Xiao-Hong Jing knows a little too much about what it means to persevere. She grew up with her parents and two siblings in Tai Yuan, a large industrial city in the Shan Xi Province in China. But at age six, she was sent to live with her aunt in Shanghai. It was a traumatic event for more than just the obvious reasons--she couldn't understand the Shanghai dialect and had never met her aunt before. She made the best of her new life, though, eventually attending FuDan University, one of the biggest colleges in Shanghai. Two years intoher studies a teacher encouraged her to apply to Wellesley College in Massachusetts. She did and was accepted.
It was a huge leap of faith for Jing, who not only had never been on an airplane before, but also had barely travelled outside Shanghai. The only thing she knew about the U.S. was what she had read in books. The toughest part of her transition was dealing with all the choices now available to her, from the classes she could take to the food she could buy at supermarkets. She quickly learned how to make the best of those choices and opportunities.
Q: So why law?
A: The law has its own language. I loved studying languages. Law was a natural fit for me.
Q: Would you ever go back to China?
A: It's a possibility. It is a little more complicated now that we have two kids. But I still see that as a possibility. I've been talking with friends, and interestingly most of my friends from Wellesley and Yale who are from China are now back in China. There are just so many more opportunities there now.