Unanswered [15] | Urgent [0]

Posts by ckpckp1994
Joined: Oct 14, 2011
Last Post: May 27, 2020
Threads: 8
Posts: 17  
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From: United States of America

Displayed posts: 25
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May 27, 2020
Writing Feedback / Write-up for CPA Society's Magazine - Impact of Culture on the Accounting Profession [3]

Hi @Holt, thanks for such a thorough review!! Agreed on most counts. I did give some serious thoughts about putting an example or two in my article to highlight my story, but then I realized doing this would trigger some liability issues. My former employer(s) would think I was the reason why they lost certain clients. They might pursue legal actions. Sounds crazy, but they've pulled that card before. My current employer has a very dominant PR department that screens through everything that has the company's name on it. If I mentioned a story in a publication, they might think this would taint their "positive working culture image". This is why I kept it vague in my article (not mentioning any specific event) in hopes of avoiding any technical issue. In light of this, how should I go around it? What do you suggest?
May 27, 2020
Writing Feedback / Write-up for CPA Society's Magazine - Impact of Culture on the Accounting Profession [3]

Hi all, I understand that this might not fall under the Graduate subtopic exactly, but I can't find a better place to post this. So, here we go...

Below is a short piece that I wrote to submit to my state CPA society's magazine as a contributor. There's no prompt. They accept everything as long as the write-up provides "value and insights" to the accounting industry. This is my first time doing this, so please be gentle! Thanks!

Yes, No, ...Maybe So? Impact of Culture on the Accounting Profession

"Perhaps", "allegedly", "presumably", "possibly"- words that I use in my daily language whenever I communicate any financial information to a recipient. While these colloquials are certainly a nod to modern professional euphemism, they are also a direct reflection of my own cultural values and upbringing.

Growing up in a traditional Hong Kong family, I was raised to speak responsibly and conservatively. Always leave room for ambiguity, as it conveniently levitates the burden of delivering false information. It also carries a non-confrontational tone of a suggestion rather than a verified fact that would affect a decision. As my journey progresses as a young professional, however, I begin to recognize that the lack of assertiveness in my communications imposes some surprising challenges in a professional environment. People tend to repeat their inquiries to garner a sense of assurance from me. Or, they would divert to another resource for their concerns due to a growing sense of distrust.

In his New York Times bestseller "Outliers", author Malcom Galdwell penned a chapter to speak on the impact of culture on aviation safety. With multiple notable deadly crashes in the 80's, the South Korean aviation industry has since undergone scrutinies regarding its safety protocols and pilot habits. While the public initially attributed the crashes to poorly trained pilots and outdated planes, Gladwell theorized that the Korean culture and its language were the true culprits behind these unfortunate incidents.

As opposed to the American culture, Korean culture is collectivistic. Koreans employ oblique languages when speaking with the superiors (think less of "you should"; and more "you might want to consider"). Commands then became mere suggestions when they lacked the authoritative undertone. This might sound trivial to some, but safety on a plane can be dwindled into matter of seconds and quick judgements. We finally learned that cultural context mattered in communications, but that lesson came with a heavy price.

Though, thankfully, financial professionals aren't put in charge of safeguarding lives under stressful situations, we serve a profession that values accuracy and informational integrity. As CPAs, our specialized knowledge and skills afford us the privilege to become a resource to many. Whether we're communicating with a tax client, a colleague or even a live audience, it's beyond vital to consider our own cultural influence and how it affects our tone and the delivery of the information.

If you're a young professional like myself who's beginning to establish a presence in a field, be sure to know that the language we use and how we communicate convey confidence, which in turn directly translate to our own personal branding and credibility. That's not to say prudence doesn't have its place in our accounting language; in fact, it's quite the contrary. As our economy continues to globalize, the mastery of balancing culture and effective communications is slowly becoming an essential soft skill to hone for our generation.
Jan 2, 2013
Undergraduate / Brad's music/humor & pop/ creative approaches; Internship/What I'd bring and take [2]

Prompt: What would you bring to the office of the governor, and what do you hope to take from your internship experience?

What does Brad Paisley and I have in common? Well, technically none. I was not born to a family of country music lovers. I have never gotten a chance to write music, not to mention my embarrassing guitar skills. However, to much of my surprise, Brad and I share many similar personality traits.

One of my all-time favorite songs from him is "A Letter to Me", which features the singer himself giving sound advices to his teen-aged self on dealing with youth issues. This song is truly inspirational, and it resonates with my reflective character. I am a person who constantly seeks ways to improve myself. I treat every single failure as a lesson, an opportunity to reflect rather than just an obstacle. Of course, often these failures may come at me unbearably, but I tend to "bounce back" shortly after. Because I know I am proactive; I prefer to make the right choices than to complain about everything happens in life. Instead of writing a letter, I have a habit of keeping a journal of what I learn, then later I would review them like study notes.

Brad determined to be a successful country music artist at a ripe age of thirteen. With ambition, he began to write songs, took intensive guitar lessons and started a band with his family friends. After getting a degree in music business and inducted into the prestigious Jamboree Hall of Fame, Brad was immediately offered a song-writing contract. His road to fame was officially laid. Similar to Brad, I like to plan ahead and take measurable steps to achieve my goals. I have been thinking about college since middle school, and I followed the "5 year plan" that I designed to get acceptances from desire colleges. You may call me "instrumental", but I believe the best way to predict the future is to plan it, to invent it. As my friend Chris says, "Early better than sorry!"

Brad's music is famous for the humor and pop culture reference. The way he cooperates these elements into his songs is brilliant, proving that he is not only an excellent songwriter, but also a quite creative guy. An architecture and music fanatic, I am trained to think artistically and in unorthodox ways. Once I am given a topic or a project, I could easily think of thousands of ways to make it happen at a drop of a hat. To me, being creative is more than just a skill; it is my second nature. In my application, I ranked policy as my first area of interest, because I have done similar (but more simplified) competitions in high school. It required intensive logical reasoning and creative approaches to tackle the issues presented. I enjoyed working as a team and contributed my effort into policy making.

Country music gives people an impression of sadness and dark, and that is one of the reasons why the genre is not as popular as pop or hip-hop. To break the norm, Brad has tried to employ a different tone when writing music in hopes of broadening the fan base. I applied to the internship to achieve the same thing: to break the norm. Politics has always been foreign to me. However, after taking a political science class in college, I have found interest in this field and would like to explore more in depth through the internship. Furthermore, my intended career path leans towards tax policies or tax law. Politics and tax has long been closely intertwined, and I believe my experience at the Governor's office would put me in gear for my future's career. Finally, the internship will provide me abundant of hands-on experience and will sharpen my communication skills. I am looking forward to it, and ready for all the challenges ahead.
Dec 25, 2012
Essays / internship at the governor's office - "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?" [2]

I'm currently in the process of applying to an internship at the governor's office. Their essay prompt is "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?" I have no idea how to approach this essay. What am I supposed to write? Any inputs is much appreciated! Thank you. (For what's worth, I'm a freshman in college right now. 5 years later I'll most likely working)
Dec 31, 2011
Undergraduate / Common App - Extracurricular - School Board [8]

I like your essay. It conveys your message throughly. However, I feel like the introduction is kind of too long. It would be great if you can cut it short! Good Luck~!
Dec 31, 2011
Undergraduate / 'military families and a private school' - Rice [5]

Hello! The revised version is much better: It's more conclusive, and answer the prompt more throughly. However, the last sentence or two somewhat disconnects with the whole essay. It would be great if you can think of a better ending sentence. Overall, I would say this is a solid essay.
Dec 31, 2011
Undergraduate / "Stabilization" - Stanford supplement---what matters to you [4]

Hello! I really like your essay and the theme that carries. However, I feel like it's kind of choppy. It would be great if you can connect the thoughts together. By the way, do you mind if I ask what book is it? It sounds intriguing.
Dec 31, 2011
Undergraduate / 'Not going to keep playing violin anymore' - U-Penn [10]

I find your introduction very intriguing, but, as abck said, it's too long. However, I feel like the last paragraph somewhat disconnects with the whole essay. Because you're talking about rock-climbing and then you jump right at biochemistry. I think it would be great if you can tie two things together. Good job and Good luck~!
Dec 31, 2011
Undergraduate / 'get you involved and challenge you' - NYU and Hofstra Supplement [6]

For the first essay, I feel like the city part is a little bit too much. I presume anyone that applies to NYU will say something about the city (At least two of my friends does). So, I would suggest cutting the city part shorter and use that space to talk something else, since you have such a harsh word limit.

To me, the second essay looks good. It conveys your message clearly.

Please check out mine, the urgent one, Thank you and good luck.
Dec 31, 2011
Undergraduate / 'Architecture builds a community' - Why I'm interested in this major essay [6]

Prompt: Please tell us what attracts you specifically to the field or fields of study that you noted in the future plan.

I know this is risky, very risky, PLEASE CRITICIZE HARSHLY! 1500 characters Limit!!!!!

I'm on my way to visit Mr. Bounderby in Coke Town, where Charles Dickens describes as "unlivable" under the Industrial Revolution in his book Hard Times. Oh yes. I know Bounderby well. He adores facts and numbers, but I'm here to challenge his position. "How do you do, Mr. Chan?" Bounderby greets. "Let me go straight to the point. I'm here to build a chapel in Coke." Bounderby shakes his head, and says such "thing" makes no good. "Why?" I ask, "A chapel brings life to Coke. Architecture is a reflection of history and art, and community. It makes no good?" "Look, Mr. Chan. We're mechanical, we love factories, we breath smoke, we have labors that work all day. We don't need architecture!" I roll out my building plans to him. I employ a Gothic Revival design, with flying buttress supporting the Hammerbeam roof, and tall stain glasses in lancet style. Coke Town is colorless; hence I import Raphael's art pieces from Venice to decorate the interior. They are not as secular as Botticelli's, but his use of light matches the characteristic of Coke - gloomy and foggy. "I want to share my love of architecture with the people in Coke," I say, "They're emotionless because factories won't make them happy. Architecture improves living condition, and makes a change to the society. Architecture builds a community, a community that celebrates civilization, not facts. Trust me. My chapel will make Coke a livable place." We shake hands, and wait for the magic of architecture to happen.
Dec 31, 2011
Undergraduate / 'life on the computer and on the Internet' - Weird UPenn Essay [4]

Wow! I like the way you put it. It's very compelling. One silly suggestion, (I know they have this words limit), I would add the sound "Click!!" before each New Tab. Just to make it more realistic. Overall, You're in good shape, very good shape.
Dec 31, 2011
Undergraduate / 'equilibrium between education and pleasure' - Why Northwestern? [3]

Hello! I like your essay. You pointed out many reasons why you want to go to Northwestern and McCormick. (Sorry, I'm not checking for grammar, because I'm suck at that) However, I feel like you've made a laundry list of things in the 2nd paragraph, and that's the only "rough part" when I read it. Over all, I would say the essay is very solid, and conveys your message perfectly.

I'll have another essay to post, so if you wish, please criticize that one harshly. THank you.

I'm applying to McCormick too. Hopefully we both get in. Good Luck~!
Dec 19, 2011
Undergraduate / Things that I like --- a short supplement essay [2]

Prompt: In 300 words or less, list the things that you enjoy or like to us.

With two leafs extended to the side, and a knot tightened the stem, a fleur-de-lys was a heraldic symbol to the Bourbons. My hobby of studying heraldry began when my uncle exhibited his French and British coat of arms collections to me. The vivid colors and the bright images immediately lured me into the world of heraldry. The griffins, the crest, the motto ribbons...all of these elements stimulated my curiosity at a very young age. Some people may perceive heraldry as simply a decoration; but to me, heraldry is more than that, it is piece of art, a page of European history.

I like mornings. Same as Ernest Hemingway, I fond of the quietness and peacefulness that mornings provide. After finishing my warm breakfast, I go for a run near the lakeshore, or sometimes read books and play guitar in my room. However, I have to get this all done before afternoon, when the loudness of the family starts settling in. Mornings better our sleeping habits. Mornings offer us extra time to pause and reflect. Mornings bring every one of us a brand new day. Mornings, in a word, are just awesome!

Boater Hats
As an amateur country musician, I prefer wearing a boater hat rather than a cowboy hat. I started a guitar ensemble group to perform country music in school concerts when I was in ninth grade. For better showing our music is "country", we planned on wearing cowboy hats. However, cowboy hats may be "too much" for us, since none of us were from the South. We ended up wearing boater hats, and they served our purpose well. Our guitar ensemble is a boater hat. While it denotes our rustic interest, it also symbolizes our urban origins from a big city.

Thank you!
Dec 19, 2011
Undergraduate / "I'm not an athlete" Brown Supplement Q, Perspective change [5]

Nice Job! I can somehow related to your essay, because I'm one of those "playing sports just to be cool" kind of guy, and I could totally understand how you felt. However, I also agree with Mariel. I like it because I have a similar experience, but I don't know about the admission officers. So, it is always a good idea to minimize your negative side, and bring out your positive side as much as possible.
Dec 19, 2011
Scholarship / My Life and Math - an essay for Singapore Scholarship [3]

I understand your message on the relationship between life and math; however, I found this essay is kind of choppy. I am not sure if this is your writing style, or something else, but I suggest making every paragraph longer. Overall, I would say this is a solid essay.
Dec 19, 2011
Undergraduate / 'Getting lost in a book' - Favorite Place to get lost -UVA [3]

This is a well-written essay. You showed your passion of reading and literature to readers in a nice way. I can't see any grammatical mistakes, so kudos to you. However, I would prefer a hook at the beginning, but that's your decision. Good Luck~!
Nov 12, 2011
Undergraduate / Project Excite/Pizza/Flag Day - 3 very short community service descriptions [7]

Prompt: Please explain your experience.

Community Service (1) :

The third graders and I counted with our heads going up and down, paralleling with the weight's movement on the spring. One. Two. Three. Four. ... Ten. Eleven! "It's eleven!" Rushed to the desk, the kids drew the Arabic number "12" on the data table that I provided in advance. As a mentor in Project Excite!, I accomplished the goal - help them to finish the physics experiment, and have "phun".

Community Service (2):

I've ordered pizza. I've called Ms. Reed. I've set the stage. I've arranged the schedule. The competition "Music in the Park" happens in no time. Other volunteers and I are ready for 40 armies of orchestras cracking through the door to check-in with Ms. Reed. We know who are the mad directors. We know how messy it gets when 600 musicians stuck in one place. We...

"They are here!"
Let's do this.

Community Service (3):

"Today is Flag Day. Would you like to donate, sir?"
He reached the pocket for the wallet, and took out a coin. I extended my donation bag to him. He carefully dropped the coin into the bag. I then put a sticker on his jacket for appreciation. We boy scouts have a large involvement on Flag Days. Volunteers on that day carry bags to collect donations and give donors stickers.

Oct 23, 2011
Undergraduate / 'Union Jacks and colonial flags' - Common App [2]

Prompt: Topic of your choice


Union Jacks and colonial flags were flying above the sobbing crowd outside the Government House on the 1st of July 1997, the day when the British handed Hong Kong back to China. The four year-old me witnessed the removal ceremony of the British Empire's coat of arms, as the military band steadily lowered the badge to the strains of "God Save the Queen." I locked my little eyes on the crowned lion and the chained unicorn -- they casted a firm stare in my direction, evoking a nobility of their British monarch. Not soon, I was drawn to the English griffins, the Irish harp, the Scottish lion, the motto ribbon... I knew I was sold.

I immediately started a collection of ancient coat of arms from various European kingdoms. Fleur de lys first made her appearance to me, followed by the British griffins and the Cruz de Borgońa. The accumulation of these unknown heraldic symbols eventually triggered my curiosity. When I reached twelve, I borrowed a book about heraldry from the local library. I dove into a world of coat-of-arms as I flipped the lively pages. The vivid explanation of the symbols tempted me to dig deeper into heraldry, and picked up the hobby of identifying ancient coat of arms.

It is true that heraldry always fails to garner attention from the public, as architects tend to place the coat of arms in the dark corners, or hang them up high on the ceilings. With the exception of my uncle, a history fanatic, I have met no one that shares the same hobby as me, not even the elders in my family. Therefore, my uncle became my personal protégé for about nine years. He often invites me to his house for showcasing his heraldry collections. With my eyes glued to the coat of arms, I carefully examined each tiny detail - the color, the crest, and the pattern. I perceived the slow process of studying a coat-of-arms as a pleasure and an adventure though history.

My interest in heraldry mirrors my exceptional tolerance of both extremes within one field. As a part of humanities, heraldry has decorated my science-dominated life with some vivid patterns. I can handle the strictness of Newton's Laws in Physics, but I also welcome Norman Foster's uncluttered modernism in architecture. I enjoy the convulsion that electronic music in Manhattan brings, while playing country music with fake southern accent also pleases me. I speak fluent English at school, but mostly Cantonese at home. The blending of these two languages causes me no trouble, even with my third language, Spanish, coming along. People around me usually find my one side of extremes hardly fits the other. In fact, studying heraldry sharpens my observational skill, the most needed ability to be a scientist or an engineer; country music calms me after dancing to electronic music; finally, my Asian heritage enables me to understand myself as a person. My life does not depend solely on one element, but a perfect balance of two halves.

I extended my index finger toward the art piece, tried to locate the details to my uncle as clear as possible."...I am quite positive that this coat of arms is Union of kingdom of France and Kingdom of Navarre."

"Impressive," my uncle complimented, "but do you mind back up a little bit? You're too close."
"Oops, sorry!" This was not my first time.
Oct 23, 2011
Undergraduate / 'I motivate myself' - St. Johns-short description [3]

I really like the opening. The way you wrote was strong and persuasive. I didn't count but I think there is room for more.

I suggest extending the second paragraph so that your theme stands out even more to readers.
Oct 14, 2011
Undergraduate / "Living under the Thirty Years' War" - Common App Short Answer [3]

Prompt: Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences in the space below (1000 character maximum).

Living under the Thirty Year's War was never easy.

The Bourbon first launched a paper cannon into the field of Habsburg by the windows. The Habsburg quickly aligned the bag backs for defense...Oh no! Another cannon headed towards Madrid; the Habsburg was panic. "ĄVamos!" A wave of paper planes just took off to Paris...

"Stop!" I shouted, "Now clean up the room." I was a prefect, more like a security guard in a school. My duty was to keep the lower classmen's discipline when the teacher was gone. In this case, I had to take the field and ceased the fire, literally.

Wars happened everyday in this classroom, so I tried to build a trust relationship by talking to them, one by one. That way I could handle a "riot" by warning one at a time, and this policy was unexpectedly effective. I shared my experience to other prefects; they said it worked very well. Being a prefect, I learned that a true leader does not necessarily bring success to the team, but builds a successful relationship with teammates.

Oct 14, 2011
Undergraduate / I love telling jokes! - CommonApp essay #1 [4]

You got an unique opening, but it takes me a few seconds to follow you thought at first because I didn't know the first line was a joke. May be you want to put line 2 as your first line.

I also like how you described the situation that you were in. I can picture it in my head, so kudos to you!