Alumnae Spotlight: Miranda Chen ’18

Embracing the unknown: Finding the courage to follow a new path

Miranda Chen ’18, in Washington, D.C.

Miranda Chen graduated from York House in 2018 and after 18 months of studying at Mercyhurst University, a summer internship inspired her to change universities and career paths. Change is inevitable but making those decisions takes courage and resilience. Miranda has both in spades. 

After graduation from York House, what did you do?

After graduating from York House, I headed to Erie, Pennsylvania, to attend the Intelligence program at Mercyhurst. My experience at Mercyhurst was incredibly eye-opening and unlike anything I had ever experienced before. I think, sometimes, at York House, we exist in sort of a utopian bubble where most students are of the same socioeconomic background and political beliefs, so it can be easy to forget not everybody comes from the same experience. 

For me, it was incredibly interesting and refreshing to attend a university that was mostly conservative and completely different from what I had grown up with in Vancouver. Especially today, with the extreme political polarization in society, I think it can be quite easy only to make friends and consume media that share and reinforce existing beliefs and opinions, so I feel very fortunate that I have been able to experience both sides of the coin; I can also now say I view the world much differently than I did before. 

In terms of academics, it was definitely challenging. Still, York House prepared me very well, and I couldn’t have had a better education in terms of developing leadership and interpersonal skills and establishing the ability to articulate myself clearly through public speaking and writing. All in all, my experience at Mercyhurst was quite intense and challenging at times, but it truly made me grow as a person, and I will always be grateful for that. I also made some incredible friends who I know I’ll stay in contact with for the rest of my life!

Why did you change direction? What was the catalyst?

I had the great privilege of interning at the Embassy of Canada to the United States in Washington, D.C., last summer after my freshman year. I worked in the Trade Division, specifically focusing on trade policy between the United States and China. As part of my internship, I was able to attend and report on Congressional hearings and think tank events on Capitol Hill and around the D.C. area, as well as produce reports and briefing memos for senior-level staff at the Embassy.

In addition, we were able to hear from many high-ranking officials, including Marvin Hildebrand, the Economic Minister who oversees trade; David MacNaughton, Canada’s last ambassador to the United States; and Kirsten Hillman, the current ambassador. As I was one of the youngest in my intern cohort, it was also wonderful to connect with some of my older peers and hear their experiences and advice for university.

During my time there, some especially exciting moments included working on the USMCA agreement and meeting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau when he visited the Embassy in June 2019. I also became quite close with some of the other interns, and we still talk today! It was truly an incredible experience but also one that informed me that this was not what I saw myself doing in the near future.

What are your future plans?

I am currently studying finance and real estate at New York University, and I hope to pursue a future career in real estate investment banking and eventually in real estate development.


Junior Tigers Update: September 17, 2020

There is a lot of bumping, setting, spiking, serving, and digging going on in Rand Gymnasium these days as Covid-19 friendly Volleyball is on! With teams in Grade 5, 6, and 7, we have over 75 girls playing. There are no games scheduled this season, yet our coaches and athletes are still working to improve. A big thank you to our coaches: Mrs. Zimmer and Ms. Banfield for Grade 5; Mr. Alguire and Mrs. Kanavos for Grade 6; Ms. Murray, Ms. Brennan, and Ms. Marcotte for Grade 7.

Our team of coaches (Ms. Abbott, Ms. Anthony, Ms. Dorcey, Ms. Krahn, Ms. Ling, Ms. McAllister, Ms. Sharpe, Ms. Waterhouse, and Ms. Young) are very excited to get started. They have worked diligently to build a schedule that considers the many logistical challenges of 2020. Our team is once again large in numbers (~70), and big on enthusiasm. All we need now is some clean air! Parents, please keep an eye on your Cross-Country team emails as we are at the mercy of the weather and air quality. We will make the most of this season, and we are looking forward to our first practice!

During the Junior School Curriculum Explained Evening, there is a session designed to answer all of your questions about our Junior School Athletics program. The session will take place using Google Meet Monday, September 21 at 7:00 pm. Find the link on the Curriculum Explained Evening schedule sent out by the school.

With the many challenges of opening our school during this pandemic, students are allowed to wear Tigers gear on their PHE / practice days. As a result, we have been swamped with requests from parents and students for sweatshirts, hoodies, sweatpants and other gear. We do not have any stock on site beyond crewnecks and a few other items. The store is now open and will close on Sunday, October 4. Log in to myYHS for store links or check your email.