Tiffany Wang: ‘I gained the confidence to speak up’

Tiffany Wang

Information Science & Economics

New York City, NY

What are the most valuable skills you gained from your Arts & Sciences education?

Communication, management and self-confidence. Regardless of the subject, each class emphasized the importance of clear and concise communication. Many of my written assignments had maximum page limits, which I’d never experienced before; these forced me to consider my language and ideas much more carefully. Through my extracurriculars, I gained valuable leadership opportunities that taught me how to better handle conflicts and drive progress through uncertainty. When I started as a product manager on a project team, I quickly learned that I had to make decisions with very limited information. Although this made me uncomfortable at first, it led me to become much more responsive to feedback and collaborative with my teammates. Finally, I gained the confidence to speak up. Before Cornell, I felt shy participating in class because I didn’t believe in my own ideas. Through the encouragement of my professors and peers, I’ve come to view participation as a valuable opportunity to eliminate uncertainty rather than a scary possibility of being wrong.

What was your favorite class and why?

For INFO4300, Language and Information, I got to build a board game recommendation website with four other students. We were given creative freedom to choose our own topic and design the system, which was really unique for me because my previous professors had provided structure for my projects. Because our team was so small, I got to work on all aspects of the project, from data analysis to front-end and back-end programming to user experience design. Although it was extremely fun to bring the project to life, what I loved most was the feeling of ownership: the five of us started with a blank text file and the five of us ended with an interactive website. INFO4300 helped me discover the joy of creating something independently and taught me what aspects I value most in my future career.

What have you accomplished as a Cornell student that you are most proud of, either inside the classroom or otherwise?

I am most proud of my time as a product manager for Queue Me In, an app to improve the crowded office hours experience for students, TAs and professors in large specialized courses. Queue Me In impacts classes that I myself took as an underclassman where I felt overwhelmed by the coursework but couldn’t get help because the classes were understaffed. Being able to create something that can make a difference in the student experience is very meaningful to me, and I have been so excited to watch it grow.

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 Tiffany Wang