Undergrad Spotlight: Tracy Zhang

As she majors in New Media and Communication Technology and minors in Business, Tracy Zhang cultivates new experiences. Transitioning from life in China to the United States came natural to Zhang. She is diligently concentrating on her work in a campus research lab and tackling difficult courses. Regardless, Zhang has found a new comfort zone here at Ohio State — one that involves exploring a new culture and understanding differing perspectives. 

Zhang’s life in Hangzhou, China, set her up for the big transition to Columbus, Ohio. By taking classes that taught her English, Zhang’s attraction to America grew. 

“I’ve been preparing to study abroad since high school. I chose to attend an international school,” she said. 

As she reflected more on her past, Zhang describes how the teaching methods are similar to the ones used at The Ohio State University.  

Zhang describes how the entire study abroad experience has made her a stronger person. 

Tracy Zhang Poses with Bust“My family is so far away,” Zhang said. “But I am always prepared to face anything and do anything in life by myself.”

Some think that such a transition would be difficult, or at least bring up many challenges. 

“Change is hard, but I’m not afraid of it,” Zhang said.   

Though hardship is expected with change, Zhang did not expect an Introduction to Java course to be such a challenge. After receiving initial test scores, she was anything but pleased. Zhang felt discouraged and upset but found relief through meeting with her advisor. 

“My advisor told me to give the next exams a shot,” Zhang said. “She was so supportive, and after debating, I decided to agree with her.”

Later that semester, Zhang ended up passing Introduction to Java and came out with the best advice she could give anyone: Never say no, at least not until you try. 

Another new thing that has pushed Zhang outside of her comfort zone is undergraduate research.

Through taking a research method course taught by Dr. James Bonus, an assistant professor in Ohio State’s School of Communication, Zhang has had the opportunity to become his research assistant. She initially hoped this position would help her be more competitive and stand out in graduate school applications, but the position has become much more than that. 

“I practice my communication skills through talking to strangers and using clear and concise language,” Zhang said. “I also learn about ethical concerns while conducting research.”

Zhang assists with studying how children’s brains react to media, images and television. This is applied to the amount of information children learn from these sources. 

In the future, Zhang anticipates working in a field that combines both her major and her minor. She hopes to continue her education in graduate school in a Technology Management and Digital Media Operation program. Zhang is optimistic that this could lead her to her goal of becoming a technology manager at a technology driven company. 

“I chose this major because I think technology is very important,” Zhang said.  

As proven by her ability to thrive during a big transition, Zhang said she is prepared to face whatever challenges may arise in her future. She wishes to explore the bigger cities in the United States, understand new perspectives and learn more about herself in the process. 

Zhang said success to her is much more than a specified career path. 

“Happiness,” Zhang said. “I hope I can make my loved ones and myself happy.”


Article by student Abby Clark.