Meeting in China
The best part about working as a Consultant for The Art of Applying is getting to work with motivated and accomplished clients who truly want to make a difference in their communities, and our world. Through an intensive accelerator program, I get to see my clients evolve as people, and define their passions in ways that are empowering and compelling. Most times, I will never get to meet my clients in person, as all of our work is remote. However, this changed a few months ago, in a country approximately 7,300 miles away from the United States. My client and I finally got to meet—in Beijing, China. That’s right. We met in China–as in the country with almost 1.4 billion people, now the #1 most populated country in the world. How, you ask? I’d be happy to tell you the story. As I mentioned, the best part about working with TAOA clients is seeing them undergo a process in which they are fine-tuning their passions and are actively taking steps to accomplish their goals. For my client, wanting to become a global real estate investor and developer was his goal. So, he applied for and was awarded a scholarship to study in China for one year. For the first time, he arrived this past September—and it just so happens at the same time, I was traveling throughout the country for work! Having lived and traveled throughout China for the past 4-5 years, it was only right that we would meet up, hang out, and I would show him the ropes of Beijing. Oh, and of course we had to take a few TAOA selfies! What started out as his first day in China was a bit frightening, to say the least. Beijing in particular is fast-paced and can be difficult to navigate, culturally and linguistically. It only takes stepping off of your plane to immediately know that your travel experience will be different from any one that you’ve ever experienced before. Although Beijing is often considered a global city, Chinese culture is still ever-present, unlike some countries that have become westernized. Locals will not speak English and it can be very difficult navigating your way around—or even completing the most basic tasks—without some command of Chinese. Beijing is like an outer-body experience for first-timers like my client—almost like a twilight zone–which is the best way I can describe the experience. Hearing that my client was experiencing some difficulties upon his arrival—I left work to be by his side and help him adjust, in hopes of establishing some sense of normalcy and familiarity for him, in this otherwise, very foreign city. Although we’d never met before, in that moment, I would then become his closest resemblance to home. Given my familiarity with the region, I took my client to meet my Chinese host parents who I’d lived with during study abroad in college. To them, I am like their daughter (I have been visiting them once or twice a year since 2012), and they love when I bring my American friends home to meet them! My host mom, one of Beijing’s top attorneys, and my father, who is an environmental engineer, welcomed my client with open arms! My mother had her assistant take my client to get all of his essentials, while also arranging a family dinner for him at home. After 24 hours of grueling travel, and other mishaps along the way, let’s just say we were all relieved to get him a home-cooked meal, some fast WiFi, and a Chinese bank account, all thanks to my host parents! We even added him to our family We-chat, so that he could stay in touch with them throughout his year in China. They even invited him over each weekend for some family fun. After my client got settled in, I was relieved, and ready to return to the States. I knew he would be in good hands with my host parents there to support him. It was such an awesome experience to not only meet the client I’d been working with, but to also personally witness him evolve during a period of transformation and growth for him, as he studied abroad for the first time, in a country completely different from anything he had ever known. He is already able to speak about this experience in his application essays—and I could not be more proud as his consultant. At The Art of Applying, I’d like to think that we are more than consultants to our clients; we are our clients’ mentors, coaches, and more importantly friends, who want to see them win and put their best selves out into the world.
How amazing is that!? We’d like to thank both Raven and Tehran for allowing us to share their experience, and we look forward to hearing plenty more unique “TAOA Meets Client” stories in the future. If you are thinking about applying to graduate school this application season or next, we would love to hear from you! Click here to get the head start you’re looking for by booking a call and submitting your Breakthrough Application!