Term Paper: Scholarship as a Woman and a Minority

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Scholarship

As a woman and a minority, I have encountered several obstacles that belie my 3.97 GPA. My family and I moved to the United States from China only a few years ago. We struggle financially, and my parents have toiled day and night to support me through my academic career. Majoring in business economics, I intend to use my education and my degree to start a business for my family and me. After school, I will draw up a solid business plan and will be able to give back to the community that has sustained me and my family since we arrived here.

I will transfer to the University of California system this fall, and intend to receive a scholarship to help defray the cost of tuition. As a diligent and hardworking student who has not given up in spite of huge hurdles, I assure you that the scholarship will be honored. Not only will I use the scholarship to excel at my academic work, I will also become an active member of the UC student body and especially in business-related social groups. I understand that as a recipient of the scholarship I serve as your organization's representative and I do not take that responsibility lightly. You will not be disappointed in me, either while I am at school or after. Once I graduate I will put my degree to work immediately by acquiring financing for my family's new business. We have the American Dream, and my parents and I know that I am able to achieve it. I hope you will also see that I am worthy of this scholarship, which I need in order to survive financially at UC.

What challenges I have faced as a new immigrant have become the source of great strength for me. I do not run from problems and in fact willingly take on many challenging experiences. For example, I have elected to study in fields that are not traditional for women: in the maths and sciences. So not only am I a minority with poor English language skills, but I am also a female from a low-income family who must battle through issues related to my gender. It has been difficult at times, such as when I worked on a group project in school. Coordinating our meetings and working through the language, cultural, and gender barriers taught me the leadership and problem-solving skills I now feel confident about.

Hard work has paid off for me, because after 70 units of coursework and a good GPA I am ready to transfer to a full-fledged university. My coursework reflects my dream of being an entrepreneur. I am and will remain focused throughout my undergraduate career and can only improve. As you can see, I have not allowed any problems to get me down. Poverty, feeling singled out for my minority status and gender, and working in a foreign language are all issues that have made me into a stronger person with an unwavering desire to succeed.

2. Community college has offered me an ideal transition from my home country to the American university experience. I feel that had I entered straight away to a large four-year university that I would not have been able to develop the problem-solving and leadership skills I have developed in Community college. Also, the community college environment includes a supportive student body and faculty who are sympathetic to my needs as a minority and as a low-income student. Many other students at the community college are also from low-income and minority families. This has helped me meet people and make friends, and build the confidence I needed to participate in class and in group activities. The college also offers many courses for students who need to improve their English skills, and these have also helped me to succeed.

However, community college lacks the cohesive social networks that are available at four-year universities. Meeting people is not a problem, but meeting people with shared values and dreams has been difficult because there are few student social clubs. I feel that the community college is like a transition place for everyone. In this way it has served me well and I have contributed to the community in the best ways that I have been able to. I have studied hard, participated in class, met with professors, interacted with students, and used career development services. From now on I hope to become immersed in a more intensive academic environment and one with a strong social network that includes student clubs, societies, and organizations. For example, I will join women's business clubs, Chinese student organizations, and organizations that help low-income and minority entrepreneurs meet their goals.

If I were to offer advice to a high school senior I would first tell them to challenge themselves no matter what they decided to do, even if that choice was to go straight into business. I would say to not to choose the community college because they were afraid they would not be able to pay off their loans for university or afraid they would not be able to handle the coursework. If a student had good grades and could afford a four-year university I would try to talk them into attending because the experience cannot be substituted by anything.

However, I would advise anyone whose family is like mine to immediately attend a community college if they could not afford to attend a university. The community college is for students with high ambitions whose current socio-economic status does not allow them the ability or privilege of attending a standard four-year university. Community college can also help students build the skills they need before committing to a four-year degree program. Many students drop out of university because they were not prepared for the challenge. They might have been better off taking courses at the community college to hone their studying skills, build confidence, meet people, and obtain credits for transfer. The only advice I would offer a high school student would be to study as hard as they can, meet as many new people as possible, and plan for the future. Having goals and dreams might be the only way to succeed.

3. She may not be as famous as Bill Gates or as rich as Oprah Winfrey, but Meg Whitman is one of the most successful business women in America. The President and CEO of eBay, Whitman transformed the company into a global powerhouse and also into a household word. Before Whitman was hired, eBay was a tiny company. Its founders had a solid business concept but few resources and little expertise to expand it into the global market. When Whitman took over, eBay only earned about $6 million in revenues and was virtually unknown.

Currently, and because of Whitman's role as CEO, eBay has over 10,000 employees and revenues are over $80 million per year. Turning an online auction into a global empire was no easy task. Whitman used her expertise gained from prior employment to transform eBay. She therefore understood how business works in general, and not just how individual companies succeed. In fact, Whitman works with other companies besides eBay. Her energy and enthusiasm for the world of business are infectious and I have been following her career for years, even before I moved to the United States. As a women, she is one of the only role models I can truly look up to. In her I see the possibility that all women have the power to thrive in a world that is still dominated by men.

However, Meg Whitman is admirable for her human qualities, and not just because of her gender. She has demonstrated all of the qualities of effective and powerful leadership that are essential for business… [END OF PREVIEW]

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