Sadiki Wiltshire, Horizons S’16

Quick intro

Your name: Sadiki Wiltshire

Age: 20

Where you’re from: New York City

Where you study: Princeton University

What you Study: East Asian Studies and Physics (take note! This will be subject to change to a more China focused terrain for senior year!)

Three words that best describe you: 勤奋, 好奇, 坚持不懈

8 questions for Sadiki

1. When did you first get excited about the world of tech and entrepreneurship?

During the fall of my junior year I participated in the Princeton Silicon Valley Tigertrek. A program run by our entrepreneurship hub that takes 15 of Princeton’s most entrepreneurial minded engineers, humanities majors and thinkers and doers to Silicon Valley for a week of Q&A with Silicon Valley’s most inspiring leaders of the tech community. We met Alex Karp, Sal Khan, Bill Campbell, Keith Rabois and many other inspiring tech luminaries. Speaking with these leaders showed the power that we all had as students to create the change that we are seeking to find in the world. In the age of technology, impact and reach is no longer accessible to only a select few, but rather with enough drive, determination and a bit of well placed luck anyone can change the way we interact with the world.

2. Why did you decide to take Horizons and what’s been your favorite part so far?

I decided to join Horizons because of what I expected would be a truly exceptional student body, and they surely have delivered. I have met math Olympiad winners, start-up leaders, and students passionate about taking charge over their life’s trajectory. This is what I’ve most enjoyed about Horizons.

3. What does a successful version of you look like on graduation day? How about two years out of college?

Two years out of college, I would be preparing to attend law school to specialize in international law and cybersecurity, in 5 years I plan to examine and help draft models of the new legal landscape for international cyber realm.

4. Tell us what is one thing you believe is true that most people disagree with (the Peter Thiel question)…

The U.S. is in need for a rise of the regional specialist, i.e. In the realm of international politics, it is not enough to apply theoretical models of power dynamics formed in a Western context to cases in Africa, East Asia, and elsewhere, but rather scholars, politicians, and must develop policy informed by the unique cultural heritage and history of the region in question.

5. What has been the most important turning point / realization in your life so far?

My sophomore spring, when I started the Princeton U.S.-China Coalition back on campus. This was the first time that I had created something, and spend such an inordinate amount time building something that I love and felt passionate about in my college years. PUCC showed me that it is indeed possible to do what you love, and find success in it.

6. What motivates you to work hard every day?

Knowing that hard work, turmoil and triumph are the central pieces of any great story, and if my tale is bereft of these then is it truly a great story?

7. If you were going to be famous, what would it be for?

Democratizing the way that the West interactions with China and other Eastern powers. Much of the American understanding of China and its development is driven by the alarmist, zero-sum rhetoric that has been espoused by politicians, media outlets and business tycoons. However, what this rhetoric fails to depict is that China is not just the actions of its state or its party but also is a collection of people, with real fears, hopes and loves. These are the qualities that link both the Chinese and American people, and if Americans were given more of an opportunity to interact with the Chinese citizenry, they would be better able to see this. I plan to create a channel that would allow for direct communication between the American and Chinese people in order to giving Americans and Chinese the agency to form their own narrative of the US-China relationship.

8. What is your advice to incoming freshmen to make the most out of their time in college?

Take Mandarin, Arabic or Hindi! These are the languages of the present and will become the languages of the the future. Take a foreign language whose roots are largely separate from your mother tongue. Learning to speak and think in the language of another nation will shift the way you think in profound ways! Also pursue the discipline that Makes. Your. Heart. Sing. For me this is China studies and international development, and science. Time is too valuable to waste pursuing the things you have no genuine interest in! Happiness when married to success occurs at the intersection of pursuing what you enjoy and what makes you feel full. On this path success will most decidedly come.

Thank you for reading.

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