小 目 录
Personal Statement
John Hopkins Essay (1)
John Hopkins Essay (2)
Recommendation Letter

                    Personal Statement
                Program: History, Political Science, International Relations

Many people seek a good education in order to secure a good job. According to this practice, a good education is a means to an end, which is a well-paid job. In this way, what is intellectual and academic serves as an instrument to achieve a materialistic and practical purpose.

Having graduated as a high school student ten years ago, I have been working as a successful professional at a joint venture in Shanghai, often called the Peal of the Orient, which is one of the most prosperous international metropolises in Asia and in the world. Almost all the world top 500 companies have their headquarters based in Shanghai and, for many CEOs of multinational companies, living in Shanghai is like living in New York.

An international metropolis calls for an international mindset. This is the motivation that underlies my present application. In trying to seek an education in the United States, I hope to acquire international perspectives and experiences that can allow me to achieve full self-actualization in an international environment. Through an academic program, I not only want to acquire knowledge in history, political science, and international relations but also expect to know this world, to understand the culture of other countries, and to investigate how historical and political factors determine the relationship between different countries, especially the bilateral relationship between China and the United States, which are becoming increasingly connected economically, politically, and culturally.

Therefore, the purpose of my seeking education is an essential—to seek education for its own sake, to satisfy my intellectual curiosity, to treat education as an end in itself, to delight in free scholarly inquiries and the free play of the mind, and to know the meaning of my existence in connection with the larger society. This is exactly what liberal education is meant for—to open one’s mind and to open one’s heart, to promote the healthy development of a person’s intellectual and emotional faculties, and to develop informed and contributing citizens. For me, education is no longer a utilitarian tool to an end beyond education itself, but an inner need toward self-perfection and self-actualization.

The idea of seeking a formal education in the United States has been a long-cherished one with me and the major factor behind the idea is the example set by my current employer Ms. X x x and some of her family members on how important education is in the personal development of an individual. In 20xx, my employer’s father returned from the United States to attend the 100th anniversary of his alma mater, Shanghai Jiaotong University. I accompanied him during his tour in Shanghai and I got to know that the old man, then 90 years old, graduated from the University of Michigan with a Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering. At his alma mater, he showed how deeply he was attached to the university and how the education in his early years benefited him in his lifelong development. In him, I saw how a person can be useful to society.

Another major influence is that exerted on me by my currently employer Ms. X x x , CEO of Asianera Limited. Like her father, Ms. X x x also graduated from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. She used to work at IBM, in Hong Kong and Tokyo and now operates a successful business in China. And there is also her elder brother who entered politics in the U.S. in 20xx and came to attend the APEC Summit in Shanghai in 20xx. He visited our company and I had an interesting talk with him. I was impressed how a well-educated person, whatever his ethnic background, is prepared to perform his duties to the country and the society of which he is a part.

Asianera Limited is mainly engaged in high-end porcelain business. The hand-painted porcelains are exported to Japan, Hong Kong, Europe and the United States. We supply dinner ware to all the luxury hotels in China, including the Portman Ritz-Carlton Hotel where President George Bush was accommodated during the APEC Summit in 20xx. The porcelain business requires a high-level artistic taste and knowledge of both Western and Oriental art, especially painting. Of course, it also requires a general and fundamental knowledge in Western and Chinese history, culture, and the international relationship that inform the time-honored porcelain business of China with the West.

My career has been vital to my personal development in that it has significantly broadened my horizon, exposed me to the world of art and culture, and to the exciting events that have been happening in the world. As I do not have a formal post-secondary education, Ms. X x x has mentored me on Chinese and American history, culture, politics and bilateral relations. On my part, I have been making important efforts to develop knowledge in those fields, both through self-education and through learning from designers and senior employees of the company, all of whom have received higher education in the West.

I myself have been developing western ways of thinking in this international environment and working with my colleagues has given me a dual awareness. On one hand, I have full admiration and respect for my colleagues for their advanced knowledge and expertise. On the other hand, I can’t help feeling a sense of pressure—that my knowledge and perspectives are still quite limited, and I lack the ability to develop insights into the underlying nature of problems. I love western arts, music, and culture and history but I have not a systematic and specialized training in those subjects. If I cannot receive a formal higher education in those of my interested fields, I would regard it as a lifelong regret.

I want an undergraduate program in history, political science and international relations not because they can boost my future career development, but because such knowledge can allow me to understand and to know our world better. The knowledge can give me perceptive outlooks on our life and gain insights into the deep historical, political and cultural implications of the events that happen everyday. I do not want to read about those events as stories that are carried in newspapers and magazines. I would like to analyze them and draw in-depth meanings out of them. I simply want to satisfy my intellectual curiosity about this rapidly changing world and to develop strong intellectual caliber as a thinking individual capable of performing my own independent analysis.

Compared with most other applicants, I am many years older than them. But there should be no limit of age to one’s educational pursuit. I believe I have many advantages over my future fellow students—I am more emotionally stable and mature; I have a well-defined educational objective; and I have unique life experiences and a most determined will to learn knowledge. My first job was a keeper of a warehouse but through my perseverance and self-improvement I have become the direct manager assistant. I know that incessant efforts would lead to constant personal advancement. I hope that you would recognize and appreciate my unique experiences and motivations and accept me into your program so that I can have access to the kind of education that I am so passionate about.


Johns Hopkins Essay, Respond to the following, using whatever space and medium you like.

Topic: Communities define our lives. Those you are born into, those you make yourself, and those you fall into by accident—communities of all types influence us and help shape us. Describe a defining community in your life and what it means to you.

Throughout my life, I have fallen into different communities—my family, my peer groups at primary and secondary schools, and my former and current workplaces. By seriously reflecting on the impacts produced on my personal development by those different communities, I am convinced the defining community is definitely my present workplace—Asianera Limited.

Asianera Porcelain Ltd. designs, produces and wholesales fine bone china for the high-end and luxury markets. It is a wholly foreign owned enterprise owned by Hong Kong-registered Asianera Ltd., and has its main sales operations based in Shanghai.

It was conceivable that to enter this company would require important qualifications. However, even though I did not have a college education, I impressed the employer Ms. Grace Liu with a nice personality, efficient working style, sound interpersonal communication and a professional commitment. What’s more, I demonstrated a readiness to face challenges, a spirit that was much in keeping this company which grew out of a small studio workshop.

Since I joined Asianera in 20xx, I have achieved much career development and I have become the direct manager assistant, directly accountable to Ms. Grace Liu. Grace Liu has exerted the most decisive and positive influence on me. She not only taught me all the useful knowledge and history about porcelain but also how to do import and export for international business. She is like an endearing elder sister to me.

As a Chinese-American originally from New York, who received a good education at the University of Michigan, she is a perfect example of the fusion between Oriental cultural values and Western cultural values. According to her design concept of “Asian Fusion”, elements from many aspects of Asian culture like antique textiles, clothing, art, and fine crafts blend with a Western sense of style. Likewise, Western motifs are often arranged into a very Eastern styling.

Grace Liu’s defining influence on me is not business-related, but cultural. I have learned to develop international outlooks at the international metropolis of Shanghai. I have learned the need for cross-cultural communication, through international trade and design and production of culturally-informed crafts. In this age of mass production and assembly line, Grace Liu insists on hand-painting as the unique technology of our porcelain decoration. In doing so, our products are charged with true human values.

Behind Grace Liu’s unique design concept, I can clearly discern the role played by the education she has received in the United States. This education has allowed her to have a dual awareness of the essence of Chinese and western cultures and bring them into a meaningful dialogue. While developing this dual awareness myself, I have realized the importance of education. I know only a well-educated person and a culturally-informed person is equipped to contribute to the intercultural communication.

At Asianera, I have got to know many designers who are dedicated to the double cultural motif. Through Asianera, I have met a large number of international collectors and buyers who like our crafts. In many important ways, our porcelain products are no longer commercial pieces; they have become works of art that convey important cultural values. It is so wonderful to realize that we can turn the cultural legacy of different countries into works of art and crafts and make them vehicles of intercultural communication.

I am very proud of the job I have been doing and the shaping influences I have received at Asianera. It is my wish that I can follow the footsteps of Grace Liu by obtaining formal education in the United States and taking up a meaningful career of cultural exchange and communication. I am truly positively influenced at Asianera.


Johns Hopkins Essay, Write a brief essay in which you respond to the following question.

Topic: Johns Hopkins offers 49 majors across the schools of Arts & Sciences and Engineering. On Part I of this application, we asked you to identify one or two that you might like to pursue here. Why did you choose the way you did? If you are undecided, why didn’t you choose? (If any past courses or academic experiences influenced your decision, you may include them in your essay.)

It is indeed very exciting that John Hopkins offers 49 majors across the schools of Arts and Sciences and Engineering, which allows students absolute freedom to choose the subjects they are truly interested in. On my part, I would like to identify history, political science, or international relations as the potential areas of specialization to pursue during my undergraduate program.

I am interested in history because in my work, I have learned that China's centuries-old tradition of fine hand- decorated porcelain is fast disappearing. Indeed, fine hand-painted china around the world has been virtually taken over by mass-produced decal decorated porcelain. I believe we must preserve history, revive history, and bring the historical past to inform our observation and interpretation of the present and future. Many common values of humanity are recorded in history. To knowing history is to know whether we human beings came from. Many things that happen in our present-day world seem difficult to understand or to be related, but a historical perspective can throw light on them and reveal their underlying implications.

I learned introductory courses on Chinese history and the history of the world during my secondary education and I used to excel in those history subjects. I liked to read biographies of historical figures of our country and of the world. Biographies about such great American presidents like Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Lincoln and about civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. have always captured my imagination. I not only regard them as great leaders but also use them as examples to inspire my own personal development and to contribute to the welfare of others.

Living and working in Shanghai, the most prosperous international metropolis in China, one can most directly feel the impact of globalization. Shanghai held the APEC summit in 20xx and will host the World Expo in 2012. China has been brought into close integration with the international community more than ever in history and the relationship between China and the rest of the world is primarily that of cooperation, but there are also conflicts. Such conflicts are more often than not linked to political issues. Also, reading the biographies of great American leaders also exposed me to the political system which is fundamentally different from that of China. Political science is a subject not offered at secondary education level, but I am keenly interested in exploring the political mechanisms and how they influence a country’s political system and how different political systems in turn influence the social and economic development of a country.

An increasingly open China is ready to embrace many universal values in the world. Both the American congress and the E.U. congress have passed legislation that Japan must apologize for its war crimes involving comfort women during World War Two. But so far, we have not heard any formal official apology on the part of the Japanese Government in response to this universal request. China has complicated international relations with Japan. But China also has complicated international relations with the United States, on issues of Taiwan and, the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, and a whole range of political, economic and environmental problems. For this reason, a mechanism of regular strategic dialogues between China and the United States has been established.

As a young student, I am curious about many things in this world. But I choose to study those subjects that are immediately related to my life experiences and to what are happening in the world around me, issues that I feel most strongly about. John Hopkins University offers strong education in the areas I am interested in and I am sure I can learn a lot from your program.


College Application


  Please write, in some detail, about an experience, an achievement, a person, or a matter of particular significance to you.

In 2001, the second year I entered Asianera Limited, I succeeded in assuming the position as a direct manager assistant, even though I lacked a college education. This position allowed me to perform important responsibilities and to make important achievements.

Asianera is a design house and manufacturer which designs, produces and wholesales fine bone china for the high-end and luxury markets. With its main sales operations based in Shanghai, Asianera products cater to exclusive stores, boutiques, museum shops, luxury hotels, and restaurants around the world.

In September 2001, the APEC (Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation) Summit was held in Shanghai and more than twenty leaders in Asian-Pacific regions attended the meeting to discuss the common challenges facing the region. United States President George W. Bush Jr. and Chinese President Jiang Zemin also attended the summit. It was definitely the most high-profile international meeting in the year in Shanghai.

More than half a year before the Summit, Asianera received the commission to provide dinner ware and table ware to some of the major hotels where those leaders were to be accommodated, including the Portman Ritz-Carlton Hotel where President Gorge W. Bush was to be accommodated. It was definitely the most important task of the year for Asianera.

Naturally, the president of the company, Madam Grace Liu, took the overall responsibility of decision making. As direct manager assistant, I was one of the task teams, responsible for implementing the specific decisions regarding the design and the production of the dinner ware for this special occasion. It is well known that, in order to make the APEC summit held in different countries acquire different national characteristics, the hosting country would design costumes with strong national characteristics for the leaders to wear. At the 2001 Summit, they wore China’s Tang Dynasty Costumes. Naturally, the food they would eat and the utensils you would use at hotels would all carry strong Chinese flavor.

For all the dinner ware that we would provide for the Summit, we formulated the overriding concept of design concept of “Asian Fusion”— elements from many aspects of Asian culture like antique textiles, clothing, art, and fine crafts blend with a Western sense of style. Likewise, Western motifs are often arranged into a very Eastern styling. Our purpose was to combine the traditional craft of fine hand-painted porcelain with a contemporary design sensibility which would appeal to the sophisticated and well-traveled who like to surround themselves with an eclectic collection.

In order to prepare complete sets of all the required items, our company had to make new designs and I was responsible for coordinating all the designers in Shanghai as well as in Hong Kong. I made detailed discussions with the designers concerning the style, texture, the decorative elements, and shape and the sizes of each individual item and regularly report the progress to Grace Liu. In addition, I had to make arrangements for the studio and the factory to manufacture the products. Finally, as all those dinner ware were hand-painted, I must make careful inspections of their quality-- every item must be perfect and flawless. We put all the ordered items into beautiful packaging and delivered them on time to the hotels. We were extremely proud of making our contributions to a major international event with our first-rate table art.

I view this experience as a major achievement because I played an important role throughout the process. I improved my ability to solve practical problems and I learned how to lead team members to make concerted efforts for the completion of a common objective. Most importantly, we showed the modern versions of China’s centuries-long traditional porcelain art to world leaders. In a very unique way, we created a good chance for the world leaders to appreciate the legacy of China’s ancient civilization. Our dinner ware were no long practical utensils but vehicles of aesthetic and cultural values.



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