Michelle Chung is a summer intern for NAAAP Boston, and is mainly responsible for creating marketing content. She has posted committee spotlights on the NAAAP blog, designed flyers and graphics for social media, and represented NAAAP at various events. In addition, Michelle sits in on NAAAP meetings and retreats while also shadowing NAAAP leaders and observing how the organization actually functions.
Having graduated from Malden High School, Michelle is currently a sophomore at Hamilton College. She is also the recipient of the full-tuition Posse Scholarship, majoring in Literature and minoring in Communications and Chinese. On campus, she works as a Communications Intern at her college’s Career Center, where she advertises professional events that they host by sending out emails and newsletters. She also writes features for the college’s website at her college’s Communications Office. In her spare time, Michelle loves to hike, travel, play instruments and make Vietnamese spring rolls.
Though Michelle has only been involved with NAAAP for about less than 3 months, she has loved every moment of it. She first heard about NAAAP after wanting to find organizations that advocated for Asian Americans. This search began after experiencing her first year of college at a predominantly white institution. Coming from a home with a Chinese and Vietnamese background in a city with a high Asian population, she wasn’t used to a place where the surroundings and people around her were so culturally different. While her college had impressive resources and great connections, she wanted to know more on how to advance as specifically an Asian American professional, based off of an Asian American’s experiences. A lot of her older friends and relatives had known about NAAAP through their events, and had said the organization would most definitely help her learn about career advancement.
Michelle is fascinated by how NAAAP’s network is so expansive. In just a few months, she had the opportunity to meet Asian American professionals in various industries (from healthcare to finance to literature) with a wide range of experience levels. Every one of them - whether they’ve been a member of NAAAP or simply an attendee for one of their events - had been inspiring, motivating, knowledgeable and friendly. With every NAAAP event she attends, she knows that she will be able to learn how to advance her professional career while also enjoying casual conversations with newfound friends.
Michelle admires NAAAP’s mission to advance for Asian American leadership, especially in a period of time where many minorities may not think they can achieve equality or the same amount of respect as others because of their race. “NAAAP helped me grow as a leader and professional, but also encouraged me to embrace my Asian identity. I became more aware and informed of how to navigate professional spaces where I was a minority.” In the future, she hopes to work for an organization that supports Asian Americans and find a career in publishing or marketing.
“Especially since everyone in this organization is so passionate about their work, I’m inspired to advocate for Asian Americans, like myself,” Michelle said, “ I want to help people embrace their cultural identity while pursuing their professional dreams in the most successful way possible.”