Cal Rotaract is a club full of selfless, diverse, and accomplished individuals. Each member contributes to the club in their own unique way, whether it be through service, fellowship, or support. We would like to highlight some of the stories and accomplishments of some of our Rotaract members through this semesters edition of Humans of Cal Rotaract. We hope you are able to learn more about these extraordinary individuals through their experiences listed down below.
Humans of Cal Rotaract
Allison Lee | Los Altos, CA
Freshman | MCB & Pre-Haas
Why did you join Rotaract?
Nola Vu | South San Francisco, CA
Junior | MCB & Public Health
• Previous Exec Edition •
What is your favorite exec/Rotaract memory?
I am the type of person that struggles to pick favorites so I would have to say in general, the moments I was able to spend with officers and members outside of Rotaract events have been among my favorite. Though I've had many great memories during club events, I've enjoyed the conversations, study dates, watch parties, etc that have occurred either in-person or virtually throughout my time in Rotaract. Whether it's talking into the wee hours of the morning on one of the Discord voice channels or learning how to play league, I have cherished the community I have within Rotaract and will always be grateful for the lovely memories that make my college experience more fulfilling.
What made you want to be an officer/ exec?
As cheesy and weird as it sounds, I wanted to become an officer/exec because I fell in love with the club. We really, really care about the community in community service, which is what I think sets us apart. For me, I joined on a whim, immediately met genuinely kind and caring people (shoutout to Jessica, Shelley, and Kate for talking to me at the first GM of Spring 2019!), and decided to stick around. This is so often the story I hear from other members of Rotaract and I believe this is largely due to the officers/execs that serve this club. Thus, when I was given the opportunity to serve as a part of the board, I ultimately went for it because I wanted to be the person who could bring the supportive and compassionate community of Rotaract to someone who needs it.
What was one of the most valuable things you learned as an officer/exec?
I'm really grateful to have learned how to facilitate the achievement of one's vision. As an exec, I worked with many officers on executing their events and programs, all while attempting to incorporate their ideas and retain a sense of order and organization. It was my job to make their ideas as attainable as possible and to give them the confidence to pull them off. Though I love big ideas, it was important for me to learn how to transform these big ideas and inform officers on the best way to do this. An important part of being a leader and part of my leadership philosophy is to employ honesty to the extent that it will fuel success, which I believe Rotaract has strongly instilled in me.
Any tips or advice for current officers or members?
o members, I encourage you to try a little bit of all the types of events Rotaract typically offers. From committee meetings to fellowship events to general meetings to service events, you might be surprised at the range of content and activities, especially because these events tend to change from semester to semester. Of course, we always say you can "go to as little or as much as you like," but definitely try to give all of them a try first! To officers, as counterintuitive as it sounds, try to take a break from Rotaract sometimes. As an officer for Rotaract, you probably put in more work (on average) than an officer for any other club on campus. As such, watch out for burnout and look out for your emotional and mental health because balancing Rotaract responsibilities and the rest of your life can definitely be tricky. On the other hand, remember that you are only on board for a limited amount of time. The bond you will form with the other officers is unique and not easy to forget. Though you may be able to attend Rotaract events after your term, nothing beats knowing your work directly contributed to the event's success and its impact on general members. With that being said, keep in mind that neither service nor self should be above the other: striking a balance between the two will help you maximize your time on board
Alumni of Cal Rotaract
Andrew Tham | Short Hills, New Jersey
Year Graduated : 2019
What was your involvement when you were a part of Rotaract?
How has Rotaract helped you professionally?
I think Rotaract helped me a lot in terms of the experiences in working as a team such as working towards a goal that you set and managing other people. There’s just a lot of great lessons when working with other people like the learned balance between how you should solve a problem and accommodating other peoples’ different ideas as well. Considering other people’s points of view and working toward a common goal was just a great experience especially since the board is so big and there are so many ideas to bounce off one another. Also leading a committee was super scary in the beginning, but as you get more comfortable throughout the year, it was super cool leading people about something I’m passionate about and conveying that to my committee members. It’s also really rewarding seeing how your projects come out and having it be a success.
One main takeaway is being more confident and voicing your thoughts in a team environment. Right now I work in a team with other bank managers and other people, and I have been confident enough to voice my ideas in a team with people above you. Especially when I was working as a committee chair, the execs are above you and it's similar to how I used to voice my ideas to them. It’s a matter of just being willing to speak up which I definitely wasn’t comfortable doing in the beginning, but Rotaract helped a lot with. Again, everyone is working towards one goal; it’s about understanding that people will respect your ideas, so you shouldn’t be afraid to voice your ideas.
What is your favorite Rotaract memory?
If you could do anything you wanted without consequences or any restrictions (responsibilities, cost, time in history, etc), what would you do?
Eat at every three star michelin restaurant
What's a movie that you could watch over and over again without getting tired of it? Favorite scene?
Is there a food you haven't tried before that you've been dying to try?
I feel like I have tried most of the food that I have wanted to eat since I’m a really big foodie. I will spend my money to try anything at least once.
If you could be any superhero, who would you be and why?
Any superhero: Nightcrawler, I just want to be able to teleport