Meet Victoria Chao '18

Meet Victoria Chao '18,  the Mathematics and Asian Studies major with a passion for music. 
Tell me about where are you from:

I was born in Bangkok, Thailand to a Chinese-Japanese father and a Filipino mother. I moved to Darien, Connecticut at the age of four and have lived there ever since.

How does the weather at Amherst compare to the weather back home?:

I’m accustomed to New England weather since I’m from Connecticut. It’s definitely colder and more mercurial at Amherst though.

Why did you choose to attend Amherst?:

1) Amherst is one of the most prestigious liberal arts institutions in the nation; 2) the diverse student body appealed to me as an Asian-American coming from a homogeneous, white, affluent neighborhood; and 3) Division 3 varsity swimming is the perfect balance of academic and athletic rigor.

What are you interested in both academically and leisurely?:

I’m a Mathematics and Asian Studies double major. I’ve always had an affinity for numbers, and learning Mandarin has helped me appreciate my heritage while allowing me to communicate with the majority of the world. Leisurely I love learning dance routines!

What are you passionate about the most?:

I’m very passionate about music. I am a classically-trained pianist and have performed in competitions and benefit concerts. I love identifying parallels in melody between contemporary music (pop, EDM, etc.) and classical pieces. 

Tell me the best memory of your first year:

Ordering wings at ungodly hours with my dorm floor. We were a very close-knit group and often worked together in the common room until 2AM. I’m still really good friends with many of my former dorm-mates!

What are your plans for the rest of your time at Amherst and beyond:

This summer I’ll be interning at a banking firm in New York. I hope to receive a return offer and continue to work there post-graduation.

What is the best compliment you've received?:

One of the freshmen on my swim team thanked me for being so welcoming and inclusive towards the incoming class. This meant a lot to me because adjusting to college social life wasn’t as seamless as I had anticipated as a freshman. As an upperclassmen, I try to make that transition easier for new students.