How Janet Hsieh Went From MIT Student to TV Host

What was it like going from MIT student to TV host? originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

Answer by Janet Hsieh, TV Host, Actress, Author, on Quora.

MIT actually prepared me for TV hosting in ways that I never expected. Being surrounded by people from all walks of life and cultures really helped me, not just to open up to differences but to also be genuinely curious about things I never even knew about. Plus, now when I say, "Oh, I graduated from MIT," people just assume I'm smart, which is always nice!

In all seriousness though, at MIT, we discussed everything from religion, (my suite mates were Muslim, Hindu, Protestant, Catholic, Atheist, and Confused) to politics, to cultural norms and traditions. We crammed for Physics exams together and stayed up all night scheming our next pranks. I had friends in the ROTC who I'd do sit-up challenges with and who would teach me how to shine my shoes. I also had friends who were in a sorority and who taught me the importance of living in a household of forty girls of differing personalities and opinions. At MIT, I was able to have the opportunity to study abroad in Argentina for a year and it really showed me that the world is a lot smaller than we think.

It was during that time at MIT that I explored everything that I thought I might be interested in (from Brass Rat designing, to the crew team, to changing my major a couple times, to dating guys who I'd never have thought I'd end up dating, to exploring Boston, to taking palmistry class and acting 101, to building my first snowmobile). It's nice that MIT provided a place where you could explore different options freely and where it was encouraged.

I thought my life plan was to study pre-med at MIT, work abroad for a year in India and Taiwan, then come back to finish my medical degree in the States and then work with Doctors without Borders or some similar organization. During my trips to India and Taiwan though, other opportunities opened up which lead me to where I am today.

My interests haven't changed; I still love to share and experience, to ask questions and find answers, to play and to guide others, to do charity projects wherever and whenever I can. Only now, rather than do all of these things with a doctor's degree, I do these things as a TV show host. Who I am has not changed since graduating from MIT, just the job description.

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