The Beautiful and Ambitious Gabrielle Chau

Last semester, I had the pleasure of working alongside an amazing and driven individual for my service leadership class. She is a leader who is wise beyond her years, and though she probably doesn't think too much of it, she's also very pretty as well. Meet this week's campus profile: Gabrielle Chau (A.K.A. Gabby).

Name: Gabrielle Chau 

Grade: Senior 

Zodiac sign: Virgo

Relationship status: In a Relationship

Fraternity: Alpha Kappa Psi Professional Business Fraternity

Favorite quote: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.”

1. Many people, including myself, have been witness to your amazing leadership skills. Have you always been the leader type, what has helped you with your leadership skills?

Five years ago, I would have never imagined myself as someone whom others could look to as a “leader.” I was timid and avoided roles that could lead to disappointing myself, or worse, others. By playing defense, I wasn’t allowing myself to grow. As I began to change through leadership opportunities in school, I realized that I enjoyed navigating a team through the turbulence of challenges. At Pepperdine University, I was able to cultivate the seeds of leadership through pledging the professional business fraternity, Alpha Kappa Psi, joining Pepperdine’s Career Coaching Program, and taking the business capstone course, Service Leadership. These experiences taught me five pillars of leadership, which I believe are essential in any successful team:

  1. Genuinely care about people and create trust amongst team members

  2. Identify team strengths and know your own weaknesses

  3. Approach challenges with fearlessness

  4. Be unafraid of hard work and learning along the way

  5. Work towards team success – not individual success

2. What are your most treasured memories at Pepperdine?

I studied abroad in Shanghai, China during my sophomore year, and I catch myself often drifting back to those precious memories. This was the place where a group of forty-some near-strangers were knit together by the bond of unfamiliarity, and together, we experienced growth. When I look back, it’s mostly the little things that I hold closest-- the sounds of the bikes rolling on the cobblestone paths, the smell of the dumpster in the alley, the taste of the dumplings. They’re fragments of experiences that I will forever treasure. This abroad program is so unique to Pepperdine, and taught me a great deal about adapting to change and thriving in foreign environments.

3. What advice can you give to incoming freshmen? What about the sophomores who are about to go to Shanghai for a year?

Freshmen — Be intentional with your time and set goals. Know what you are here at Pepperdine for, and do not get lost socially or academically in the busy campus lifestyle. With that said, also get involved in as much as you can handle. Joining organizations with people who challenge your thoughts and want to build you up is foundational to a healthy transition to college life. Lastly, stand firm in what you believe in. Do not compromise your beliefs.

Sophomores going abroad — Take every opportunity to take risks. Stay up late, wake up early. Submerse yourself in the culture and take the time to talk with locals. Be part of the city life. Allow yourself time to be alone to reflect, journal. Going abroad will bring some of your highest highs, and lowest lows. Share your joy and struggles with others. Be compassionate and understanding. You will come back changed.

4. What are your dreams for the future?

I believe that at the root of every thriving company is the ability to enchant users with their products.

My dream for the future is to be a brand engineer. I have always enjoyed creativity paired with critical thinking. I am from the Bay Area and plan to move back to join a Silicon Valley company’s marketing team to learn the ropes behind successful product marketing. Technology is redefining the marketing world, and there are constantly new skills to learn. This industry’s quick pace excites me, and I want to be a part of this wave of innovation.

5. What is something no one knows about you?

I’m a little bit paranoid sometimes, so when I lock my car, I always click the lock button an odd number of times just for good measure. It’s odd and a little obsessive-compulsive, but it makes sense!

6. If you could have any celebrity play you in a movie about your life, who would it be and why?

There aren’t too many Chinese-American actresses, and to be honest, I had to Google them just to see who was out there. Sidenote: this needs to change, and I believe it will. But if I had to choose one, I would choose Constance Wu because she is in a high-profile position of power to speak up for Asian Americans, and she uses that platform to do so. I admire this, and want this candid truth to be embodied in my character.

7. Who is your greatest inspiration?

Many people will say their greatest inspiration is their mother, and I would echo that. She is a champion for women in the workplace, and an excellent mother at home. I look up to her for her strength, her faith, and her perseverance even in the face of trial.