Nick Tan

Nick Tan '19



Degree and Class Year

BA ’19


Selagor, Malaysia


Computer Science and Mathematics


IT Field Technician Assistant, Resident Advisor, International Students of Lewis & Clark (ISLC) Chair of Finance, Student Alumni Association Ambassador

What three words would you use to describe L&C?

Progressive, Inclusive, Home

Life After L&C, June 2019 Update

How did Lewis & Clark prepare you for your internship?

The Career Center and Bates Center for Entrepreneurship were really integral with helping me figure out my potential and many career possibilities. Besides that, the support I got from the places I worked (IT, Student Alumni Association, Campus Living, etc) helped solidify my soft and technical skills.

What have you been doing since graduation?

Since graduation in May, I have traveled with my family along the West Coast and to Hawaii. After the graduation trip, I moved to Seattle and will start my internship soon!

What are your career goals?

In the next few years, I hope to continue learning and growing as a software engineer before heading back to school for a graduate program.

Now that you’re out of college, what would you say is the most important thing you learned at Lewis & Clark?

I can say for certain one of the most important values I learned was focus. I realized that by focusing and committing to my goals I could actually achieve them, be it a change of lifestyle, intentions to gain knowledge, or a career goal.

Life at L&C 

What has been your favorite class so far? How did it expand your knowledge?

Differential Equations with Associate Professor Paul Allen. It was tough at first but then became my favorite class because it was something new and exciting!

What made you want to come to Lewis & Clark?

The liberal arts focus allows me to explore my interests and widen my perspectives on various topics. I came to Lewis & Clark intending to major in economics and international affairs, and now I’m a mathematics and computer science major. Moreover, I get to take classes like political science and music!

Why did you decide to become an Resident Advisor (RA)?

I had a great first year of college, and wanted to build a community where residents could have fun learning and developing themselves holistically!

What’s your favorite spot on campus?

It is really hard to choose one spot, but I would say the area in front of the Frank Manor House. I like the trees and the beautiful buildings. During the mornings in the summer, you can always hear birds chirping while you breathe the fresh air.

Have you had the opportunity to do research with a professor? What did you learn from that experience?

I did the Rogers Research Program in 2017 with Professor Jens Mache. We conducted research on cybersecurity, which was something I was very excited to explore.

What’s your favorite thing about living in Portland?

Everyone is so friendly and weird, and there is a variety of good food.

What’s your best Lewis & Clark memory so far?

It is hard to choose a single memory, but I think just hanging out with friends and talking until the early hours of the morning.

How do you manage stress?

I exercise regularly, have alone time to just relax and watch movies, and hang out with my fellow RAs and friends.

Do you have a job on campus? If so, how do you fit work into your schedule?

Besides being a RA, I also work for IT Operations. It is a great place to work, and my coworkers and bosses are really cool and just great people overall. I manage my time relatively well so my work schedule does not interfere with classes and studies.

What advice do you have for prospective students?

Opportunity is out there if you are willing to seek it! There is so much to do and so much to learn, so never stop pushing yourself and exploring the wonders of the world!

Can you tell us what did in the summer of 2018?

I was the user experience design (UX) intern at Zapproved. For the majority of my internship, I worked on iteratively designing a user management center for Zapproved’s suite of products. I got to work with a fantastic team of UX designers, and utilize professional prototyping tools. I also did research on user web-browsing habits, and reorganized and updated Zapproved’s internal UX resources.

How has Lewis & Clark supported you in the process of finding and securing your internship?

The Career Center is a fantastic resource for resume checks, career advising, and everything in between. I would recommend anyone with career-related questions to visit them! Rocky Campbell specifically played a massive role in supporting my career development. During my time at Lewis & Clark I have had regular meetings with him to discuss potential career paths, job applications, and networking strategies. He is a fantastic advisor and friend, and I cannot overstate how grateful I am for his guidance and support.

How do you see this internship leading to a career in your chosen field and aiding in your overall career development?

While interning at Zapproved, I got to work closely with the product department and discovered I enjoyed it very much. I appreciate how the product department combines technical knowledge with strong communication, organizing product roadmaps and features, and so on. My intention after graduation is to become a software engineer, and now I see a possibility of transitioning into product development sometime in the future.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about your experience?

While having an internship can be important for one’s career development, it is equally important to continue learning. On top of my internship, I spent the summer taking online courses, certification exams, and practicing my coding skills, which have helped me discover my specific interests in software engineering and tailor my resume toward those interests.