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Alumni Column: Miranda Wong

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As a 2012 graduate from Heartland, Miranda (Janzen) Wong ventured just up the road to Midland University in Fremont. She earned a degree in Marketing and English, graduating in December 2015. Equipped with her studies, the world was waiting to be explored.

Miranda and her love for trying new ice cream!

First, Miranda spent a month in England with her now-husband, Jason, to meet his family and travel. Then, in the summer of 2016, she attended the Denver Publishing Institute. This led to her to pursue an opportunity in New York City where she eventually was an intern at the Children’s Book Council. From there, a connection helped land her a job at Holiday House Publishing. She spent two and a half years working there. “It was an incredible experience, and I loved to be able to work every day surrounded by books. Some of the best moments were discovering favorite books from childhood among the Holiday House shelves or sorting through fading letters from famous authors and illustrators in the contracts files.”

Marriage was her next escapade as she and Jason tied the knot in Manhattan. A few months later, the couple later had a small ceremony at Bethesda with family. In May of 2019, Miranda made the official journey ”across the pond” to reside in London. 

Commenting on her experience there, Miranda explained, “Life in London before Covid wasn’t much different to living in New York. Except I think it actually rains much less in London. We don’t own a car because using public transportation is much easier and cheaper. London is really an international city, so I usually don’t feel too out of place with my American accent. I already use all the common British words and phrases, but talking to my family always brings back my American vocabulary. I’ve loved living in London with all of its rich history, beautiful green spaces and plenty of tea and biscuits. And you can travel just an hour outside the city and be in rolling green hills or forests where wild ponies roam. I’m often reminded of home in the wilder parts of England, but there’s always a distinct otherness that keeps me from forgetting that I’m in a very different place.”

Miranda and her husband currently live in a shared apartment with their elderly landlady as they seek the right property to purchase. Situated to the east of the city, they enjoy access to many shops and restaurants. She works at Bonnier Books and her husband as an investment analyst at a small firm. Due to the virus, however, they have been working remotely.

When asked if she ever envisioned living abroad, Miranda commented, “I never imagined living in another country or even another state. I think I would have been perfectly content spending my life in Nebraska, but I would have missed out on a lot of amazing experiences. It is very challenging to be so far from family, but the reward is being able to learn and grow in new and unexpected ways.”

Of course, her roots will always hold a shaping foundation. “I think growing up in a small town, especially in Henderson, gave me a sense of community and an understanding of hard work that you don’t often find in other places. I feel lucky that I was able to play sports, sing in chorus, be a member of clubs, and play flute in the band all while attending regular classes at Heartland because I’ve learned that these are actually very unique opportunities. The world is a big and exciting place, but I’m happy to know that no matter where I end up, I’ll always have Henderson to call home.”

Thanks to Miranda for sharing her audacious past few years with us!

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