For our May Member of the Month, we interviewed superstar member Grace Shum! Read on to learn more about her.

Tell us about yourself! It can be about anything – where you grew up, your professional background, your hobbies, etc.

I moved here nearly two years ago from the beautiful state of Oregon. Someone from Boston once told me my hometown is like an arboretum. It is not. But, if you think it is, I would suggest you go visit an actual national forest.

I work as a marketing designer in book publishing here in the city. This means I make ads for books. (Guys, covers are a different department.) Some favorite projects of mine have been animating the deaths of Roman emperors and making limited edition posters for the book Norse Mythology – I got to meet Neil Gaiman because of that!

Why did you join TAP? What are your favorite events?

I joined TAP nearly a year ago. I wanted to meet new friends, try new things, and reconnect with my Asian heritage – beyond going to Chinese restaurants and challenging myself to flounder through ordering food (I’m kidding…sort of). Favorite events! I really like the dance classes, the volunteer events, the sport events…it varies. Honestly, they’re all fun, but I find the bigger events more enjoyable the more people you know.

Tell us something cool that happened to you this past year.

Back in February, I got to go to Costa Rica with my sister. My first time in Central America actually! One of the highlights of the trip was zip lining through the canopy of the cloud rainforest. During sunset. It was epic. I also got to try water rappelling for the first time, which is actually not as scary as it seems. (I should know, I’m scared of heights; the first drop had me scared sh**less. But once you get the hang of it, it’s smooth sailing.)

If we wanted to hang out, where would we find you?

Hmm…great question. Not being from New York, I like to go around to all of the TOURISTY sites, the art museums, trying new foods from different cultures (new favorite is poori!), walking through Central Park – because honestly, I’m always on the lookout for some greenery – or just hanging with friends, exploring all that New York has to offer. Or ya know, being a hermit crab.

What’s your advice for newer members who want to get more involved?

Come out! Don’t be afraid to just go up to someone and say “Hi, my name is ___.”

I came to TAP knowing literally no one else. And, I have to say, I have met some amazing people, including some of my now closest friends. If you feel lost though, just find a TAP board member.

Grace Shum MOTM2
Grace with fellow TAP-NY friends at the annual Lunar New Year Banquet!