University of Southern California

USC Student Affairs and Campus Life

Nan Lin

Makes Each Hour Count

By L. Alexis Young

Nan LinPhoto by Lillian InsalataNan Lin

Graduating senior Nan Lin likes to keep busy during the 168 hours of each week.

“You sleep 50–60 hours; you still have 100 hours,” she explains. “For business students, classes are usually 20 hours, so you have 80 hours to do whatever you want. People think it’s funny, but that’s really how I think.”

Those “extra” 80 hours are packed as Lin balances playing the flute in the Trojan Marching Band and serving as a Troy Hall Resident Assistant with the demands of a double major in business and accounting.

After six years in boarding school near her hometown of Jiaxing, China, Lin applied to 17 universities and chose USC sight unseen.

“The reason I chose USC at the end was because I was able to get into the business administration (cinematic arts) program,” said Lin, who picked up a double major in accounting her sophomore year. “I wanted to be a producer at the time. USC is in the perfect location, so I came here.”

Lin wasted no time getting involved when she arrived on the USC campus. She dropped off her luggage, headed straight to band orientation, and completed one week of band camp.

“That was a tough week because I needed time to adjust to the language and culture,” said Lin. “The first time I went to the Coliseum, I thought it was going to be a soccer game. When you learn the word football, it’s soccer. You don’t know it’s American football.”

Lin has enjoyed travelling to San Francisco, Chicago and New York with the band and performing for alumni.

She’s had the chance to meet even more Trojan alumni through USC Marshall’s Career Advantage Program. The program paired her with Trojan alumni mentors, who introduced her to marketing professionals, brokers and doctors.

Lin also connected to the Trojan Family through the Internet. “I found alumni through LinkedIn,” she said. “I was able to have face-to-face or phone conversations with them. I was appreciative of their response and efforts to talk to me about their experiences.”

Lin had a chance to connect with even more Trojan alumni while interning at Deloitte and Touche in New York and at Open Gate Capital. Those connections helped her land a full-time investment banking job at Citibank that she’ll begin just weeks after graduating. Eventually, she hopes to parlay her experience into a job with an international organization, such as the United Nations or World Bank.

At USC, Lin also dedicated many of her hours to serving as a resident assistant (RA) for two years. She enjoys creating programs, being a peer counselor and baking for her 70 Troy Complex residents .

“Once I brought in a woman entrepreneur who has a chain nail salon in Brentwood, Hollywood and Santa Monica,” said Lin. “She talked about her experience as a woman graduating from USC and starting her own business.” Lin has also planned trips for her residents to L.A. Live, movies, hiking trails and the beach.

Resident Coordinator Calysta Watson considers Lin a role model for both her co-workers and student residents.

“In addition to being an outstanding RA, she is very skilled in time management and maintains a healthy balance between work, academics and extracurricular activities,” said Watson.

Because she had a double major, Lin said she wasn’t able to study abroad, but she didn’t let that stop her from traveling often and volunteering in each country she visited, including helping people at an orphanage in Peru, and with organizations throughout the United Kingdom and South Africa.

She also served as a past membership director and is a current mentor for the Trojan Investing Society, and she participated in the USC Marshall Case Team, which allows students to apply classroom lessons to real-life scenarios.

Lin is looking forward to graduating this May and moving to New York in June, but she’s also going to miss USC.

“I really appreciate the people who gave me advice and unconditional love, time and effort,” she said. “Older alumni and even younger alumni or my peers were willing to share and help me to grow in the last four years.”