InternLA, Occidental College
Areas of Study: History & East Asian Studies
I study history, with a particular interest in topics of race and ethnicity, the Asian diaspora, and U.S.-East Asian relations in politics and culture.
What kinds of jobs / What professional fields are you interested in?I am passionate about working with Asian Pacific American issues and communities, particularly in the field of arts & culture, education, and/or diversity & equity.
Why I Applied to Become a VC Summer Intern:I learned about VC two years ago when a friend of mine interned at VC. I thought the work that VC does was really important and meaningful for the Asian Pacific American community, so when the opportunity to work at VC came up through my school, I immediately jumped at it.
What were some projects and tasks that you did as a VC Summer Intern?I was the Development Associate at VC this summer. My main tasks were focused on supporting the Development Team through grant research, writing, and management. In particular, I was in charge of creating an effective management system for VC’s grants. I also assisted on donation campaigns for VC programs. The tasks I did at VC were really valuable – they helped me understand the inner workings of a non-profit organization, and how much energy goes into keeping the good work (funded and) happening!
What were some projects and tasks that you did during the VC Summer Screenings?For the VC Summer Screening, my main responsibilities were to acquire donations and sponsorships for the event receptions. I outreached to businesses in the Los Angeles community to connect with those interested in supporting our events through donations and sponsorships. The community around VC is really amazing – they donated so much for our VC Summer Screenings. I was really moved by how much they rallied to our cause.
What, if anything, did you learn while working as a VC Summer Intern?Firstly, that the Asian Pacific American community in Los Angeles is really tight-knit and strong. There were times that I thought: “how am I going to gather enough donations to feed 150 people at our event reception?!” But the community always pulled through with donations and sponsorships. It was really inspiring to learn that they were so willing to support our cause.
Secondly, I learned that it takes a lot of time and energy to make a non-profit organization possible. I am really so amazed at the staff here at VC. I am honored that I got to be part of the team and the amazing work that happens here for this summer.
Thirdly, I became a master at Google Spreadsheets. I don’t know how people managed and researched their grants before online spreadsheets were possible!
Tell us about meeting and working with the LAAPFF Staff and other VC Summer Interns.The staff here at VC is so welcoming. They are all here to do meaningful, amazing work together and it really shows. I am so glad I got to be a part of the team.
The interns at VC were all passionate about supporting the Asian Pacific American community, and it was really fun to work with a like-minded (but diverse) cohort. VC is more like family than a workplace. I’m so honored I got to be a part of it.
Which directors or films did you learn about or discover as a result of your time at VC this summer? Andrew Ahn’s SPA NIGHT. I watched the film for the first time at Outfest, where VC was a community co-presenter. It was a beautiful coming-of-age story of a Korean American boy navigating familial responsibility and his sexuality. As a Korean American, I was truly moved by the honest and real portrayal of a Korean American youth and his family. Seriously, I felt like sometimes I was watching my own family on-screen! I’m telling all my Korean American friends to watch this film when it comes out in theatres this August. Genuine and honest portrayals of APA people impact us and society in positive ways.
What did you enjoy about your experience? Being able to work with great people, doing work that benefits the Asian Pacific American community, and being in DTLA all summer long. I got to learn so much about Little Tokyo and the Los Angeles APA community this summer.
Would you recommend this internship to others? Why?If you are ready to work hard for the Asian Pacific American community, then yes, I whole-heartedly recommend it. The internship gives you an opportunity to do meaningful work with the community, but you’ve got to be willing to put in the time and effort.
What will you be doing now after your internship?I’m a senior in college, and a double major, so I have TWO senior thesis projects to complete… One for my history major and another for my East Asian Studies major. Wish me luck!