B.A., Economics
Hi! I'm Joanne and I'm from Hong Kong. I'm deeply passionate about volunteering and global development, but I also love sports and baking in my free time!
Features Included


Hometown Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Class of2023
First Gen College StudentNo

Results, Essays, and Advice

Waitlisted or Withdrew
  • Dartmouth College (Hanover, NH)
  • University of Chicago (Chicago, IL)
  • University of British Columbia (British Columbia, Canada)
  • McGill University (Montreal, Canada)
  • Wellesley College (Wellesley, MA)
Tap/click a school logo above to view essays and advice specific to that school.

Dartmouth College (Hanover, NH)

Applied for a B.A. in Economics

Accepted and Enrolled Legacy: No

School Specific Essays

Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
Thorny, pungent, unbecoming – you wouldn’t be wrong to describe the jagged fruit as such. Misunderstood, full of surprises – these descriptions also hold true. Most people staunchly refuse to eat the durian, but you only need to give it a chance. I, however, am obsessed with it – not only because of its nostalgic taste but also because oddly, the ‘king of fruit’ and I share much in common. One day, when I was twelve and home alone, I caught a...
I find solace in the kitchen. Having a tranquil space to push and explore the boundaries of food draws me to cooking: from Chinese nian gao rice cakes to fusion black sesame brownies, I cherish every opportunity to experiment with bold new ideas. Growing up around the Chinese social ideal of quiet deference, I never considered myself as fearless. Yet to my family and friends, I was always the ambitious girl who relentlessly experimented with new ideas whenever inspiration struck....
Growing up around the Chinese social norm of deference, I never considered myself as fearless. Yet to my family and friends, I was always the ambitious girl who loved experimenting with bold new ideas. I discovered this powerful, quiet determination when walking into my first-ever Model UN meeting in middle school. Since then, I have participated in numerous conferences, representing nations from Chad to Kuwait, and gained an understanding of specialized issues such as bitcoin mining - issues I had...
Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
97 Words
While arguing a Dartmouth-related case before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1818, Daniel Webster, Class of 1801, delivered this memorable line: “It is, Sir…a small college. And yet, there are those who love it!” As you seek admission to the Class of 2023, what aspects of the College’s program, community or campus environment attract your interest?
Dartmouth is where I want to be. I relish the thought of kaleidoscopic sunrikes at dawn, tantalizing intellectual feasts of modified Economics and Human-Centered Design, preludes of apple picking before Homecoming Bonfires and Collis After Dark finales with my fellow ‘23s. Dartmouth is a dream where I envisage myself reading in Sanborn Library, examining East Asian grassroots development with Dr. Bauer, pushing my physical limits with the Dartmouth Outing Club and challenging my mind by perfecting my French during a...
Supplemental Essay: Issue of personal significance
296 Words
In The Bingo Palace, author Louise Erdrich, Class of 1976, writes, “…no one gets wise enough to really understand the heart of another, though it is the task of our life to try.” Discuss.
One chilly morning two years ago, we arrived at an intellectually disabled children’s center in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, utterly unprepared for the ensuing frenzy. We were thrown into chaos for two solid hours, running back and forth to break up fights, and there never seemed to be enough nurses. We soon learned that the center relied on unqualified tourist volunteers like ourselves to care for the children. I felt helplessly inadequate, as none of us had worked with special needs...
Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
600 Words
How does the University of Chicago, as you know it now, satisfy your desire for a particular kind of learning, community, and future? Please address with some specificity your own wishes and how they relate to UChicago.
Setting foot on the grounds of the University of Chicago for the first time, I was immediately enamored with its Hogwartian neo-Gothic architecture. UChicago, however, presents a truly transformative form of magic: the magic of ideas. UChicago champions the diversity of opinion, where people deeply committed to pursuing the truth gather together, to question and challenge each other’s personal convictions. My city of Hong Kong straddles a British past and a Chinese present. I have been intrigued by local...
Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
620 Words
1. In 2015, the city of Melbourne, Australia created a ''tree-mail'' service, in which all of the trees in the city received an email address so that residents could report any tree-related issues. As an unexpected result, people began to email their favorite trees sweet and occasionally humorous letters. Imagine this has been expanded to any object (tree or otherwise) in the world, and share with us the letter you'd send to your favorite.

Inspired by Hannah Lu, Class of 2020
I never noticed the way you sat there, head tilted to the sky as heat waves and icy rain beat down on you, day and night. Inconsiderate and ignorant, I spilled hot lattes into your lap, leaning my sweaty post-run legs on your shoulders. Dear Park Bench, I am sorry. The time has come for us to part ways and we must say goodbye. I want to leave you one of my favorite poems that reminds me of our days...
Supplemental Essay: Intellectual interest
259 Words
What is important to you? And why?
Inspired by the power of literacy to change lives, I founded a program dedicated to improving refugee children’s reading skills in Hong Kong. Stories, as the cornerstone of my childhood, whisked my mind millions of miles away and allowed me to dream. I deeply wish to encourage young children to love reading as much as I do. Nonetheless, starting such an ambitious program was not without its challenges. One girl in particular, Bintou, was especially disobedient. Despite our patient...
Supplemental Essay: Extracurricular activity
353 Words
Tell us more about ONE or TWO activities listed above that are most important to you. Please explain the role you played and what you learned in the process. You will be asked for a reference who can speak to your response.
Can helping hurt? One chilly morning two years ago, I stumbled upon this uncomfortable question during my first foray into voluntourism, while on a school service trip. We arrived at an intellectually disabled children’s home in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Utterly unprepared for the ensuing frenzy, we were thrown headfirst into chaos with kids for two solid hours and there never seemed to be enough nurses. We soon learned that the center relied on funneling in dozens of tourists like us...
Supplemental Essay: Other
105 Words
Additional Information: You may wish to use the space below to provide UBC with more information on your academic history to date and/or your future academic plans. For example: How did you choose your courses in secondary school? Are there life circumstances that have affected your academic decisions to date? What have you done to prepare yourself specifically for your intended area of study at UBC?
I have exhausted virtually all of my school’s college­level social science courses, from economics to human geography. As a further challenge, I am writing an independent research paper that aims to provide social policy suggestions for women’s educational empowerment in Bangladesh. This experience paves the way for my prospective studies in International Economics, a truly international yet tight­knit program at UBC that affords me unique opportunities to learn about global development. From co­op programs to...
Supplemental Essay: Scholarship application
410 Words
Provide us with an example of your volunteerism in your school or community. What was the impact of your involvement? What was your motivation to engage in this? How will your past experiences relating to volunteerism lead to continued service while at Queen's? (2500 characters or less)
Can helping hurt? I stumbled upon this uncomfortable question during my first foray into voluntourism one chilly morning two years ago. During a school service trip, we arrived at an intellectually disabled children’s home in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Utterly unprepared for the ensuing frenzy, we were thrown headfirst into chaos with kids for two solid hours, and there never seemed to be enough nurses. We soon learned that the center relied on funneling dozens of tourists like us to care...
Supplemental Essay: Scholarship application
394 Words
As part of an experience where you demonstrated your leadership, what challenges did you encounter? How did you respond and what did you learn about leadership from this experience. (2500 characters or less)
As an avid debater and reader, I am passionate about words and languages. Living in Hong Kong, I am aware of the socioeconomic inequality hidden behind my city’s glimmering skyscrapers. Yet I also understand the power of literacy to break the poverty cycle. Feeling compelled to try and change this status quo, I felt inspired to found a local program dedicated to improving refugee children’s literacy. Last year, I was granted $10,000 HKD in funding from our school’s...

School Specific Advice

More Essays

These essays haven't been tagged by school. Click school logos above to see tagged essays.

General Admissions Advice

My advice about getting recommenders
366 Words
Subject teacher: My counselors advised that most students pick one humanities/language/social studies teacher and one STEM teacher as their recommenders. While I did take some math and chemistry courses in high school, I wasn't planning on majoring in them at all – I decided to go the more economics/gov/poli sci route. So, both of my recommenders were social sciences teachers. One was my Human Geography teacher and the other was my Economics teacher. Teacher: Don't choose a teacher that gave you an A for their class. Choose a teacher that knows you as a person – as a...
Whether I used a private admissions counselor, and advice I received
154 Words
I did not use a private admissions counselor. Some family friends did and it worked well for them, so I decided to have a trial consultation and see how it went. It's a very expensive service. These admissions counselors tend to sell you a 4-year package...
Recommended summer activities during high school and college
281 Words
I definitely recommend doing something useful during the summer. While it is a long two months, it can easily go to waste if you don't plan ahead and make logistical arrangements so you can get as most out of your summer as possible. You should, by all means, allocate some time to travel, spend time with family and friends, and to just relax. However, you should also do something productive, whether it be broadening your horizons, learning something new, challenging yourself, getting...
How I narrowed down my essay topics
307 Words
I initially wanted to choose my Common App essay prompt before my topic, and as a result, I spent weeks debating on what topic to write about. I later realized that the essay prompts are all open-ended and can be interpreted in so many different ways – for a reason. Regardless of which prompt you choose, you can still be capable of writing a stellar essay. So, my advice is to not get too caught-up on choosing the "perfect" prompt to use. Don't waste your time getting torn between different prompts. You should start writing whatever comes to mind immediately. If...

High School Performance

Unweighted GPA
Top 25%
Academic Performance in High School Steady

Test Scores

Highest ACT
ACT Score Details
Other ACT Scores
ACT Prep
PSAT Scores

AP / IB Classes and Scores

Details9 classes and scores


SportsSoftball, Table Tennis (Ping Pong)


ActivitiesModel Congress / Model UN, Book Buddies, Social Justice, Athletics Organization, Athletics Organization, Other Club/Activity, Tutoring/Mentoring, National Honor Society, Nonprofit, NGO or Charitable Organization, French Club
Elaborate on Extracurriculars or Work

Experience & Awards

Volunteer Experiences
Awards Received
Application Additional Materials

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