Xinyue Wang

Xinyue WangXinyue Wang is currently a senior from Tianjin, China, pursuing a double major in Computer Science and Economics, with a minor in Mathematics. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and has received several academic awards, fellowships, and research grants during her time at Brandeis, including the the Giumette Academic Achievement Award, the Provost Undergraduate Research Grant, the Dr. Jacque and Diana Cohen Endowed Award in Interdisciplinary Studies, and the Jerome A. Schiff Undergraduate Fellowship. Xinyue has conducted independent research under the guidance of Dr. Raphael Schoenle, a professor at Brandeis, and Dr. Geng Li, an economist at the Federal Reserve. She has also served as a research assistant for Dr. Nidhiya Menon, a Brandeis professor, and Dr. Jeffrey Miron, a professor at Harvard. Xinyue’s research focuses on modeling optimal interest rates for online peer-to-peer lending markets.

Xinyue first heard of Brandeis through a friend who was then a student at Brandeis. Her friend had good experiences at Brandeis and recommended that Xinyue apply. After doing her own research, Xinyue was impressed by Brandeis’ reputation for academic excellence and intrigued by the close-knit campus community and small classes.

Xinyue didn’t have the chance to visit Brandeis before she enrolled. She entered Brandeis through the Gateway Scholars summer program. A group of Brandeis students who worked for the Gateway program picked Xinyue and other incoming students up at the airport. This made her feel immediately welcome in a new country. Xinyue says, “I still remember my first day very clearly. There were some student workers who picked us up from the airport. They were so nice and they really cared about us! They helped us sign in and find our rooms. They even helped us carry our luggage!”

Xinyue found the coursework in the Gateway Scholars summer program to be challenging, yet extremely helpful for her future studies at Brandeis. During the Gateway summer program, Scholars take three courses: Critical Reading in the Humanities and Social Sciences, Analytical Writing, and Academic Oral Communication. The courses are designed to improve the Gateway Scholars’ critical thinking and communication skills and prepare them for their Brandeis coursework. Xinyue says, “It helped me with improving my overall critical thinking because I studied in a regular high school, not an international high school, so I didn’t learn how to write analytically. It encouraged me to think critically.”

Beyond coursework, Xinyue also learned how to communicate effectively with professors and how to express her opinion clearly in an academic setting. These skills have been very useful to her throughout her Brandeis career. “We were encouraged to communicate with our professors and to cooperate with our peers, this was extremely helpful for my formal college study. When I finished Gateway, I didn’t feel nervous to share my opinions during lectures. During my previous educational experiences, I was not very willing to communicate with teachers, but here that has changed. We’re really encouraged to communicate with faculty and ask for help.” Throughout Gateway, Xinyue and her peers were encouraged to reach out to their instructors and go to their office hours. After Gateway, Xinyue made a habit of talking with her professors outside of class. During one such discussion, a professor encouraged her to pursue her research interests and apply for a fellowship. Xinyue says, “I think if I wasn’t brave enough, I wouldn’t have chosen to do those sort of things. But once I had the Gateway experience, I knew how I should communicate with other people and I got encouragement to do those things.” If she hadn’t learned these skills during Gateway, Xinyue feels that she wouldn’t have had the confidence to reach out to her professors and take advantage of so many opportunities.

During the Gateway Scholars’ first year at Brandeis, they are paired with a more experienced Brandeis student, called a Gateway Upperclassman Buddy, who serves as a mentor and helps them navigate their freshman year. Xinyue learned a lot from her Buddy, who was a senior at Brandeis at the time. “My buddy was really nice and she knew everything about Brandeis! I learned a lot from her.” Additionally, Xinyue learned time management skills from her Buddy, who was very involved in the Brandeis community and excelled academically. These time management skills helped Xinyue enormously when she started conducting independent research and taking on research assistantships, all while maintaining a high GPA and participating in the Brandeis Traditional Music Club.

After she completed the Gateway program, Xinyue kept in touch with the Director of English Language Programs, Vinodini Murugesan. When she began studying for the GRE and preparing her graduate school applications, she reached out to Vino to ask for help. Xinyue says, “Vino told us she can offer us help for everything. I still remembered that. I emailed Vino and asked if there were any good writing courses or tutors to help. I got a response immediately!”. Dr. Scott Moore, Analytical Writing Specialist for English Language Programs, met with Xinyue weekly to help her study for the GRE and to revise her personal statement and applications for graduate school. Xinyue says: “The writing tutors are extremely helpful. I think it might be hard for non-native speakers to survive in those courses because they are really writing intensive classes. We have regular meetings and when you have the same person to help, they know what you’re doing and they can find some issues with your writing and assess them systematically and we can work on the same thing in consecutive appointments.”

Xinyue is now applying for Master’s and PhD programs in Finance, Business Analytics, and Data Science in the United States and the United Kingdom. Starting with Gateway and throughout her four years at Brandeis, Xinyue has been encouraged to explore ways to use her talents to contribute to society. Xinyue says that being at Brandeis “makes me think about what I can contribute to this society, what I can do to make society better.” She hopes to continue this exploration in the next step of her career.