Entering Vanderbilt as a first generation college student, senior Christine Lim says she was fortunate to find a supportive community as a recipient of the Posse Scholarship, a four-year, full tuition leadership scholarship for ten students from New York City offered by the Posse Foundation.
“The idea of the Posse Scholarship is to bring ten student-leaders together who will serve as one anothers’ support system and help each other through each year of college,” Lim said. “For me, that was very important because I was the first in my family to attend college, so the transition was really hard, but it was easier because I had my posse.”
Lim stepped foot on campus seeking to enact change, which she has been able to fulfill through her activities as chair of the Campus Life Committee of Vanderbilt Student Government, a position she has served in since sophomore year. Lim has been instrumental in developments such as getting Uber on the Commodore Card, making Chobani yogurt a side and acquiring Lyft promotional codes.
“I’m very passionate about making sure I’m helping students advocate and improve their Vanderbilt experiences,” Lim said. “People say college is the best four years of your life and so I want to make it exactly that.”
Initiatives such as getting Uber on the Commodore Card, which required over a year of regularly held meetings with the administration and Uber Nashville, allowed Lim to sharpen the soft skills she needed for professional success.
“I often work with administrators and students so I like to think of my role in campus life as the bridge between them,” Lim said. “Communication is key and sometimes it can be hard for students to understand why changes can’t be made, so I’m in a role where I have the opportunity to pass on the message and explain that we’re working on an issue but certain ideas are not feasible, so instead other plans are in the works.”
Lim took the opportunity to enrich the student experience not only through VSG, but also through Vanderbilt Programming Board’s Venue, which provides late-night, nonalcoholic programming, and First VU, a new initiative seeking to support the transition to college of first generation students like herself. Academically, Vanderbilt has also provided many chances for exploration for Lim, who knew she wanted to pursue a career in business.
“I came in as an econ major first because I thought that if I wanted to go do business, I had to be in econ,” Lim said. “I learned a lot that summer, but I figured out that I didn’t really like to focus solely on the numbers, so I explored other options and learned about HOD. I thought it was very practical and broad. I learned about the corporate strategy minor through looking at classes that I was interested in, such as marketing and finance. I really enjoyed the classes, so I picked up the corporate strategy minor.”
During her sophomore year summer, Lim sought to explore her professional interests in the realm of finance as a sales and trading intern at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
“Being the youngest on the trading floor was very hard because I had never even heard of how to perform a portfolio evaluation,” Lim said. “I learned a lot that summer, but I figured out that I didn’t really like the numbers. I still wanted to be in finance, but I wanted to do a different part of it, so that’s why I looked at Bloomberg because it touched on so much of finance.”
One aspect of Bloomberg that particularly fascinated Lim was the Bloomberg terminal, a software system used by virtually all bankers. Lim interned with Bloomberg during her junior year summer, working with their tradebook function.
“There, I learned more about the terminal and its usage and strategies and I fell in love with it. I found my passion in finance and technology after my internship which is why I finally decided to take the full time offer at Bloomberg.”
Lim will have more opportunities to work with the Bloomberg terminal in her future work with the Financial Product Sales & Analytics department at Bloomberg in her hometown of New York City.
“I think Vanderbilt has prepared me well to go into the real world and I know there’s a big alumni network in New York City, so i’m actually pretty excited,” Lim said. “I will really miss my experience at Vanderbilt, but I think I’ve gained so much, and developed so much.”