US Army Automated Logistical Specialist Xinchao (Stevie) Dong MSEE '17

NPU Northwestern Polytechnic University Xinchao Stevie Dong

Xinchao, widely known as Stevie, is the perfect example of a high achiever: “My childhood dream was a bit exceptional. I wanted to become a person who can master both the pen and sword, such as a scientist with military experience. I am proud to say that I achieved that goal, by earning a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from NPU, and by graduating distinguished from both the US Army basic combat training and advanced individual training. It was a tough but rewarding journey.”


Stevie grew up as the only child of two hard-working parents, whom he admires. They inspired his career choice and taught him how to be a wise person. Stevie explains, “The fastest way to learn is always from real life, especially our failures.”


Stevie was encouraged to join NPU by his best friend, who was an NPU alumnus. Upon graduation, Stevie started working at Milestone Technologies, which placed him at Facebook as an IT Logistic Technician. After a year, he returned to NPU to work as an IT Support Specialist. He shares, “NPU’s IT department is the number one place where I would love to work after my military service. During all these years in the US, NPU has meant a lot to me, like a family. I can say that, without our school, the staff, my professors, and my fellow classmates, I wouldn’t be as proud as I am today.”


Stevie loved working at NPU, but he longed to fulfill his childhood dream. He decided to apply to the US Army through the MAVNI (Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest) program, and went through a long selective process. He took the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) test to determine his future job in the army, and had to undergo physical checks as well as an extremely strict background check. It was all worth the struggle - he works now as an Automated Logistical Specialist in the US Army. He manages the military equipment inventory for different units currently stationed in South Korea.

If you don’t know what to do, make a goal. If you have a goal, what are you waiting for?

During his exciting adventures so far, Stevie has been influenced by the people around him: “The people I have worked with or studied from have inspired me in different ways. My English teachers, NPU professors, NPU staff (especially the IT department), coworkers at Facebook, the fellow soldiers who fought with me side-by-side... Without all these people, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. Iam really thankful for getting the chance to have them in my life.”

 

Stevie thinks that a true leader is a person who is able to understand and unite everyone: “True leadership means making a quick and precise decision in difficult situations. I also believe that success is self-defined. It means living my own dream without looking at others who have announced their success.”


In his journey to achieve his childhood dream, Stevie has learned a valuable lesson in how to overcome challenges: “If you are struggling, write a letter to your future self. Then, you will gain energy from your own advice, and that energy will be much more powerful than if it comes from others. Don’t forget to read it later on, and you will be surprised how proud you will be.”