Dong Ruoxi: Being the Master of “Time”, the WKU Star Student Went All the Way through Three Different Majors

If you take a look at Dong Ruoxi’s resume, a senior student of Wenzhou-Kean University, you will be amazed by her boundless “energy”. During her college years, Dong has published a number of papers, won the Zhejiang Provincial Government Scholarship for two consecutive years, as well as the first and second prizes of the Dean’s Scholarships. She had a wealth of internship experiences – winning fourth place in the National Street Dance Competition (college group), volunteering for autism services, teaching in an elementary school in Bali as a volunteer, etc.

For Dong, she had an extraordinarily fulfilling and exciting time at WKU.

WKU Opened My Life Path

As a matter of fact, Dong was enrolled in the Management major when she first entered WKU. However, it didn’t take long for her to realize that she was not interested in supply chain management courses. By chance, Dong came across one of the main courses from the accounting major. She found that the numbers, which might be boring to others, were always fun for her, and she did them with ease. Thanks to WKU’s “free choice of major” policy, Dong was given a second opportunity. Therefore, in the spring semester of her sophomore year, she submitted her application and successfully switched her major to accounting.

Dong soon caught up with her new major and became the top student in her class. As she gained more insight into business through her studies, she realized that she would not be satisfied with just being an accountant in the future. She began to spend time learning programming languages. After one programming class, Dong became completely hooked on the computer language and decided to set the combination of data and computer science as the major of her grad school application. To this day, she has received offers from universities such as the University of California, Irvine and Wake Forest University. Her plan, for now, is to study R programming and Python on the open-source website EDX and study for the CPA exam to prepare herself to become a data analyst.

“The difficult part is not discovering your interest and passion, but taking that first brave step out of your comfort zone.” With her experiences, Dong makes a demonstration for WKU’s undergraduates that the journey of finding what you love must be preceded by embracing your courage!

Self-Discipline Is Freedom – Be the Ruler of Your Own World

No pain, no gain. Self-discipline and hard work were the two keywords of Dong’s four years of college life, and they paid big dividends.

Dong believes that students should find the path that best suits them and that investing time with a target and making the most of the time are the keys to success.

Dong demonstrated her excellent time management skills in her professional studies. She divided her study time into four parts: preview, in-class, after-class and before-exam, each with a different focus. She tended not to spend too much energy during her preview by briefly going through the course materials. In the classroom, however, Dong usually put 100% of her effort into focusing on the lecture, taking notes, and picking up every key point. She attached more importance to the lectures than to her self-study after class so that she could spend her after-school time reinforcing her knowledge. It is her belief that consolidating the memories right after the classes works more efficiently than cramming the head with all the textbooks for the finals, saving more time for other things.

In addition, making mind maps and skimming through PPTs became common practices in her preparation for the exam. “None of the methods are original. Many people know them, but my secret lies in persistence. How you study is certainly important, but implementing a method with determination is even more crucial,” said Dong, “studying with the right methods wouldn’t take too much of your time. Keeping fit and developing hobbies are equally important. Health is the foundation of all our achievements. Everyone needs to strike a balance between work and rest.”

Know Yourself – Be a “Specialist”, Not a “Generalist”

“To be well-rounded, you must first have a thorough understanding of yourself. Ask yourself three things: What do you like to do? What are you good at? What you don’t like to do?” According to Dong, the primary prerequisite for effective time management is a comprehensive and in-depth understanding of yourself.

She exemplified her remark with the economic theory taught by Prof. Zhang Faxiang: The society values more “specialists” than “generalists”. An organization may keep functioning even without the “generalists”, while “specialists” are indispensable as they are in charge of the main works. Every subject has its own experts. Mastering your expertise makes you a winner.