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My pathway to Cornell University

17 Dec, 2018
My pathway to Cornell University

Phung Kim (Kelly) Trinh took the GO:50 program [On Campus Plus program] at Kings New York. After applying to a range of top-ranked universities she was delighted to receive an offer from Cornell University, a world-famous Ivy League school and one of the finest universities in the US. Kelly will be joining Cornell's School of Hotel Administration, ranked Number 1 in the world by CEOWORLD magazine, and studying for a degree in Hotel Management.

We hear from Kelly and from Chris Bock, her personal Kings University Advisor. Through a combination of Kelly's hard work and ambition, and Chris' expertise and support, together they made her dream come true!

Kelly's story

Which Kings school are you studying at and what are you studying?
I am studying Business Administration at Concordia College New York.

What made you pursue a college degree in America?
I chose to earn my degree in America because I want to use my degree to seek a great job. I think the US is the greatest place to earn a strong degree. I love the US education system because it not only focuses on a specific major, but also other things such as Liberal Arts.

What major are you interested in, and why?
I am interested in Hospitality because it is my passion. I want to bring the core values of hospitality to others, so they can slow down to recognize and appreciate the value of their own lives.

What are your plans after graduation?
I want to pursue a Master's Degree in Real Estate at Cornell after I complete my undergraduate studies. I want to work in the Middle East in the future, especially Qatar or in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Why did you choose to study at Kings New York?
I visited New York before and NYC is my favorite city in the world! I think Concordia allowed me to have better access to Manhattan. Manhattan has a very diverse population, so I was able to practice my language skills.

What is your favorite class, and why? What class do you find more challenging?
My favorite class was Sociology because after attending that class, it gave me a better sense of self-identity. I especially loved the professors here, they are so friendly, and they really take care of you. Since the classes are small, I don’t feel like I miss home at all. Concordia has basically become my home. I found Chemistry to be really challenging because it is more focused on the Nursing program, so it’s hard for a student who is not studying a Science major.

How did you decide on your target schools, and how did Kings staff help you?
I decided on my target schools thanks to my counselor, Chris. He is the best counselor ever. He guided me throughout the process and gave me every piece of information I need. Especially, he kept me updated about the schools’ changes of policies, including new rankings. Although I am still waiting to hear back from a couple schools, so far I received offers from Fordham University and University of San Francisco and Cornell University, where I will transfer in the Spring.

Which student activity here in New York did you enjoy the most?
I enjoyed my Internship at the Osilas Art Gallery on campus at Concordia the most. Over my time working at the gallery, I have learned many professional skills needed for the future, such as hands-on leadership experience and organizing materials in a detail-oriented manner. These skills are not just found in class but need to be practiced in a professional setting.

Chris Bock, Senior Progression Advisor

Chris explains how he worked directly with Kelly to help her secure her dream school.

"Over the last four semesters, I have worked with Kelly as Senior Progression Advisor for Kings at Concordia College.

During Kelly's first year at Concordia, she attended Kings workshops, including Intro to US Higher Education, Choosing a University, Writing the Perfect Transfer Essay and Finishing Touches. I met with her several times a month to plan out her transfer, including selecting the right coursework and decoding the requirements for her target schools.

As her applications approached, she began meeting with me 2–3 times each week to ensure she was on track to complete her applications. For Cornell, we worked through three drafts of her essay as well as her supplement.

Her Personal Statement focused on her passion for the Hospitality industry and her long-term goal of opening a series of hotels catering to vegan travelers. Her goal was incredibly unique and memorable, so expressing her passions clearly and powerfully allowed her to stand out in the applicant pool for Cornell's highly competitive program.

Her essay (and the activities section of her application) allowed her to highlight her outstanding experiences on campus, including working part time at the Osilas Gallery, Concordia’s campus art space. In this role, she assisted with installations, greeted guests and answered their questions as well as providing additional assistance to the Director of the Gallery.

Kelly's persistence in improving her GPA and IELTS score over time while simultaneously evaluating a number of programs to determine the best fit for her allowed her to make wise decisions on her application process.

The record of improvement coupled with her unique goal of becoming the premier vegan hotelier allowed her to stand out and achieve an amazing result in the Cornell School of Hotel Management. We wish her all the best in Ithaca and at Cornell University!"

About the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration

Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration is the world's most prestigious institution of hospitality-related degrees, ranked Number 1 by CEOWORLD magazine.

The Hotel School's Dean, Kate Walsh, states:

"The industry finds our students to be extremely well prepared, intellectually strong, emotionally intelligent and excellent communicators. In short, these emerging leaders are a cut above graduates from other hospitality programs and more general business programs."