"Dream big, and make it a goal to turn those dreams into reality. Hold onto your aspirations and let them guide you to a career path that fulfills your life. Push yourself to take your life into the steps that will direct you towards your dream job. It’s also okay if you decide to change your career because you are not starting all over. The lessons you take from your journey will carry you into the next part of your life."
My career roadmap has been somewhat defined.
Started volunteering at my church in 2012. At first it was being a teacher assistant for the children’s ministry. Overtime, I led the tech team, and that eventually led to being a camera operator in the main sanctuary. Learned countless lessons and skills for life from volunteering.
Got my first camera in 2014. I brought it everywhere I went and just took photos and videos whenever I thought something looked cool. I didn’t have any goal in mind, it was just fun.
Interning as a videographer for Dr. Samuel Kojoglanian’s ministry Beacon of Hearts. Little did I know I was the only person Dr. Sam asked to help with making videos. I became the one man army that did everything: lighting, audio, editing, posting, and promoting the media content. Great experience that challenged myself to improve on my skills.
In 2019, I volunteered at Anime Expo in the film and tv department. My experience from AX made me realize that a career in media production is not an impossible dream.
UCLA Transfer Summer Program. I was one of the youngest people in the program, and I learned a lot from my peers. Everyone was involved or had experience in politics and were advocates in their communities. They really inspired me to help others and be a more active person in politics.
Becoming Historian for UCLA Association of Chinese American (ACA). In addition to photos and videos that document the organization’s events, Historian involves utilizing other media outlets such as a podcast series, music playlists, and variety videos to interact more with the student body.
Here are my extracurriculars relevant to this pathway
DURING MY HIGH SCHOOL CAREER
Associate Student Body 2018
Shepherd of the Hills Church Children’s Ministry Volunteer
Shepherd Hills Church Media Team Volunteer
National Honor Society
DURING MY COLLEGE CAREER
UCLA Association for Chinese Americans (ACA) 2020 Historian
Preparing for law school (LSAT and internships)
Photography and videography side hustle
What I'm currently doing/hope to do
Currently in undergrad studying philosophy and Film and Television, planning to go to law school. Member of the UCLA Pre-Law Transfer Society, which prepares students for the LSAT as well as workshops with lawyers who’ve graduated from UCLA. I want to enter family law and help families in need. Another career path I am considering is in media, specifically live stage production or camera director. The sound systems and cameras at Anime Expo had the same foundation as the mixers at my church. After talking with the stage managers at AX, I became interested in being a lighting technician or a camera director for music venues. I am still stuck between a career in law or production, so that is why I am taking a gap year between undergrad before committing to law school. I plan to become a legal assistant and shadow my director while studying for the LSAT.
How to maximize my time in high school?
Advice #1: Whether it's making films, playing music, or working on your own passion project, make some time to follow your interests. Don’t let inexperience hinder you from starting something new. Challenge yourself to new things, and it’s okay to fail because you will still learn and improve from that experience. You will grow more as a person from experience and learn more about yourself and what you want to do with your life.
Advice #2: Volunteer! Find some event that you will enjoy and learn something from. Not only can you explore your interests through volunteering (art, community service, etc.), but you also learn a lot of soft skills along the way. The number of people you meet while you volunteer translates to more interactions with individuals with different backgrounds and life stories. If possible, take up a leadership role or position your volunteering because it adds more to the experience. On the side note, volunteering helps add good material for your college applications.
Advice #3: College is not just about academics. College is also about exploration. There are so many resources in college: social organizations, political inquiry, workshops for professional fields such as law and medicine, and a plethora of diverse people (students, mentors, and professors alike). There are so many opportunities in college that will help you grow as a person. In college, be involved in clubs and organizations on campus (1 for your career and 1-2 that are more social and fun). Don’t rush college and really use the resources available all in one campus.
Advice #4: It’s really important to prioritize your time. College gives you a ton of freedom to do whatever you want, but there is also a lot of responsibility. Balancing school work with club responsibilities and peer relationships will be a challenge if you neglect it all. My friend just graduated UCLA, and what helped him a lot was this economics theory called law of diminishing returns. Essentially, there’s a certain point in which you will actually start to lose value if you try to put more effort. It might be the case that spending 12 hours on a paper will be the same grade as 5 hours, and you could have used that extra 7 hours to attend a social event or talk with a close friend. Learn to delegate your time to what’s really important in your life, and college will be more fun and less stressful.
Advice #5: Dream big, and make it a goal to turn those dreams into reality. Hold onto your aspirations and let them guide you to a career path that fulfills your life. Push yourself to take your life into the steps that will direct you towards your dream job. It’s also okay if you decide to change your career because you are not starting all over. The lessons you take from your journey will carry you into the next part of your life.