Section Menu

Meet Lin Rui

Mills undergraduate student Lin Rui shares how she's gained hands-on experience outside the classroom.

Lin Rui is taking full advantage of the breadth offered by a liberal arts education. In addition to pursuing an interdisciplinary major in political, legal, and economic analysis (PLEA) and a double minor, Lin Rui has gained valuable hands-on experience through internships in Washington, DC, and the Bay Area.

Hometowns: Honolulu, Hawaii, and Hubei, China

Major: Political, legal, and economic analysis

Minors: Mathematics and Asian studies

What first attracted you to Mills? I was impressed with the PLEA program and the bachelor’s-to-master’s acclerated MBA Program. I learned that I’d be able to finish school with my undergraduate degree and MBA in five years total, instead of six. Here was a college that was conscious of my limited time and monetary resources! The dealmaker was when I visited Mills. I could not believe how beautiful the campus was and how friendly the faculty and staff were.

What are your academic interests? I am a PLEA major with an emphasis in economics and minors in mathematics and Asian studies. I was always interested in economics and international relations, so I was very happy to find an interdisciplinary major where I could learn about both of my favorite subjects and still have time to study abroad. People often ask why I chose to double minor instead of double majoring. Even though my minors won’t be showcased on my diploma, they are fields of study I have always wanted to learn more about, I have made great friends with the professors in those fields, and it’s something that’s right for me.

Tell us about your internship experiences. After my first year of college I was accepted into a summer internship program in Washington, DC. It’s rare to find a paying internship in Washington, DC, after only one year of college, but I got it! I worked for the US Department of Veterans Affairs in the Intergovernmental Department. When I first arrived in DC, I was quite intimidated, but my bosses quickly taught me there was nothing to fear. They took me to meetings, assigned me important projects to complete, and even took me out to lunch. I also attended special events and got to meet notable people. I couldn’t have asked for more from an internship. Thanks to that experience, I was able to intern for Mills alumna and US Congresswoman Barbara Lee ’73 in the fall and volunteer for the Oakland Asian Cultural Center during the spring semester.

How have you changed since coming to Mills? I can see that I have changed since coming to Mills through my evolving relationship with my parents. Our cultures differ and we have gone through a lot together, both as first-generation immigrants and as a family. Now, I try much harder to understand their point of view and mediate not only their conversations, but my conversations with them as well. There have been fewer misunderstandings and more cooperation. Mills has given me the freedom to choose many paths, and I feel I have chosen one that has molded me to be a better person—not only in academia, but in life.