For our September Member of the Month, we interviewed superstar member Brittany Hsu! 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.
Hi! My name is Brittany and I was born and raised in Long Island, NY (different from Long Island City, but also a short drive from Queens). I went to college in upstate NY and then spent 2 years in Boston where I first learned about TAP through friends. I worked for a couple of years in nonprofits and medical research before starting medical school in Long Island last month. In my spare time, I like to try out new workout classes (aerial yoga, barre, zumba, etc.), rock climb (just top rope, still lack the upper body strength for bouldering lol), hike local trails, and read nonfiction.
Why did you join TAP? What are your favorite events?
Prior to starting school, I worked in Manhattan and then switched to a job in Long Island. Being in the suburbs was rather isolating and I no longer had the luxury of Thursday happy hours at nice rooftops with young college grads. I found that I had to make a bigger effort to expand my social circle and stay connected to the city. I had a good time at TAP-Boston so naturally, TAP-NY events were at the top of my list.
My first event was volunteering with TAP on New York Cares Day at PS2. It was a great event to make new friends in a smaller setting while giving back to the community. We revamped the elementary school with freshly painted fences and decorations while the more artistically talented TAP members painted a mural. I actually ended up volunteering with New York Cares sporadically on my own after the event. I’m very glad that I learned about New York Cares through TAP!
I was also super happy when TAP board members Julie and Sarah took my casual suggestion seriously and hosted a TAP event at Round One in Long Island! Round One is a popular arcade chain in Japan that recently expanded to some strip malls in the US. They have tons of Japanese style arcade games, bowling, billiards, darts, karaoke, and ping pong. I generally have a hard time attracting friends to come out to LI so it was a nice surprise when 30ish people made the LIRR trek to come. A bunch of us sweat it out on DDR, butchered Jay Chou songs at karaoke (just me haha), and then stuffed our faces with IKEA Swedish meatballs and Kung Fu Tea.
Tell us something cool that happened to you this past year.
Being chosen as TAP member of the month? (jk…only a little :P) Before starting med school, I went all out with the money I saved up and traveled to Taiwan, Japan, Italy, and Greece for a month. I experienced the best of both worlds, east and west. I got to see family and friends that I hadn’t seen in years and play an art dilettante on the streets of Rome. I also ziplined and snorkeled for the first time.
If we wanted to hang out, where would we find you?
I tend to be in school or coffee shops in LI on weekdays. On weekends, I am generally at a TAP event! I also like to get drinks with friends in East Village, read/meet authors at the Strand, or stroll through Central Park on my way to the Met.
What’s your advice for newer members who want to get more involved?
Just go to your first event and then keep going back! TAP is an extremely warm and welcoming community. It’s comforting to know that people who come out to TAP events are generally open to meeting new people and making friends. Personally, I really liked starting out with smaller events like volunteering, monthly dinners, and fitness classes where I could have more meaningful conversations. Some of the people I met at those events became good friends! Bottom line is – don’t be shy and put yourself out there. But if you are, feel free to grab me or a board member and we’ll help break the ice!