Emily Sy ('07)

Emily Sy ('07)

1. Please tell us a little about yourself!

I grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio and graduated from Wellesley in 2007. I double majored in Chinese Language and Literature and Political Science (with a concentration in American politics). After graduating from Wellesley, I moved to New York City and worked as a litigation paralegal for two years before attending the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. I started my law practice in New York City at Nixon Peabody LLP as a commercial and white collar litigation associate. In 2014, I moved back to Boston and later left private practice to join the litigation team at State Street Bank & Trust Company. 

Outside of work, I enjoy listing to podcasts, especially Pod Save America and Call Your Girlfriend. I also like to attend author lectures with my friends. Recently, we went to see Samin Nosrat discuss her cookbook Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat and Preet Bharara discuss his book Doing Justice: A Prosecutor’s Thoughts on Crime, Punishment and the Rule of Law. 

2. Why did you decide to become a Chinese Language and Literature major? How did it shape your experience at Wellesley?

I decided to major in Chinese Language and Literature because I loved discussing and analyzing Chinese poetry. I felt especially drawn to the way Chinese poetry described landscapes and the experience of women. I once wrote a paper comparing Tang Dynasty poetry to Ludacris lyrics! Studying Chinese at Wellesley led me to studying abroad in Beijing, where I met some of my best friends - over ten years later, we still talk to each other almost every day and make time to meet up with each other all over the world. 

3. What are you doing now?

I am currently a Vice President and Litigation Counsel at State Street Bank & Trust Company. At State Street, I conduct internal investigations and help State Street manage its litigation risk. I am also a board member of the Asian American Lawyers Association of Massachusetts and the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center. 

4. How has your Wellesley experience and your major influenced your life/career after college?

I did not grow up speaking or reading Chinese, so to major in Chinese was very difficult for me. I struggled to master the tones and I was never fully confident in my reading proficiency. However, through hard work and perseverance (and help from my amazing Chinese tutor and understanding professors), I was able to slowly but surely improve. This experience taught me that with the right support network, I can overcome any challenge, and I later applied this to the rigors of law school and my career as a lawyer.