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GUA Alumni: Lizzy Chiu

Hi, I’m Lizzy Chiu and I'm from New Jersey. I'm a third-year Temple University student in Philadelphia, PA.

I’m a Film major & Media Studies and Production major and I chose this major because of my passion for storytelling and my desire to bring stories to life through visual media. While taking my classes, I've developed a good foundation in cinematography, and video editing. Becoming a film major made me gain a deep appreciation for films and how it inspires people. I’ve produced films with my friends and it's fun to see everyone using their artistry and being motivated.

The GUA asked Lizzy a few questions about student life and her aspirations...

What is it like to be an undergraduate student right now? Are there any trends or challenges in academia that have particularly impacted your experience?

I’m a double major and sometimes it’s hard balancing the work between my majors. I try to take 18 credits a semester which is the most amount of credit I can take because I would like to graduate in 4 years. I'm going into my third year and everyone is talking about getting into internships. Finding an internship is a stressful and tough process because it’s very competitive for every field. I’ve realized in the process of getting jobs and internships and it’s easier when you network with people around you.

Graffiti art near Henry Street, Dublin

Reflecting on your time in academia so far, what have been some of the most significant challenges you faced, and how did they contribute to your personal and academic growth?
I think the challenges I faced were balancing school, clubs and internships all at once. Most of my classes I'm in require me to produce films and it’s time-consuming and hard doing it alone. I’ve learned how to prioritize things that are more important and to multi- task. I think once I learned how to balance all my work, everything got easier and took a little weight off my shoulders. Taking a mental health day is always good if I’m getting too stressed about school and work.

Many students have diverse interests. How have you managed to integrate your academic pursuits with your other passions or interests? Do you believe this is an important aspect of your future work/life self?

I do believe you can combine all your interests together and most of the time you can find overlaps between the academic and personal interests. I never had one specific interest. My interests were all over the place but I mostly leaned into art/ film. For me, it interested me the most and I see it as a career path because I would rather do something I have a passion for than something I get bored of. I believe if you do something you love as a career path, the money will always follow.

Any specific advice from them that profoundly influenced you?

I’ve had lots of professors who influenced my learning to become a better filmmaker. Tips I have taken on board so far include, remembering to always be involved in activities in college because that's where you can network with people and produce films together. Another tip is not to be sensitive because people are going to give constructive criticism about your work. My mentors have shaped me into who I am today and I’ve only grown to love film. They are people who I look to because they tell me inspiring stories about how they worked with famous people.

The Temple Bar, Dublin City

Maintaining a balance between academics and well-being is crucial. How have you managed stress and found time for self-care throughout your studies?

Every semester my university has a de-stress day where there's no class. I think having that day has helped from being stressed and balancing work. I also like to do self-care nights where I put on a face mask and paint my nails to get my mind off things. I’ve realized having a good meal is crucial for self-care because on the days I would skip meals I find myself stressed and anxious. After midterms and finals I like to go out for dinner in the city to celebrate that I pushed through and finished it as a reward.

Given the diverse nature of education today, how has exposure to different cultures and perspectives influenced your academic and personal development?

Being exposed to many different cultures made me realize that everywhere has different cultural norms and is interesting to learn about. I’ve gained lots of cultural appreciation because of the music, foods and traditions. I’ve always loved traveling and adapting to different environments. Throughout my academic studies, I believe having a global perspective is important because it encourages critical thinking where I can see the different perspectives people come from. Going into that with an open mind made me appreciate the different cultural backgrounds and the types of lifestyles people come from and this has helped me understand everything better.

What motivated you to intern abroad, and how do you hope this experience will influence your future self?

I was motivated to intern abroad in Ireland because I’ve never been to Europe and I wanted to learn more about the different cultures. I wanted to go to Dublin specifically because I’ve always heard people talking about how the city is so lively and everyone is so friendly. When I came to Ireland about a week ago I immediately experienced high levels of culture shock because everything was so different. In particular, all the buses having double decks and the weather being mostly cold in the summer is definitely something I will have to get used to. This experience will only serve to influence me to take more risks in life because I was a bit scared of traveling alone but it turned out to be a great opportunity.

Looking ahead, what are your aspirations and goals, both academically and personally, what is important to you post graduation?

Post graduation I would like to edit for a production company and work my way up to become a lead editor. Winning awards for editing would also be a huge achievement. Some goals outside of academics are being able to live on my own and travel the world. I would love to visit Puerto Rico and go to the beaches. My aspirations are mainly to be a successful video editor.

For students aspiring to make the most out of their undergraduate years, what advice do you have based on your own experiences?

I would say to take every opportunity to get experience and to have fun! Joining clubs is a great way to meet people and network. Having an open mind is the best way to take different classes and discover new interests. Doing volunteer work is a great way to give back to the community. You learn so much from the people around you and it’s a great way to make new friends and bond with people on a deeper.