Week 11 – Student interview with Jeremy Lai

After getting the opportunity to talk with Gerardo Pena and Kyle Kruse, i had the pleasure of having a conversation with the homie Jeremy Lai. It was a complete surprise to me that he is a transfer student from Malaysia. He moved to Long Beach last fall.

He’s got quite a ways to go, as he has about three years left before he gets his degree. He is a film major. We talked about the amount of networking that you have to do to get into that niche. It makes sense, networking is certainly a skill, something that everyone should be able to strive to do and is effective in virutally every industry, whether it be in art or in civil engineering. But anyway, i was taken aback that he is a transfer student, he speaks English fluently, but he explained to me that back in Malaysia, he grew up in the city, so everyone is expected to know English there.

We joked about the slang in Socal. Since I’m from Norcal, i was able to relate (just a little bit in relative to Jeremy) to the culture shock of moving to a new place. We both agreed that the first couple months were certainly hard adjusting to. You get placed in a new situation and that is always something that could be deemed uncomfortable to say the least.

He told a funny story about how he was playing charades in the dorms with friends, he had a word on an index card on his head which said jump rope. He knew what his friends were trying to describe to him, but he was saying skipping rope instead! Other words that are said differently in Malaysia are flash light, which is called torch light and a trash can is called a rubbish bin.

After he finishes up in school, he hopes to pursue opportunities in the states first, if that isn’t the case, then he plans on going to Singapore or the UK because the film industry over there is thriving compared to Malaysia, which he says doesn’t really have a strong one.

Now that I am writing this, i didn’t really get the chance to talk to him that much about visual art, but we dived into more social topics like networking, watches, and the culture shock of moving to a new environment.  We talked about the small road bumps in getting accommodated to new challenges and he left me with a Mandarin expression, which translated into English, was “Failure is the catalyst to success”.



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