Born to a Bolivian mother and Filipino father who both grew up in the United States, the 21-year-old NYU Stern undergrad was always exposed to different cultures but feels the strongest connection to Singapore, where he grew up. Louis moved from Virginia when he was five after his father landed a job with Citibank there. In this tiny, East Asian country is where his little brother was born, where his family still lives, and where he harbored new dreams of pursuing a career as a strategic consultant, and using his Journalism degree to write about the world’s economic issues.
Settling in Singapore
Music was a big part of my life. I sang and played acoustic and electric guitar in school bands. I mean, I’ve always had those dreams. It’d be cool to be like Blink 182, but that never happens. The schooling system in Singapore is really, really structured. The society over there puts a high value on education. It’s pretty intense. You choose six classes that you’ll take for two years straight. You choose three higher courses and three standard courses. I chose higher economics and standard business. No one ever does that.
A Stern Grip on Life
I knew I wanted to go to a business school, but I didn’t want to do something dry like marketing or finance. The program I am in was basically the main reason why I wanted to come to NYU. The program places a greater emphasis on the political and economic core than the other majors at Stern do. So it kind of reduces the amount of business that you learn but expands the economics portion and adds in a political portion, so you get this really cool comprehensive perspective on things.
When we were in London on a semester abroad, we studied a lot about the European economy. We went on field trips to Prague and Brussels to learn about the political economies of those regions, and it was absolutely wonderful. In Shanghai they took us to Hong Kong, and we met a lot of cool people and learned a lot of great things.
Europe vs. NYC
London just really appealed to me. I fell in love with that city. Growing up in Asia and having roots in America, Europe seems exotic. The music is better. The weather’s pretty shitty actually, and the food is not that great but it’s not overbearing like New York City is. When you’re walking around the city, I just get the feeling that everyone is rushing, or is angry, or is pissed off or something. But New York is cool, there’s always so much stuff to do. I have an apartment in Prospect Heights in Brooklyn and I love it.
Figuring out a Future
I hope I’m somewhere progressing through some kind of consultant career. Journalism’s a very exciting industry to get into, but I just don’t think it’s the time to enter that industry right now. I know I want to be in London, but I guess I will always consider Singapore my home.