My regular CV, though listing some proud achievements, does not fully reflect my full efforts in getting to where I am now. In fact I didn't get most of my dream achievements, prizes and positions. I got rejections in most of my applications! Looking back through my still growing failure list, I realised that the road towards success requires making the right decisions at the right times. Still I also realised that, I was privileged to have the chance to make these life-changing decisions...
See this Nature post about the idea of "CV of Failures".
My failure list (still growing):
Failed to enrol in the elite class at Zhixin High School (unsatisfactory high school entrance exam results).
Unsatisfactory results in China National Mathematics Olympiad (全国初中数学联赛 & 全国高中数学联赛).
Unsatisfactory Gaokao (高考, Chinese National College Entrance Examination) results despite ranked within the first 50s in Guangzhou's city-wide mock exam.
Never got top-5 GPA results during my undergrad years at SYSU.
Rejected by all of the SYSU exchange study programs in undergrad years.
No offer for all CS PhD applications to Graduate Schools in North America (including Purdue, UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara, UC Santa Cruz, U Michigan, USC, U Toronto, UBC, U Waterloo, SFU...)
Took TOFEL English test 4 times and IELTS English test 2 times for graduate school applications, still failed to obtain the minimum grade required by Cambridge unconditional offer...
Rejected application of CSC scholarship (China Scholarship Council scholarship)
Never worked out my first PhD project (Bayesian restrict Boltzmann machines, a doubly intractable problem), no publication in my first 2 years of PhD
Rejected papers at ICML/NeurIPS/ICLR/AISTATS/AAAI/EMNLP since 2016 (still growing)
Rejected research internship applications: Amazon, Deepmind
No offer for all Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) applications in Oxbridge (applied 7 colleges, 2 interviews, 0 offer)
No offer for faculty position applications at Gatsby/UCL/Cambridge (some got interviews but no offer, COVID-19 hit the job market hard)