By Sophia Papazian
Updated March 19, 2023
Anyone that knows Christy Fan is drawn to her peaceful energy, feels seen and heard, and grows to love her. Her story is one that exemplifies just how big her heart is- from making time to hang out with friends to planning to start a nonprofit in the future that will aim to support those in Hong Kong. Christy is a Business major and expects to graduate in the spring of 2024. As the current Director of Consulting for GRC, Christy is an accomplished, hardworking, and resilient individual. Her position allowed her to choose all of the consulting interview material. Currently, she is looking over all the project teams and ensuring everyone is growing professionally and enjoying their current project.
At Berkeley, Christy loves to explore new places and enjoy our proximity to San Francisco by visiting it whenever she can! She loves Berkeley’s diverse array of people and feels that if she hadn’t moved, she would have been stuck in a bubble. Having independence in college has meant that she is more willing to try new things.
In her free time, Christy loves baking and cooking with others, especially dishes like risotto and salmon. Hiking with friends at trails like Lands End Trail is a fun way for her to enjoy the peacefulness of nature as well. When she’s not with friends, she likes to journal, study at cafes, play the guitar (she can play both the acoustic and electric guitars), and compile playlists. What’s her music taste, might you ask? She likes Indie pop music and bands like Fleetwood Mac! Christy also likes to read memoirs and fiction when she gets the chance. Her favorite books are The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid and The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom.
This may come as a surprise to some, but Christy is an international student from Hong Kong. She is also an only child and can speak three languages: Mandarin, Cantonese, and English. She learned English through a tutor, not at school. Through her tutor, she also learned about American pop culture, so coming to the U.S. was not a big culture shock for her. Another fun fact about Christy is that she went skydiving at Davis with her Economics professor, who is a professional skydiver, last year!
When school work or recruiting and networking gets to be too much, Christy likes to talk with people who understand what she is going through to relieve stress. She has found recruiting for internships to sometimes be difficult, as some companies do not hire international students. Networking can be time-consuming as well. However, talking with friends and with a Haas therapist last semester really helped her. Christy advises anyone feeling overwhelmed with such setbacks to use university resources and take time for themselves.
During her time at GRC, Christy’s most memorable project was with an educational nonprofit called “Reading Partners,” a company based in Oakland. She enjoyed it because her team was able to go to the office to present their deliverable. After getting the opportunity to meet the manager director, who was also from Hong Kong, Christy was introduced to the vice president of “Reading Partners.” This experience was not only reassuring for Christy, but also opened up different opportunities for her. Within GRC, she hopes to have an executive role, like the VP of Project Development, and do more hands-on work with projects.
Outside of GRC, Christy is involved in another club called ImagiCal, a creative and consulting advertising team. She enjoys being a part of it because she can incorporate her interests in graphic design and marketing into the club. In fact, Christy described how she had initially wanted to be an art student before turning to business since it is something she is passionate about. Her ImagiCal team is currently working on a multi-million dollar campaign with Indeed. They all plan to go to St. Louis soon to participate in a national advertising competition called NSAC! Being a member of ImagiCal illustrates just how well-rounded Christy is and how much she has achieved at Berkeley so far.
Though only a college student, Christy is wise beyond her years. Some advice she gave me that I thought I’d share with my readers includes: put effort into a few things that are important to you and try your best. Don’t compare yourself to others; it is easy at a competitive university like Berkeley- where everyone is so intelligent and driven- to feel less than. In the past, Christy found competition at home and initially at Berkeley overwhelming. Her senior year of high school in Hong Kong was hyper-competitive; she put in 8-10 hours of work daily and tied her value to her achievements. When this affected her health, Christy realized that she should take life less seriously. Remember that everyone is on their own journey and that you never know what someone else is going through. Christy also gave advice about taking care of your mental health. She emphasized protecting your energy and surrounding yourself with people that support you. And finally, when finding friends, be selective about who you’re with.
Anyone that speaks with Christy can immediately see how driven she is. She thinks ahead and is very goal-oriented – an admirable trait that has gotten her far in her academic and professional careers thus far. After graduation, she hopes to either work in San Francisco or New York City. She describes her love for New York as a place where she feels at home. She had visited the city two years ago and fell in love with its buzz and how everyone moved with purpose, claiming that it reminded her of Hong Kong. Wherever she ends up after graduation, Christy hopes to work at a consulting firm for companies in technology, ESG, and telecommunications and media (TMT). After consulting for a few years, Christy wants to work at a venture capital firm before eventually starting her own nonprofit that helps people in Hong Kong. It is clear that Christy has a wide array of interests and skills, but what is most admirable about her is that she wants to use her skills to help others and better our world.
To know Christy Fan is to be drawn to her wisdom, her drive, and the kindness that exudes from her actions.