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Student Spotlight: Warren Feng
The Carolina Millennial Scholars Program is focused on assisting incoming male students in recognizing and maximizing their potential through workshops, seminars and working with UNC campus partners. The program has consistently shown great results as its participants demonstrate academic and social excellence beyond Carolina.
Senior Warren Feng is a prime example of how successful the impact of such support can be. In his four years at UNC Chapel Hill, the Scholar has served in various capacities, including Student Congress Webmaster, Resident Adviser, and Adams Apprentice. With humble beginnings in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the economics and chemistry double-major student has certainly seized the opportunity for success at Carolina.
Why did you choose Carolina?
I didn’t know what I wanted to study after high school – Carolina offered a wide variety of opportunities and concentrations that I could take advantage of. Also, when I visited, there was a real sense of community and camaraderie between students on campus.
When you enrolled as a CMSP Scholar, what were some of your concerns?
Naturally, my concerns became the typical ones [that people experience] whenever you’re entering a new situation/atmosphere. These included worrying about fitting in with my fellow scholars and finding my niche within the University as a whole. However, with the guidance from CMSP mentors like Dr. Marco Barker, Mr. Josmell Perez, and Ms. Ada Wilson, I was able to seamlessly transition to life in college.
Can you give us an example of how your concerns were allayed?
Specifically, I remember Dr. Barker scheduling multiple one-on-one meetings early in my first year. This gave me an opportunity to voice my reservations about college — his pieces of advice are things I’ll keep with me for the rest of my life.
Can you share with us an aspect of being part of this cohort that is especially meaningful?
I was fortunate to have met one of my very best friends, Jordi Gaton, through this organization. Whether it’s grabbing dinner to discuss the hardships of being a UNC student on the pre-med track, or just working out at the gym, or hanging out and watching Carolina basketball, I make the most of the time we spend together. I admire Jordi’s character and enjoy his sense of humor.
You have a full course load, many leadership positions and you are also part of the Adams Apprenticeship Program. How do you manage your time?
Although I don’t think I’ve mastered the art of time management, my best advice is to just get things done. To-do lists are helpful, but if you don’t hold yourself accountable, many things will be left undone. Also, I would say coming out of high school, I wanted to do everything (e.g. sign up for every club/organization at Fall Fest); however, I soon realized the best way to go was to be selective [by choosing] two or three activities and really hone in on those.
Can you elaborate on the Adams Apprentice program?
The Adams Apprenticeship is UNC’s leading entrepreneurship program, developing high potential students into transformative entrepreneurs. The program connects you to some of the area’s leading startups and pushes you to an entrepreneurial way of thinking.
Any advice for aspiring Kenan-Flagler students or Adams Apprentices?
Pursue your passions. Get to know the right people. Develop your relationships. Ask a lot of questions. Never stay complacent.
You seem very involved in research, with a focus on cancer research. What draws you to that kind of work, and why do you feel that it’s important?
I’ve always found science to be extremely interesting and fundamentally useful. Thus, combining my passion for and the potential of medicine led me to do research.
How has the Carolina Millennial Scholars Program aided your Carolina experience?
CMSP provided me with a network of peers and mentors that I’ve been able to lean on throughout the ups and down of college.
What aspect of being a Scholar has become your greatest asset as you go forward towards post-graduation?
I believe learning to navigate uncertainty (especially valuable in the startup world!) and feeling comfortable with asking questions and for help when it’s really needed are two of the most integral things I will take with me going forward. My plans upon graduation are still up in the air. I hope to land a job at either a startup or being working on my own business ideas. Perhaps I’ll take a year off and figure everything out.
What do you hope to take away from your Carolina experience and into your post-undergraduate career?
I really hope the relationships that I’ve made at this university will last a lifetime.
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