Verena Lin

Sister. Creative/Creator. Curious.

I’m a junior at Harvard studying economics and starting off my career in investment banking… There’s (hopefully) a bit more to me below the surface though!

As a starter, I love aesthetics. By no means a professional artist myself, I love how everything from music to fashion to photography can reflect personalities and even emotions that word oftentimes cannot. I had the opportunity to explore these interests during my gap year working in Shanghai. Down the road, I hope to ultimately finance or perhaps market the arts, especially fashion.


How does being Taiwanese/Taiwanese American and/or community ally play a role in your life?

Having immigrated to the US when I was eight years old, I think I’m naturally a bit more “Taiwanese” than the typical Taiwanese American. Beyond visiting the motherland annually and eating Taiwanese food at home, though, I think that being Taiwanese has largely shaped by perspective of culture. While some say that we Taiwanese do not have our own culture, being a melting pot of various East Asian and Western influences, I see such embracing of foreign cultures as a kind of open-mindedness often observed in Taiwanese-American like myself.

More concretely, my involvement with the Vox Nativa Children’s Choir over the last six-ish year has largely shaped my studies and ambitions. I’d first of all like to contribute to the field of developmental economics through researching the organization’s model. I also hope to one day be able to consistently donate to the choir. I think that I connect more deeply with the group than others who’ve participated in the same service trip largely because of how I resonate with the Aboriginal Taiwanese experience — the at-times-isolating experience of being a foreigner where you regard “home.”


If you could teach future generations 1 thing about being Taiwanese/Taiwanese American or Taiwan, what would it be?

Own your Taiwanese heritage, be proud of it! For a while, I was actually a bit embarrassed about being Taiwanese, or Asian in general. This has definitely come with how Asian Americanhood is growingly accepted — largely via popular culture influences — but I’ve grown to become more and more comfortable in my own skin. For sure, it’s still a work in progress for myself. I hope, though, that the cultural landscape will one day shift to a point that frees Taiwanese Americans (and all other ethnic minorities) from social constructs and barriers that can feel diminishing at times.
More importantly (I’m kidding, kind of), there’s more to the Taiwanese culture than boba/bubble tea/pmt! Take some time to chat with your parents and relatives or even just Google search. There’s so much to the Taiwanese culture and history worth learning about.


Favorite memory of Taiwan/Taiwanese America?

Serving and subsequently visiting the students of Vox Nativa Children’s Choir. Also, exploring Taipei’s cafes, shops, and bars with fellow ABC’s.


Favorite Taiwanese food?

Tough question — really depends on the mood/occasion, but ~usually~ dan bing (蛋餅)


Connect with Verena on Instagram and follow her latest work on her Website! Check out her feature on TaiwaneseAmerican.Org’s Instagram and Facebook!



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