09 My Lam

Major: Chemical Engineering
School: The University of Oklahoma

As a freshmen, I was meeting all of these amazing student leaders and I can still recall the feeling of being absolutely memorized with how they were able to energize a crowd with just a few words. I remember thinking to myself, "That's gonna be me someday getting in front of everyone."

I didn't exactly know where to start with that goal though. So I figured, just like any other freshmen, that I would literally just go to as many organizational meetings as I could until I connected with the right one. The free food also helped.

A few weeks into school, I ended up at SASE's first general body meeting which featured Pad Thai that year. I don't remember much, other than the fact that the vegetarian Pad Thai was disgusting and that SASE was looking for something called "freshmen representatives". Fast forward a few days and I found myself filling out the application and sending in my resume. Next thing I knew, I was sitting in the interview room, flushed and shaking because I was so nervous. I was wearing this horrible grey button up, a blazer that was too big for me, wrinkly pants, and shoes with heels way too high. I don't know how I got chosen as a freshmen representative that year. But I can honestly say that it was one of the best things that has ever happened to me.

After serving as a freshmen rep, I moved on to be the Graphic Designer my sophomore year. It was the first year I attended National Conference. At Nationals, I got recruited by Proctor & Gamble and subsequently had my first summer internship with them. This year, I have the honor of representing Oklahoma's SASE chapter as the president.

It wasn't just the career fair at nationals that brought me back to this organization year after year (though a paid internship was pretty sweet), it was the car rides up to nationals; the late nights spent talking to each other; the random midnight study sessions we had; and all the little jokes made along the way.

SASE has given me the opportunity to cultivate and grow all the characteristics that define a leader. From my first interview where I shook so hard that I nearly cried, all the way to where I am now: leading an exceptional group of young men and women; SASE has been there for me every step of the way. I hope that my passion for this organization will inspire someone to step out of their comfort zone and become a leader the same way I was inspired my freshmen year.

What empowers you, and how do you empower others?

Growth empowers me. I empower others by giving them encouragement, guidance, and by being someone they can confide in.