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ABSA Officer Panel


Jennifer Lei

Hometown: Austin, Texas
Major: Management Information Systems/Economics
Year: 4th

1. Why did you join ABSA?

I kind of stumbled into it. I remember getting tabled to at summer orientation, but I was actually quite hesitant about joining a business org. However, thanks to some new friends (obligatory s/o Tiana), and thanks to a cool promo video and all the opportunities available for leadership, I ended up applying for a directorship and getting it. My experience with this organization has ended up far exceeding my expectations, so I can confidently say it was the right choice.

2. What is your favorite ABSA memory?

Company field trips! I’ve been fortunate and gotten to go on a bunch, and it’s always been a lot of fun getting to explore a city, visit company offices, and get to learn more about members I might not otherwise have known well. One of the coolest things we’ve done on CFT has been, in San Francisco, taking a ferry out to under the Golden Gate Bridge and going past Alcatraz. That and Chinatown every time 😊

3. What’s your favorite thing about the University of Texas at Austin?

How big it is. It was intimidating to me at first, but I really came to appreciate how many chances and opportunities there are. There’s a lot of niches people can fit into, and so many things to try. I also love Austin, and I’m happy to be going to school in an urban environment near the heart of my beautiful city.

4. If you could give one piece of advice to your freshman self, what would it be?

Enjoy. This is my last year at UT and I’m going to actually really miss being in college. I think I spent so much of the past few years being worried, uncertain, and anxious over whether I was doing as much as I “should” be. There’s a lot of pressure out there to fit into a certain mold or be at a certain “point” in your college or professional career. I had a hard time (sometimes still do) not comparing myself to others and caused myself so much more stress than I needed to. So, if I could tell my freshman self one thing, it’d be to relax a little and enjoy a little more.

5. What is your dream job?

I always feel like it’d be cool to either work at a gaming company, make my own indie game, or write my own comics. I like to draw and code, so maybe the gaming dreams are possible. I’m terrible at writing stories with plots though.

6. What’s is your favorite TV Show/Movie/etc?

I’m a weeb (shh) so things like Your Name, Fullmetal Alchemist, Tatami Galaxy, and Mob Psycho 100 will always be special to me.

7. What is one thing that you love about yourself?

My ability to do things despite being scared. To be honest, a lot of things scare me. I remember being intimidated by moving into college, the ABSA directorship app, putting together my resume, running for VP, recruiting, interviewing…basically many things I’ve done so far have scared me before/while I was doing them. But I’m glad to have done them and I’m glad I was able to recognize what was important and face my own fears. It’s made me a happier, more confident person in the long run. I hope it’s a sign of courage.

8. Name the top five things on your bucket list

  1. Get really involved in a nonprofit
  2. Finish writing a webcomic
  3. Finish knitting a sweater
  4. Travel to more diverse places (I’ve only ever been to the US and China)
  5. Get good at bouldering

Ziwei Ye

Hometown: Arlington, Texas
Major: MPA/Plan II Honors
Year: 3rd

1. Why did you join ABSA?

To meet you ;’)
I joined because I wanted to give ABSA a chance, but I stayed because of how much ABSA has given me: caring friends, supportive guidance, and a welcoming home. From the moment I stepped into my 1st General Meeting, everyone has been nothing but kind to me. They remembered me after initial introductions, and they genuinely wanted to get to know me. From then on, every time I see an ABSA member, he or she will always call out to me, no matter where we are. The members are always willing to go out of their way to care for each other, bringing medication to help me feel better, taking me grocery shopping, or, simply, eating with me so I don’t have to eat alone. ABSA has given me a home away from home.

2. What is your favorite ABSA memory?

Last year towards the end of the year, my branch decided to go to Enchanted Rock on an early Sunday morning (I remember because Chick-fil-A was closed, and I wanted to use my free 3-count Chicken Minis coupon). Even though it was early in the morning, we had a lot of fun taking power naps in the car, climbing (separately) up the rock, witnessing a proposal at the peak, and attempting to take quality pictures and failing… The little details of the trip occasionally replay in my mind again and again. It wasn’t until that day did we break down the seriousness among us. It wasn’t until that day did we get so much closer to each other. I am forever grateful for that morning :’)

3. What’s your favorite thing about the University of Texas at Austin?

The proximity to food – Guad, Dining Halls, Union, SAC, the list goes on and on. There’s always something to try/eat without driving anywhere (driving in Austin is hard). Of course, if you can drive, bike, lime/bird, bus, or even walk, Austin is your world. There are so many places you can explore, activities to do, and food to try.

4. If you could give one piece of advice to your freshman self, what would it be?

Be YOU. It doesn’t matter what other people are doing or what you are not doing. What truly matters is what you think is the best for you. Don’t get peer-pressured into doing something you don’t want to do. You are perfect the way you are. Just bear in mind that IF THEY CAN’T LOVE YOU AT YOUR WORST, THEY DON’T DESERVE YOU AT YOUR BEST :’)

5. Where do you see yourself in five years?

Imagine you are walking toward the ocean. The sand is very soft. The beach is limitless. The cool breeze is blowing past you. The waves are washing up onto the sand and receding back again and again. I want to live in a beach house working as a novelist… IN MY DREAM…

6. What’s your favorite TV Show/Movie/etc?

F.R.I.E.N.D.S

I really don’t think an explanation is necessary. IT IS THE BEST SHOW EVER.

  1. The quotes and humor (I have a book with some of the funniest jokes from the show !!!)
  2. Smelly Cat, Smelly Cat, what are they feeding you? – Phoebe
  3. How you doin’? – Joey
  4. Hi (in depressed tone) – Ross
  5. The most important reason: The Friendship and Love – It is realistic and relatable.

7. What is one thing that you love about yourself?

My ability to switch mood and tones in a split of a second: from jocular to solemn, from downhearted to cheerful, from punny jokes to deep emotional talks. I love it because people get confused about the situation and can’t tell whether I am serious or just joking.

8.  Name the top five things on your bucket list

  1. Backpack across the WORLD
  2. Bungee Jumping / Skydiving / Hang-Gliding
  3. Learn to swim so I can go shark- and dolphin-diving
  4. Own a Goldendoodle even though I am scared of dogs
  5. Watch every show/movie on Netflix

Danny Li

Hometown: Grapevine, Texas
Major: Business Honors/Plan II Honors/Finance
Year: 3rd

1. Why did you join ABSA?

I remember freshman year when I actually committed to not joining ABSA, mostly because I wanted to branch out and do as much as possible beyond business. However, George (yes, the one on panel) kept relaying how great his freshman ABSA experience was on M-Team, so I decided to give it a whirl and attend an Interest Meeting. When I was there, I found so many people already introducing themselves to me, and from the initial pitch, I thought ABSA was a nice blend of a little of everything. So I came back for the next meeting. The rest is history.

2. What is your favorite ABSA memory?

I don’t know if this is fully correct, but I think on CFT app reading night, my branch got together and just began these subtle roasts toward one another. That was the turning point in Professional branch’s dynamic – we started out a bit awkward, but from then on, we found ourselves roasting each other ALL THE TIME. It was fun. For the entire. rest. of. the. year.

3. What’s your favorite thing about the University of Texas at Austin?

Its layout and location. The campus itself is of tremendous size and it’s near the heart of Austin, which allows you to explore so much (including companies!). Makes for a great time all the time.

4. If you could give one piece of advice to your freshman self, what would it be?

Be realistic. My biggest pet peeve now is people telling you “oh, don’t worry, you have plenty of time!” I believed in that for (in my opinion) far too long to the point where I had to make rushed decisions in some key points of my life that I really should’ve thought out. Yeah, harsh, but sometimes you need to face up to what’s coming with full preparation to succeed.

5. What is your dream job?

End goal is to become a professor, perhaps for a communications or business course. I find teaching to be one of the most fulfilling professions because of the ability to empower others. I’ve always had this philosophy that you don’t have to be smart to succeed – you just need to work hard. Seeing that play out through the students I help tutor only emboldens me to stay committed to that philosophy and make as much of an impact as I can (realistically).

6. What’s your favorite TV Show/Movie/etc?

Inside Out hands down (my phone wallpaper is still the picture I took after I saw the movie). I cried (and yes, I counted) five separate times so dramatically that my brother thought the sobbing was coming from the movie and not me. But honestly, I had moved three times in my life and knew how hard those transitions were for me, so seeing it all play out on film really hit home (or maybe I’m just too emotional).

7. What is one thing you love about yourself?

My evolving introspective nature. Easily. Sometimes it’s easy to get bogged down or caught up in everything that life throws at us, be it our career paths, grades, friends, and so on. Especially at this age where everything changes so rapidly, my introspective personality grounds me in humility and reminds me to appreciate just the small things I sometimes easily take for granted.

8. Name the top five things on your bucket list.

  1. Travel to the Maldives (have you seen the water???)
  2. Open a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing local educational resources
  3. Get a hedgehog
  4. Sharpen my video and audio editing skills (I really like making videos)
  5. Send thank-yous (cards or emails) to the personal influences in my life

 

Raymond Li

Hometown: Coppell, Texas
Major: Management Information Systems
Year: 2nd

1. Why did you join ABSA?

When I first came to UT, I really had no idea what I wanted to do. While many seemingly had their entire four years of college planned out, I didn’t even know what I wanted to do during that first week. I wasn’t tabled to by many orgs, and I only visited a couple. However, after my roommate recommended that I go check out ABSA, I fell in love only after the first GM and the rest of my ABSA story blossomed from there. So in retrospect, I really did join ABSA on a whim.

2. What is your favorite ABSA memory?

One of the main reasons why I joined ABSA was so that I wouldn’t have to pay for IM sports that I did. But who knew that playing basketball with ABSA would help form some of the deepest relationships I have today? Through all of the best wins and even the toughest losses, I was able to become closer with my teammates. In fact, I met some of my closest friends at college through playing ABSA basketball.

3. What’s your favorite thing about the University of Texas at Austin?

There are many things that I value about college and the University of Texas (they don’t call it the best four years of your life for nothing.) However, the best (and also the worst) thing about college is your freedom. Having the freedom to do what you want really builds you as a person, as it helps improve time management skills and helps you realize where your priorities should lay.

4. If you could give one piece of advice to your freshman self, what would it be?

Don’t “stay” in high school. College is all about meeting new people and expanding your network. While you shouldn’t completely forget about your high school friends, college is the best time to meet new people.

5. What is your dream job?

This is pretty lame, but the dream job doesn’t really exist for me. My dream job would be to have no job and still get money, but that’s practically impossible. So in terms of my career goals, I would really like to explore the field of consulting, specifically, technical consulting. I am also interested in data analytics, which is a field I would also seriously consider. Outside of the business world, I would really love to fly airplanes (childhood dream job).

6. What’s your favorite TV Show/Movie/etc?

The Dark Knight. There’s a reason why I’ve seen it more than 10 times.

7. What is one thing that you love about yourself?

Recognizing my weaknesses. Knowing my weaknesses has helped me grow so much throughout my college life. There have been many times when I have done things wrong, but learning from those mistakes has helped me forget about them and strengthen myself as a person. This has been important to me in college, and I feel that it will be even more essential in life after college.

8.  Name the top five things on your bucket list

(in no particular order of importance)

  1. Skydive
  2. Getting good at fishing?
  3. Becoming a master griller
  4. Get a boating license
  5. Get an airplane license
  6. Scuba license
  7. Pay back all the money my parents have spent on me (o.0 rip bank account)

Kaylee Huang

Kaylee Huang

Hometown: Victoria, Texas
Major: Marketing
Year: 3nd

1. Why did you join ABSA?
I actually came into college telling myself “Kaylee whatever you do, do not join an Asian cult” So even after hearing about all the amazing opportunities ABSA had to offer during McCombs Kickoff, I never gave the organization a second thought. Life really has an odd way of panning
out. Right before the very first ABSA interest meeting I met Kimberly, a fellow volunteer at the McCombs Expo training orientation. We really hit it off as friends, so at the end of the training
she mentioned that she was heading to the ABSA meeting and asked if I wanted to join. Triggered by the name, I hesitated but I decided to give ABSA the benefit of the doubt. Right as I walked into GSB 2.124, as cheesy as this sounds, I felt at home. The smell of free asian food
wafted in the air as returning members greeted me with wide smiles and open hearts. But the moment that really sold me, was the promotional video. Steven Yen you beautiful mastermind. The video allowed me to peer into my future with ABSA. In just two years, ABSA has given me lifelong friends, professional skills, recruiting experience, a caring heart, and most of all my
home away from home.

2. What is your favorite ABSA memory?
Rules are made to be broken, I have two.
Chicago CFT during my freshman year is still ingrained into my mind as one of the best five days of my life. My memory is trash so this says a lot. I encourage anyone who is reading this to apply for out of state CFT, your wallet may regret it but you as a person will not. 11/10 would recommend. During that trip I really fell in love with the people of ABSA. Where else can you find people who are willing to shamelessly mimic and pose in front of expensive art? From sleepless nights of bonding, to giving each other crude nicknames, to embracing our turtle mating call, to singing on a subway train, to exploring a beautiful city, Chicago CFT will always have a special place in my heart.

Texas THON 2017!! To give some background I’m involved with Texas THON. Throughout the year we fundraise and raise awareness for the kids being treated at Dell Children’s Medical Center. At the end of the year we come together and dance for 12 hours straight to stand for the kids who can’t. During my freshman year I did the dance marathon mainly by myself. As much as I resonated with the cause, I felt alone in a crowd of 600 miracle makers. Fast forward a year later, ABSA decided to make Texas THON the charity of the year. It was amazing to watch Team ABSA grow closer as an organization throughout the year and finally on the day of I had my ABSA family there with me. Dancing, crying, cheering, even playing volleyball: we did it together for the kids.

3. What’s your favorite thing about UT Austin?
The construction. High pitch drills is the soundtrack of my life. LOL JK

It is actually the drive everyone has to make a difference. UT has so many opportunities to be the change you want to see in the world. Whether it is through ABSA, Texas THON, or Camp Texas I’m constantly interacting with inspirational people who make me realize I need to start getting my life together.

4. If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?
“Eventually all things fall into place. Until then, laugh at the confusion, live for the moments, and know everything happens for a reason.” I felt like I stressed a lot about the little things throughout high school and my freshman year of college. I compromised my health, social life,
and sleep at the mercy of stress. Now that I look back on it, there are many times I could have been more efficient and happier if stress was eliminated from the equation. That quote now always floats through my mind when I’m going through a tough time. Hardships will always happen, but your attitude has the ability to alter the eventual course of the situation. With such
an outlook, I worry less about the small things and take life step by step. I can appreciate the overall picture and find happiness around every corner. So rather than stressing over things you cannot control, live, learn and grow.

5. What is your dream job?
My goal is to become a consultant for nonprofit organizations. Nonprofit organizations have traditionally survived without the help of a third party but there are so many great ideas that get lost in the haze of financial issues. One day I wish to start my own nonprofit, but until then I want to learn and help others achieve their dreams as they build it from the ground up.

6. What’s your favorite TV Show?
Friends!! I have watched this show backwards and forwards 9 times. I admit that I have a problem but I’ve come to terms with it.

7. What is one thing that you love about yourself?
My futuristic point of view. I spend 90% of the time with my head in the clouds. I always try to imagine my life in the future : where and who I want to be. It pushes me to go far and beyond my limits to challenge myself and to not be afraid of trying.

8. Name the top five things on your bucket list

  1. Backpack around the world
  2. Start a nonprofit for kids promoting health and equal education
  3. Eliminate my fear of heights so I can go skydiving
  4. Eat my way through Insider’s Foodie list.
  5. Own a munchkin cat or corgi (I appreciate stubby legs because I have stubby legs)

Prithvi Thavanampalli

Prithvi Thavanampalli

Hometown: Plano, Texas
Major: Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics
Year: 3rd

1. Why did you join ABSA?
Interestingly enough, I joined ABSA halfway through my freshman year just because I wanted to play on the volleyball team and because most of my friends from high school had also become members. I met some really amazing people playing in the ABSA volleyball team, and that was enough of a push to make me consider applying for the Feed Your Mind Committee. That’s where I met one of my first mentors in ABSA, Samantha Choi, and that’s when I realized ABSA was an organization I 100% wanted to be apart of!

2. What is your favorite ABSA memory?
So unlike all my other Panel friends, I can’t actually think of one solid memory that I’m fond of — but not because my time in ABSA is boring, but because everything has been steadily positive in the past few years. If I have to pinpoint a feeling I’m fond of, it’s the few times AQuach and I were on the volleyball courts and ABSA would make a clutch play for a point! Always felt good to slam on the opponent (no one needs to know but I never won a game yet :^] )

3. What’s your favorite thing about the University of Texas at Austin?
My favorite thing is probably the city. Compared to Plano, I love almost everything about Austin from the food here to the hills here. The only thing I hate is the traffic, haha.

4. If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?

Really do what you want to do. Don’t do something just because your parents said that’s what you should do. You’re going to be more successful if you do what you want.

5. 
What is your dream job?

I used to say that I wanted to race circuits, but to be honest, I just want to be one of those successful investors that work like maybe 4 weeks a year and just chills the rest of the time. Gotta grind my way up there.

6. What is your favorite TV Show/Movie/etc?

I’ve been going back and forth, but I’ve really come to like both Hunter X Hunter and Seven Deadly Sins (don’t call me a weeb until you’ve watched one of those) :o)

7. What is one thing you love about yourself?

I probably love the fact that once I realize something that’s important to me, I’ll do my best to make sure I take care of it.

8. Name the top five things on your bucket list.
1. Travel Asia/Europe/Dubai
2. Own an E92 BMW M3
3. Live in London for at least a year
4. Eat in a couple of the world’s most renowned chef’s restaurants
5. Be happy before I die

 

 

Victoria He

Hometown: Plano, Texas
Major: Accounting
Year: 2nd

1. Why did you join ABSA?

I came to UT from Plano, and I definitely tried to stray away from Asian organizations. I was convinced to check out the first interest meeting by my McCombs kickoff leader, who later became my VP, and my close friend from high school. At the meeting, the genuine conversations I had with the officers and members made me feel so welcome that I filled out the membership form as soon as possible. ABSA is an organization that instantly gives you a family, a group of the most accepting and kind people I have ever met. It has allowed me to step outside of my comfort zone and achieve things I never thought I could, and I’m forever thankful.

2. What is your favorite ABSA memory?

Even though I’ve only been in ABSA for a year, I have too many favorite memories that I’m unable to pinpoint one. Some of my favorite events I’ve attended are alumni crawfish boil, camping, and San Francisco company field trip. However, some of the most memorable moments in this organization are the conversations you have with upperclassmen, getting dinner with your future best friend, and bonding with your branch. I’m so amazed at how close I am with the people I met just a year ago, and I owe it all to this organization.

3. What’s your favorite thing about the University of Texas at Austin?

I am a huge foodie, so my favorite thing about UT by far has got to be the food. Austin is such a dynamic city, filled with some of the greatest food I have ever eaten. UT’s campus is surrounded by so many food options, and it’s been a blast exploring this city! :)

4. If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?

This is so simple and arbitrary, but I would say to believe in yourself. I always doubted my abilities, and it made me not want to pursue some opportunities, just because I thought I wasn’t qualified or I was scared to try. I learned failure is more fulfilling than not trying at all. I stepped outside of my comfort zone and applied for this position, and I never thought I would be vice president of an organization. Life has its funny ways of working out for the better.

5. 
What is your dream job?

My dream job would be a high school band director. My band directors were always my closest friends, and I always confided in them instead of my friends. They were the people who always lead me in the correct direction and made me realize my potential. I loved marching band, concert band, and just the community band created. They instilled my love of music, and I would love to teach music and just be surrounded by so many bright and motivated students. However, I would also love to be an accountant at a Big 4. Either or :’)

6. What is your favorite TV Show/Movie/etc?

My favorite show is How I Met Your Mother. I’ve watched it three times already, and it has the ability to put me in a good mood each time I binge watch it. But for real, I would be best friends with Barney if I had the chance.

7. What is one thing you love about yourself?

I love my ability to talk to other people. I’ve always had a love of talking to other people and being able to keep conversation. It’s allowed me to entertain my friends and question how my train of thought works. I’m pretty easy to talk to, and I can talk about the most random topics – from dogs, TV shows, coffee, music, and being basic.

8. Name the top five things on your bucket list.

  1. Adopt as many dogs as possible
  2. Visit all of the seven continents
  3. Be featured by Urban Outfitters
  4. Eat at all the Michelin star restaurants
  5. Go to an Oh Wonder concert

Russell Kan

Russell Kan

Hometown: Sugar Land, Texas
Major: Biomedical Engineering/Pre-Med
Year: 4th

1. Why did you join ABSA

I joined during my freshman year orientation when my roommate invited me to a social being held at Red Mango. Despite my initial hesitation, I met members there that were not business majors and I realized that it really didn’t matter that I was in engineering. One of them was kind enough to give me a ride back to Jester and I decided to show up to some of the meetings once school started. Having explored 10+ organizations during my freshman year, ABSA stood out to me due to the large member base and their exceptional amount and variety of activities.
2. What is your favorite ABSA memory

Camping without a doubt. I’m a neat freak and absolutely hate getting dirty, but camping is one of the few occasions where I have no problem running around in the heat and sweating without taking a shower. While the activities during the day are always fun, the free time during the night is the real reason I love this event. Spending hours together with old and new friends watching the sky, sharing stories, and telling jokes honestly is my favorite way of really getting to know people. I’m always excited for ABSA camping and if you do go, find me sometime and share some brainteasers and jokes; I’ll be up all night!

3. What’s your favorite thing about the University of Texas at Austin?

The environment. The feeling of being surrounded by thousands of students from all backgrounds all around the same age as you working to grow into an adult. The challenge of taking care of yourself and being while tackling tough classes in the university. It’s humbling to know that there is always someone smarter than you, but it is also a great motivating factor to be able to work with them and learn from them.

4. If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?

Take your time in college, it’s truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of work to complete and things to do, but college is a time to learn not only hard skills, but how to really mature as an adult. Set aside time to try new things, meet new people, and explore your surroundings. Keep things interesting by being willing to change things up. If someone invites you to a new event, make some time to check it out, but be sure to have your own priorities and manage your time wisely.

5. What is your dream job?

I would love to be a neurosurgeon. Understanding the most complex organ in the human body is a huge challenge I’d love to take on. Then, to use that knowledge to help people have better lives is how I want to make an impact on the world.

6. What’s your favorite TV Show?

My favorite TV show is Lie To Me. It’s a 3 season crime drama series about a body language scientist who uses his exceptional skill in detecting people’s microexpressions to help solve law enforcement cases by interpreting how suspects behave when being interrogated. It’s always interesting to think about the unconscious actions we take in different scenarios and how psychology can be used to help understand how people are truly feeling.


7. What is one thing that you love about yourself?

My ability to talk to anyone and everyone. From diving into a deep discussion about science and research to cracking dumb jokes and bad puns, I love getting to know new people and finding shared interests to create new friendships.

8. Name the top five things on your bucket list

  1. Visit Japan and Korea
  2. Learn to slam dunk
  3. Complete the national Pokedex
  4. Have a bookshelf of books that I’ve actually read
  5. Become a neurosurgeon