This year I am the president of the Hapa club, which is made up of people who have multiple ethnicities or identities. Aside from my individual growth in terms of leadership skills, I have really appreciated the opportunities that the club affords me to actually implement ideas and actives. We hold professor lunches with faculty members who are of mixed ethnic background; they come talk to us about how difficult it was for them when they were growing up compared to now, as well as where they see things going in the future.
The Hapa club also holds bone marrow drives. For those of mixed descent it can be very difficult to find a marrow match. So if those of us who are of mixed ethnic background donate, it will increase the chances of those who need marrow transplants.
I think that diversity is really important, both diversity of thinking and of background. Everyone should be accustomed to having different perspectives and integrating them into an understanding environment that can be productive and active. One of the things that drew me to MIT was that there is such a great diversity of thinking, and different ways of approaching a solution, not just one correct answer.
Two summers ago I worked at a hedge and they held a competition where teams of interns were allowed to invest $20,000 in any kind of undervalued investment. By the summer's end my partner and I actually won the contest. We made the highest return and were able to keep all of the profits.
The experience was definitely diving right into the pool. It was putting myself inside a fund manager or a portfolio manager's mind and actually investing as if our money was on the line. There were no instructions from the president to tell us how to invest so it was basically up to us.
I want to continue investing or proprietary training. The experience exceeded my expectations and compelled me to continue it further. Prior to that I didn't have much work experience, so the analytical skills and the ability to work within a team setting were all derived from the classes that I took at MIT — the homework that I had, all the projects and presentations.