#GradyGrit: Meet Rachel Yuan

#GradyGrit: Meet Rachel Yuan

February 05, 2020

What are you passionate about?

I am most passionate about diversity and inclusion in institutions and creating both systemic and social change with regard to how different identities are perceived and treated. I feel this most prominently with regards to media because of its ability to reach and influence so many people and let them see perspectives and lives that they otherwise wouldn’t encounter in real life.

What motivates you?

I am motivated by doing the things that excite me! As I get closer to the impending ~real world~ I’ve realized that I don’t really want to waste time on things that don’t either bring me joy or feel meaningful. Sometimes this translates to really lofty goals of how I want to impact the world, but often it just informs how I treat people and move through life.

What is your best advice for a student taking their first class at Grady College?

Really commit to preparing, being present, and trying new things! It is truly a blessing to be able to take a class that isn’t structured around drilling a bunch of facts into your head, so take that as an opportunity to actually grow through class discussions and projects.

Yuan studied abroad in Cannes, France with the Grady Cannes Lions Festival Study Abroad program in 2019.

What is your most memorable Grady experience?

My most memorable Grady experience was getting the opportunity to travel to the Cannes Film Festival this past summer. To be immersed in the pinnacle of the film industry and to hear from people creating the types of content I want to make one day was one of the most inspiring (and intimidating) experiences of my life. Not to mention getting to travel around France and watch movies nonstop with friends is a pretty special thing to get class credit for.

What is your dream job?

My dream job is to be a development executive at a television network. I think that the types of stories that get told make such a huge statement about what matters in our world. Having the power to greenlight shows and shape the narratives that get pushed out into society would give me the ability to tell people that their identities and experiences matter and deserve to be seen and heard.

How do you think Grady students are unique compared to other majors on campus?

I think Grady students see the world differently. When they meet someone, they are automatically invested in understanding that person’s story. They take every opportunity to create, from silly day projects with friends to huge, year-long, 20-person crew productions. And my favorite thing about Grady students is that we’re unabashedly excited about all the nerdy, fun things that we love.

Who is you professional hero?

My professional hero is Sophia Bush. She is the perfect example of someone who uses her platform for good, for promoting the causes that she believes in. She truly lives her values and her commitment to making the world a better place is evident across the acting roles she takes, the types of shows that she produces, and her activism both within and beyond the entertainment world. She understands how powerful and meaningful storytelling can be for affecting the world around us, which is exactly why I am interested in pursuing it.

Proudest moment in the past year?

My proudest moment was probably getting my summer internship at Warner Bros. The scariest thing about pursuing the career I want is that it is a notoriously hard industry to break into, so to have the opportunity to work for this huge company and get a glimpse into my hopeful future was incredibly affirming.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

In an alternate universe, I would be a performer. Anyone who knows me knows that I do not belong anywhere in front of the camera, but that is definitely a life that I am super intrigued by.

Are you a morning person or night owl?

I am definitely a night owl, but I honestly just love sleep in general, which is why entertainment companies’ 9 a.m. start time is such a blessing to me.

What’s your favorite coffee shop in Athens?

Not exactly a coffee shop, but the boba shop, Bubble Cafe, is one of my favorite places in Athens and is about as close to the Asian food from home that I can get while I’m at away at school.

Editor’s Note: Some of the above answers have been edited for length and/or clarity.

For other installments in the #GradyGrit series, visit the #GradyGrit page.