Alumni Profile: Lewis Lu
Class of 2019
After graduating from Oak Grove, I first joined UCSB to study Economics. However, Covid got in the way and later, for a variety of reasons, I decided to quit UCSB and joined ESCP (École Supérieure de Commerce de Paris) Business School in Europe, studying business management. For the past two years, I have been living in France and Italy. Right now, I’m living in Berlin, Germany, finishing up my bachelor’s degree. Along the years, I have perfected my French, become quite fluent in German, and built a solid foundation in Italian. Following my graduation from ESCP, I will be pursuing a master’s degree in Finance either in the UK or back in the US – I will have more clarity in the next month as admissions decisions start rolling in.
Professionally, I have taken on a number of different internships and jobs in investment banking, private equity, management consulting, and start-ups. My next big project is a social project that focuses on return migration and encouraging entrepreneurship among minorities from less desirable backgrounds both in the developed and emerging markets, with a long-term vision of expanding the project into venture capital and multi-asset management. The project is currently in stealth mode and looking to launch in the fourth quarter of the year. My partners and I believe that by promoting entrepreneurship, we can truly empower the people and help them build sustainable financial security, while avoiding the creation of vicious cycles in these communities both environmentally and socially, as the existing system often does.
“It is from the small things of everyday life at Oak Grove, living with the people and the philosophy the school is so closely tied to. It can be how everyone is willing to listen to what you have to say and to live through the better and the worse of life with you; it can be feeling welcomed by everyone with open arms regardless of who you are and where you are from; it can also be a trip to India where you get to see the different lives people live in this world, just to name a few.”
During my leisure time, I play the violin or cook. Both activities give me inner peace and allow me to reflect on life. I particularly enjoyed learning to cook cuisines of the world and built an extensive repertoire, with a heavier focus on Chinese, Japanese, French, and Italian food. As someone who has acts of service as a main love language, I often host dinner parties and share my food with my friend group, which also happens to be very multicultural, made up of Europeans, South Americans, Asians, Middle Easterners, and more. When I am on vacation, I often travel. Last year, I went on solo road trips across Italy and through Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, Austria, Czechoslovakia, and Germany. I also traveled with my friends to Spain, Portugal, Sweden, and Finland (where we saw the Northern lights!). What I enjoyed the most, besides the scenery, the vibrant cultures, and the fun of traveling, was the fact that I got to visit different friends each step of the way.
Looking back, Oak Grove was a turning point and a main force in shaping me into who I am today. Coming from a very different culture and background, I was tied down by many expectations and inner prejudices. It was at Oak Grove that I first started exploring my many passions. The environment it offered prompted me to dig into my passion for cooking, for example. It even provided me with an opportunity to take a look into culinary arts as a career potential, only for me to realize it wasn’t for me in the end. But most importantly, my years at OGS led to an inner change in how I perceive the world. I used to believe that my utmost priority in life was to find a job with a stereotypically high social status, like going to a bulge bracket investment bank and making a lot of money. Don’t get me wrong, I still want to make good money and provide my family with a comfortable life. However, I no longer see financial wealth as the goal of my life. Today, I can say without a flinch that I am willing to give up making the extra million, if that means other peoples’ lives could have real meaningful improvement, or if more carbon emissions can be averted, among many other factors. Even from a more egotistical point of view, I want to be able to look back one day when I am old, to see that I did meaningful things, large or small, that actually made the world a better place, and not see my hands made filthy by greed. It is not a sudden change of heart that happened overnight – it could never be. It is from the small things of everyday life at Oak Grove, living with the people and the philosophy the school is so closely tied to. It can be how everyone is willing to listen to what you have to say and to live through the better and the worse of life with you; it can be feeling welcomed by everyone with open arms regardless of who you are and where you are from; it can also be a trip to India where you get to see the different lives people live in this world, just to name a few. Retrospectively, this is what I value the most about my education at Oak Grove. For me, this is the true art of living and the true art of life.
This alumni bio was featured in the 2023 Spring Annual Fundraising Tea program. We thank Lewis for sharing with us!
Keep in Touch!
Are you an Oak Grove alumni? We’d love to hear from you! Please make sure you visit the alumni page and we’ll keep in touch with an occasional update about what’s new at Oak Grove, alumni events and opportunities to stay connected.