I always like to think about my future, especially the different possibilities of it. I find "daydreaming" helps motivate me as I know that everything I'm doing right now is a step toward my dream. Here are three paths to my future.
My first possible future is to continue on my current path to getting into the tech field. My father started teaching me about the concept of the internet when I was still in kindergarten, therefore, I have always be fascinated by computer science and information technology. Although I did not start coding at the age of nine like many of my fellow classmates, I still decided to major in computer science and I'm feeling pretty good and confident about this decision. The first step of this future is to graduate from the University of Toronto with a degree in computer science or double majoring in computer science and economics. Before graduating, I wish to finish the Professional Experience Year after my third year. The PEY is a program that allows students to work in the industry for twelve to eighteen years. I believe that PEY is an important stage of my undergraduate career as it would give me invaluable experience and competencies in the job market. After graduation, I would like to get a job in the tech company as a developer. Through this job, I could gain more experience and become completely financially independent. I will study for GMAT at the meantime and after working for, say three to five years, I will apply for MBA at a school in the U.S., preferably Chapman University or the University of California, Irvine. When I earn my MBA in the U.S., I will move to California and get a job there. I will try to switch my career role at this time. I don't think being a technical worker is what I want to do for the rest of my life, and that's why I think it's important to switch my career focus from engineering to management. During this transitional stage, I will get married and start settling down in California. Then, I will try to travel as much as possible; my destinations will include Scandinavia and Russia as I always find their cultures fascinating.
This is definitely one of my favorite futures. It helps me quickly become financially adequate, which would allow me to have a comfortable lifestyle and complete my MBA. However, the work could be extremely challenging in the ever-changing tech field. To success in this future, I will need to constantly motivate myself to study new emerging technologies. It would also mean limited time I get to spend with my family.
My second future is to enter the profession of finance. During the summer before school started, I followed my father all around China as he traveled and negotiated for the new finance department of his company. He taught me that finance is one of the most important and opportunity-filled industries in the capitalist world. To begin in this future, I would need to enter and excel in financial economic, mathematic application in economic, or the combined economic and statistic program. Maybe, I will be able to transfer to Rotman, although that is not the ultimately ideal as Rotman gives little room for me to mix and combine programs. To success in this future, I will need to do a lot of networking and opportunity seeking. I will try to get internships in every summer throughout my undergraduate career while still manage to maintaining an impressive GPA. I will also have to study and take certificating exams that are essential for finance professionals. Before graduation, I should already have started spreading my resumes; hopefully, I can secure a job offer after graduation. There is a lot I need to learn about finance, and I think one of the most important things immediately after graduation is to gain experience and sharpen my competencies. After maybe two to 4 years of working, I would like to apply for a financial engineering master program in the U.S., ideally the USC Marshall School of Business or the UC Berkeley Hass School of Business. As I stated before, I would always want to move to California. If I could successfully finish my graduate study in financial engineering, I think it wouldn’t be too hard to find a better paying job in the finance industry. I think I would marry after securing a stable job and settle down in southern California.
I like this plan almost as much as the first alternative where I will work in the tech world. Both professions are cool, well-paid, and constantly changing the world. This plan could be a good alternative if my engineering skills turn out being not as sufficient as I thought it would be. My interpersonal skills would be an asset as they are more important in this future than the first one. One huge flaw of this plan is that I might not be able to make enough money to afford my graduate study in the ideal schools at the ideal time. So I might have to get student loans or ask help from my parents.
My third future is to pursue my passion for music. I started playing the saxophone in my third grade and since then, music has been an indispensable part of life. I was going to audition for Berkley College of Music in Boston, but I failed to do so because of the busyness of the college application season. If I just give up my passion for music as soon as I start university, I would regret it for my lifetime. In this future, I will start with learning about the Faculty of Music at U of T to check some of the possibilities. I will start taking music courses, especially in composition and digital music. I understand that the chance of entering and excelling in the Faculty and graduating with a degree in music is rather mere, so I would probably graduate with a degree in economics, which also interests me a lot, or transfer to another university. After graduating, I will get a job and work on my finances. I will then apply for the music business/management or the music production/engineering program at Berkley College of Music, as I don't want to focus my career on instrumental performance, but rather the management and support aspect of the music world. My ideal destination would still be southern California. In this future, I will probably marry early so I could get more financial and moral support.
If everything goes well, I would also absolutely love this future. However, there are too many uncertainties in this future. There aren't as many opportunities in the music industry than in the tech field; financially, it is also a rather risky option. After all, this future allows me to pursue my passion for music, and I know that I would put in extra effort in my work because of my love for music.