Grant Chou '17

“Grant who? Huh, never heard of him.” This is the horrifying response I receive 99% of the time I drop his name. I hate getting this response because I think everyone should know this man. He may disagree with me, but who’s writing the article now, Grant?

Grant is like a stealth jet. Not in the sense that he drops bombs on things and destroys them, but in the sense that he is very effective at what he wants to do, but no one knows about him. He isn’t on anyone’s radar—that is, until now, of course.

Grant is a junior Finance major in the Leavey School of Business with a minor in Environmental Studies. He wants to work in impact investing after graduation, which is investing that is geared towards funding social benefit. He recently took over as president of the Sustainable Business Club. Grant is, as he puts it, exceptionally single, so listen up ladies: this guy is husband material.

In an interview with Grant, he expressed to me that about half way through high school, he had what he would call an “enlightening.” He said that one day he realized his own privilege in his hometown of Los Altos and how he could utilize that to help others— a realization many people will never have.

Unfortunately, Grant contracted a stomach ulcer halfway through his first year and was hospitalized for a number of days because the internal bleeding was so bad. This limited Grant in a number of ways, but it did not stop him from being accepted into ACE, or Accelerated Cooperative Education. This program consists of the most driven leaders in the business school.

Grant also scored an internship at Northwestern Mutual during the summer after his first year.  His small team of interns cold called people every day trying to sell insurance. The internship was paid on commission, but he had a great time doing it. When someone finally made a sale, all of the interns would mimic Matthew McConaughey’s character in “The Wolf of Wall Street” by thumping their chests and humming. Don’t let that fool you though; Grant isn’t all that into strippers and cocaine.

Grant’s sophomore year started as a Mike's Bikes TA. Even though Grant was fairly mediocre at the program, his teacher loved him so he decided to give it a try. Grant was then elected as the Philanthropy Chair of Sigma Pi, a position he currently holds. He has worked extensively with SCAAP and specifically Project Open Hand to get members of his fraternity more involved.

Grant has recently shifted some of his focus toward the Difficult Dialogues on campus. He believes that his fraternity brothers are good people at heart, but they are framed as big partiers and are “stuck in the bubble the most.” Grant believes that these dialogues have the potential to help adjust some of the views of the fraternity members, open their eyes to an array of other issues, and hopefully spark some change.

After an immersion trip to Nicaragua during spring break, Grant became a sustainability intern for a startup accelerator. During the internship, Grant was a lead researcher and contributor to the Global Silicon Valley Handbook. This handbook is an amazing tool for startups to utilize and highlights 50 of the biggest startup hubs in the world. After so many eye-opening experiences in his life, Grant Chou decided to try and assist the homeless with their résumés in order to better help them find jobs to support themselves. While this project is off and on, it is still an amazing part of Grant’s life and his efforts to do good for others.

Do not be misled; Grant Chou is not all work and no play. No, my friends, Grant Chou can be heavy on the play. For starters, Grant dances like a maniac. You heard it here first, ladies and gentlemen; Grant Chou has the meanest, dirtiest, nastiest, best running man this side of the Mississippi. He also speaks conversational Mandarin. Those facts aren’t really related, just thought they were cool.

In all seriousness, folks, Grant Chou is one of the most exceptional human beings I have ever had the pleasure to meet. I would like to give a personal shout-out to Kathy and Tom Chou for raising a man that will change this world for the better.

When asked what his final message to the readers was, Grant had a tough time responding, so I’ll leave you with a few of his better quotes:

“Don’t get into the herd mentality; do what you want to do and be passionate about it.”

“Don’t care what people think about you.”

“Be an independent woman, you don’t need no man!”