Magazine article Ebony

Secretary: Sophia S. Chin

Magazine article Ebony

Secretary: Sophia S. Chin

Article excerpt

Sophia S. Chin constantly receives strange reactions to her name. "I got the name from my husband, Norman," she explains. "His mom is Caucasian and his dad is Chinese. I've gotten used to the reactions I get from people. I remember once someone came to me looking for Sophia Chin and I said, I'm Sophia Chin., The person looked at me and said, `No you're not.'"

Names are strange that way. As the world turns and time and circumstances change, society continuously cycles through various labels to characterize individuals and groups of people. And attached to the labels are a whole host of both positive and negative connotations. Fifty years ago, for instance, Chin would have been described as a Negro secretary. Today, she's an African@ American executive assistant.

An executive assistant for Andersen Consulting in its New York City office, Chin is also a student at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J. She regularly juggles three to four night classes a week, a set of demanding work-related responsibilities, and the needs of her husband and the family cocker spaniel who await at home. Chins life is full -- to say the least. "Its hard," she says of her multifaceted lifestyle, "but if you want something, if you want it really bad, you can manage.

The 26-year-old gives much of the credit for her can-do spirit to her dad and mom, Samuel and Violet McDonald, who reared her and two sisters in suburban New jersey. "I owe everything to them," says Chin. "I dim they did a really great job. …

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