Essay Questions

What is your most memorable childhood experience?My most memorable childhood experience is going camping with my family. My parents went to great lengths to make sure that my sister and I had a healthy relationship with nature. I have vivid memories of the snacks we would pack, the sing-alongs my dad would lead, and the regular negotiating of how close we could go to the edge of trails. These memories come back to me whenever I'm in nature to this day.
What immediate family member do you closely identify with and why?My sister is the family member I identify with most closely. We had our conflicts as usual until high school, but from then on we became close friends. We live in different cities but speak on the phone 2-3 times per week and visit each other and travel together for a few weeks per year.
What character traits do you admire in an individual?I admire individuals who are willing to hold fast to their convictions even at personal cost. I also greatly respect individuals who manage to simply never say unkind things about people and avoid putting others down. Finally, I admire people with a knack for making others around them laugh. I think there's something very beautiful and underrated about just making people nearby happier at no cost to anyone.
What is the funniest thing ever to happen to you?My sister is one of my closest friends, and she has a unique sense of humor that can surprise. One Christmas morning she snuck down before I woke up and replaced the presents in my stocking with coal from the barbecue. On another occasion, she sent me a card for my 21st birthday saying, "By your age Alexander had conquered the known world - what have you done?"
If time and money were not an issue, where would you travel and why?I would ride on a cargo ship from Taiwan to Los Angeles. I saw a video of a ship's outward-facing camera and I was struck by the beauty of it, and how there's a whole ancient seafaring tradition I have no experience of. I have booked lots of products from factories in Asia to the US as part of my jobs over the last few years, and I promised myself that if one of my companies ever got acquired, I would find a way to ride along on one of those ships.
When and if you ever have children, what would you like to pass on to them?I would like to pass the tools for them to reach a place of mental peace. For my sister this is music, for me this is exercise and meditation. I only wish that I had discovered meditation when I was young instead of in my 20s, and I would want my kids to have exposure to many different paths to reaching a place of stability so they could face the stressors of college and real world with a curated toolkit that works for them.