Diane Lye is a recent graduate of Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music located on the campus of Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio. Studying music started in Singapore for Diane and she says expanding her horizons beyond her comfort zone at home was needed for her growth. "I came to America because at the late teens of my life the deciding factor for me was where I could grow the most in college. I believe that one must move furthest away from home, away from one's comfort zone to grow," she says. "So, in deciding where to go for college America was always the first option for me especially because it is a melting pot of cultures, ideas and mindsets."
Having the opportunity to take on a diverse range of classes along with her music studies, Diane says is considered a special education model Oberlin offers and one she capitalized on. "Oberlin was a natural choice; it turned out to be a perfect arrangement. In one semester of Oberlin I am able to take private piano lessons with one of the top performers and teachers of piano Monique Duphil, read economic history with one of the authorities, Professor Ellis Tallman, while still being able to spend time doing research experiments in the lab in chemistry," she says. "On the extra-curricular forefront I was able to run an on campus investment club together with top caliber colleagues and friends, and work in the dean's office of the longest running conservatory with some of the most dedicated deans I've known. I cannot imagine where else I could have done all these at the same time."
One of Diane's missions as Co-Chair of the Oberlin Finance and Investing Club is to bring awareness to the students at Oberlin on the basics of finance and investing. "Oberlin is not really a business oriented campus. Students are more concern with environmental conservation and other issues, hence I felt that there was a lacking component to be filled. I saw the club as an outlet where I could use the unifing functions of business and investments to bring people and students of different walks of life together, be they history majors, environmental science majors, economic majors or even music majors, to understand the markets to make meaningful investments in equities of companies that we believe in or whose function we understand," she says. "I have chemistry majors in the club who look at the healthcare sector or geology majors who look at the technology sector, focusing on environmental rehabilitation companies. As co-president, making these moving parts [come together] was my mission and it is something that I am proud of having done for my colleagues and friends."
Diane says she was able to find a bridge to help her forge relationships with American students as well as students from other backgrounds. "I started out mixing with an international crowd and that really helped me transition to interacting with Americans, especially those who had an interest in forging bonds and relationships with international students. So, there really wasn't a barrier since I was able to find that bridge. I think that is the most important thing finding a bridge to help you pave your way to the next path."
Although her years at Oberlin are over, speaking as a musician, she says the work that Oberlin Conservatory continues to do is valuable to society. "I think of musicians as the rehabilitators of society so I respect and honor the work that both the faculty and the administrators are doing at Oberlin Conservatory to uphold the tradition of the institution," she says. "I see myself as not just as another torch bearer of the institution but as doing the hands on work to connect bodies of people in society."