The Mentor Spotlight series by Project YETI aims to showcase the amazing young Tibetans involved in our YETI Mentorship program and share some of their valuable advice publicly for young Tibetan students. We'll be posting a new Mentor Spotlight every day, so stay tuned!
Jigme Taring was born in New Delhi, India and moved to the Washington DC area when he was five years old. He graduated from James Madison University in 2017 with a B.A. in International Affairs and a minor in Computer Information Systems. Jigme has interned at the U.S. Department of Commerce and served as a JMU Student Ambassador. Recently, Jigme was hired full-time as a Data Analyst at Booz Allen Hamilton.
What three words would you use to describe yourself?
Humble, Confident, & Versatile.
What is a fun fact about you most people don't know?
I have seen Mount Everest from an airplane twice.
What is your favorite quote?
“Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” --Steve Jobs
What motivates you to be successful/achieve?
Many factors motivate me to achieve at a high level. In the back of my mind, I often reflect on my great-grandmother, Rinchen Dolma Taring (a.k.a. “Taring Amala”), and the sacrifices and contributions she made for Tibetan society. She was the first Tibetan woman to speak and write in English, and in her later years served as a mother to thousands of orphaned and destitute Tibetan refugee children in the most fragile period of Tibetan history. Her impact is incalculable and truly motivates me to be an engaged-citizen who leads a productive and meaningful life in this 21st Century.
If you could offer one piece of advice to Tibetan students in their college application process, what would it be?
The college application is all about how well you market yourself. Similar to applying for a job, you need to convince colleges that your presence will be an asset to that institution. Your track record should hopefully showcase that you are scholarly, engaged, and have some leadership qualities. Colleges prefer candidates who they know will be productive and engaged once they step on campus, and also be impactful alumni after they graduate. Invest some time and focus into properly marketing yourself to put yourself in the best position to be successful in your college application process.
If you could offer one piece of advice to Tibetan students entering the college experience, what would it be?
Learn the art of prioritizing. Make sure you know what your priorities are and what experiences you want to get out of college, and go get it. You have unlimited resources at your fingertips, so get your priorities in order, build relationships, step out of your comfort zone, learn, and enjoy. [Also,] obtaining internships or meaningful professional experience while in college is vital if you plan to get a job right after college. If you plan to go to grad school, similar to applying for undergrad, your grades, test scores, and extracurricular activities weigh more heavily.