Introduction: Lily

“Goooooood morning, Vietnam! Hey, this is not a test. This is rock and roll. Time to rock it from the delta to the DMZ!”

If you are not familiar, this is a famous opening line from one of my favorite movies: “Good Morning, Vietnam.” And yes, as the quote mentioned, I’m an international student who was born in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, but spent most of my life in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam.

My name is Lily Le. I am major in Business Analytics and possibly get another degree in Operation Management. At the moment, I’m focusing on contributing to the community around me. I’m a member of the Lindner Women in Business, and we’re working on activities for diversity and inclusion, which is a topic I’m always interested in in my surroundings. I’m a member of the business analytics club, and we give guidance for students about the business analytics pathway and invite speakers to talk about their passion in the field. I also work as an Economics and Accounting Tutor for Learning Commons.

One of the most important positions I have taken on is being a member of Bearcat Solar Car, where our mission is to create a race car powered only by solar energy for the American Solar Challenge. I have taken great joy in participating in the club, since only in the UC environment do I have the chance to have this surprise journey of building a car with others.

I binge on movies, listen to music all day, draw, and cook. When I first got into movies, my genre was action, but now I prefer ones that are heavier on the psychological, like those that always leave you with a lingering question about humanity and morality (Blade Runner 2049 is my representative if I can choose). I used to play tennis for many years, and I was also a figure skating trainee. It has been years since I have practiced, but I still love to catch up during my free time. I enjoy drawing, painting, and sketching as well. Back in the day, I mostly used a pencil or pen, but since I lost most of my sketches because I didn’t have a specific notebook for drawing, I shifted to digital art. I post them on Instagram, but I still have a lot to learn.

I always imagine myself having a conversation with mini-me, maybe a 14-year-old girl who is clueless about life, and wonders if she would ever think about setting her feet in the United States and pursuing her dream here. The answer is possibly no. My friend asked me if it was necessary to leave everything behind. I didn’t know if it was necessary, I was really glad that I had the opportunity to come to a different land, meet lots of people, learn a new culture, and more than anything, I can grow myself, to thrive out of the shape I was held into. To be as today, studying abroad in the United States, I had received help from many people, my parents, my friends, my teachers, that’s why I also want to inspire others to open themselves as they relate to my story, and even if it’s just a little, aid them in every possible way!

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