We had the good fortune of connecting with Xiaosi Wu and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Xiaosi, what’s something about your industry that outsiders are probably unaware of?
A girl bursting into tears while explaining her plummet grades because of the sexual harassment that still haunts her; a father confessing his guilt to leave his 5 years old daughter in China to pursue his studies in the US; a student expressing his helplessness as he was rejected by colleges 3 years in a row, and a student falling asleep because he just finished a 20-hour shift. These are just some of the things I encounter on a daily basis as a college counselor. Many people think college counseling provides strategies for students to get into brand-name colleges, or more bluntly put, to game the admissions process. We are, however, educators who strive toward equipping students with the tools and motivation to take control of their success. We aim to do more than simply placing students in their dream universities. We are also mentors, life coaches, and cheerleaders. One of our important roles is to help students discover their advantages and potentials that they themselves may not even be aware of. We are also committed to helping each individual identify their goals, passions, and priorities. This requires a deep understanding of human development and the ability to navigate the rollercoaster of emotions students may feel during this critical period. Moreover, many may think college planning begins at the application process. But it is the culmination of years of preparation before the application season, sometimes as early as birth. When we work with students at around 18 years old, it is important to look closely into the earlier stages of their development, especially during their childhood and adolescence. A student’s college application is strongly related to their upbringings, familial dynamics, and the attitude towards education.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
ThinkPro, Work With A Pro. I founded ThinkPro to provide student-centered college consulting services for students and help them find their voice – personally, professionally, and academically. We help students present their best in their application essays. We brainstorm and develop ideas throughout the process, organize their logic, and provide the best personalized, game-changing advice that allows each applicant to stand above the rest. With extensive experience working with Asian students, we are especially well-versed in understanding their unique struggles when applying to American colleges. A prevalent stereotype for an Asian student is that of a learning machine devoid of the abilities to take initiative in their lives. Therefore, we aim to help discover their sense of purpose in this society and make them stand out by presenting their distinctive backgrounds and individual strengths. One of the most common issues from students is “I have no idea what I want to do”. Thus, at ThinkPro, we also provide career advice and help students prepare for their future professional goals. We have initiated mentorship programs to connect students with working mentors from all walks of life and organized field trips for students to discover their career interests. We have helped thousands of students getting accepted into the university of their dreams. But more importantly, we gave them the means to embark on a journey of self-discovery.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would bring them to Venice Beach, and the Venice Historic District because it showcases two things I love the most about California, the beaches and its diverse cultural heritage. When I first set foot on the Venice Beach Boardwalk, along the sands of the Pacific Ocean, my senses were constantly stimulated by the kaleidoscope of colorful shops, street performers, public art murals, Muscle Beach outdoor gym, and so on…. It, to me, embodies the diversity of people, culture, and social statuses. It is this kind of inclusivity that makes America unique, and exactly something I want to show others.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My shoutout goes to every single one of my students. My daily interactions with these young, brilliant minds helped me mature in my role and find my purpose in life. As I progress through my careers and personal life, I am constantly amazed by what I can learn from my students. They showed me how authenticity is often reciprocated in kind, and the smallest details could end up making the biggest difference. They helped bring out the best in me. I became more empathetic, understanding, and devoted to becoming better every day. Not to mention, hanging out with them kept me feeling young and energetic! They taught me the trendiest new vernacular, shared with me the latest viral social media craze, and invited me to join their uniquely magical life journeys. And, of course, I want to shout out to my amazing family. They are my constant motivation and inspiration. They made sure I can have warm delicious meals when I had to work 16 hours per day during the application season. They provided me with much-needed support whenever I felt overwhelmed by helping students in one of their life’s deciding moments.