This week we're spotlighting Jason, a member of our GMAT tutor team! Jason graduated from Cornell University summa cum laude with a BS in civil engineering and an MEng in structural engineering, and is currently in his second year of obtaining his MBA at MIT. He is currently a teaching assistant at Cornell and MIT, mentoring underprivileged students in entrepreneurship, and lecturing as an Adjunct Professor at Columbia. Jason has coached dozens of students in SAT, GRE and GMAT, helping them to exceed their own expectations.
1) Where are you from?
Boston! I have lived here for 6 years, longer than any city I’ve lived in. My parents are still in Michigan where I went to high school. I was born in Nanjing, China and immigrated out with them. So I guess in a way I am a first generation immigrant!
2) Where did you go to college and/or grad school, and what did you study?
I went to Cornell where I studied Civil Engineering. After working for 5 years as a Structural Engineer, designing buildings and helping cities to Masterplan after natural disasters, I changed gears and decided to go to MIT Sloan to get my MBA.
3) What's your favorite subject to teach, and why?
One of my favorite things about tutoring is that I can teach lots of different subjects, and I really enjoy that diversity. If I had to pick one though, I would pick physics, because I get to see the “aha” moment in students when everything finally comes together and clicks.
4) If you were to recommend a book to the CC community, what would it be?
Good to Great provides some really interesting insights into what drives the success of companies and individuals.
5) What's a lesson you've learned from tutoring? (Could be about teaching, people, life, whatever!)
Just because you are teaching someone else, does not mean you aren’t learning from them as well!
6) We’re compiling a list of “amazing feats” throughout history– basically, the intellectual equivalent of climbing Mount Everest. Can you share one of your favorite feats from your field?
In the construction industry, some of the most amazing feats over time are: The Great Wall of China, the Panama Canal, and the 828m tall Burj Khalifa
7) Given the choice of anyone in the world, living or dead, which 3 people would you invite to your dinner party? What do you imagine you'd talk about?
I would invite three of my great-grandparents who immigrated to the US from Europe in the early 1900’s. Not only would it be great to get to know these relatives, but I feel like there would be so much to learn about the way the world was 100 years ago. What better way to learn about it than through their eyes?
8) What’s your most embarrassing favorite movie or song? What occasion would call for it?
I’m kind of a huge fan of “I Want it That Way”… and it is definitely my go-to karaoke song pretty much every time I end up anywhere near a karaoke machine.
9) What are 3 alternative career/life paths you have considered (even just for fun?)
When I was a little kid I wanted to be a toll booth collector – who wouldn’t want a job where cars line up to pay you money?? That dream quickly faded though when I realized there were more fun ways to spend my time, like playing with Legos. My next life path was to be an architect, since all they do is play with Legos all day. But why stop at Legos when I could play with K’nex instead and be a roller coaster designer! How cool would that have been? But consulting is fun too…
10) What are 3 (non-generic) things you're grateful for?
Other than the usual friends and family, I’m grateful for my GPS watch – I recently became a pretty avid runner and if it weren’t for the ability to track my progress, I would have probably given up a long time ago! I’m also grateful for Google calendar’s integration with Gmail (so convenient!) and for Granny Smith apples.
11) Tell us about the last amazing meal you had
I spent this past summer in Chile, and I was surprised by the meaningful friendships I was able to form while there. On my last night in town, my friends threw me a going away party (despedida in Spanish) and ordered one of each traditional Chilean dish to make sure that I had tried everything before I left. The food was amazing, but it was even better to learn the history of each dish from my Chilean friends.
12) What are 3 places you'd like to visit in the next 5 years?
Norway, Sweden and Iceland – I feel like everyone there is always so happy, and I’d love to see what all the fuss is about!
13) If there was one skill you wish you had mastered, or one subject that you wish you had spent more time learning, what would it be?
I’m always jealous of people who can speak many languages. I think it’s such a helpful skill to have and one that is so much easier to acquire as a kid. I’ve tried, but I wish it was something I spent more time on earlier on.
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