Home Town: Suzhou, China
Previous School: Raffles Junior College, Singapore
Clubs & Activities: Investment Club (2009-2010), Internship with McKinsey’s North American Knowledge Center (Fall 2010), Teaching Assistant (2010), Research Assistant (2008-2010), Internship at Cornerstone Research (Summer 2010)
“Brandeis is a top college in the United States, but you just feel like you can enjoy your life here. You can have a good balance between your academic work and your life outside school, which I think is great.”
Long before coming to Brandeis, Ting Zhang was determined to explore the world. She said: “at the time I thought that it would be a great experience to go into a new country when you are young, because when you are [that age you] have a higher tendency to accept new things. So I was thinking I should explore new parts of the world.” Inspired by the actions of an older cousin, she took matters into her own hands and applied to the top schools of Singapore.
Sure enough, a scholarship offer came from the Singapore government to help fund her attendance. She recollects, “I didn’t even hesitate. I said ‘yeah, I’m going to go for sure’. It was my parents who were more concerned, like ‘maybe you should wait for a few years’? But I was so determined I just said ‘no: I want to go to Singapore right now.’”
From then on, she opened the door to a world of possibilities. The concept of going to Brandeis first came up when discussing colleges in the United States with a teacher in Singapore who had studied here. She encouraged Ting to apply, thinking it would be a great match for her academically and personally. This concept became reality with the arrival of an acceptance letter from Brandeis, complete with a Wien Scholarship.
“It’s a very prestigious scholarship. It’s given me many opportunities to know people who have won the scholarship before, and also to know the donor,” Ting remarked. “We had an event [my] freshman year because it was the 50th Anniversary [of the scholarship], and earlier this year we went to New York to visit the Wien family again. It’s been a really great experience.”
In addition to the scholarship, Brandeis’ faculty and academics were of great appeal to Ting. When asked about the highlights of her Brandeis education, she answered, “It’s [mostly] about the academic part. I’ve been able to meet a lot of good professors, and be enlightened by them.” She has also served as research assistant to Professor Linda Bui since her freshman year – an experience that has helped her grow academically and professionally.
Ting said that she loves the American atmosphere, and believes that the best part of coming to the U.S. is the people. “I feel like in the U.S. people are more open-minded and much more friendly,” she commented. “Brandeis is a top college in the United States, but you just feel like you can enjoy your life here. You can have a good balance between your academic work and your life outside school, which I think is great.”
Upon graduation in the spring of 2011, Ting will hold a bachelor’s degree in Math and Economics. Both are lifelong favorites of hers: she described how “my dad is a professor of economics, and he cultivated that interest in me since I was young. On our bookshelves are all sorts of economic books, and when I was young I tended to read them. I didn’t really understand them, but I read them.” After Brandeis she plans on utilizing that love of economics and her enjoyment of math in some sort of business position that combines both of these interests.