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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Winona Lo on what Davis means to her, following her passion and ‘going for it’

This spring, seniors reflect on their time at UC Davis and share their plans for post-grad 


By JALAN TEHRANIFAR — features@theaggie.org


This is the second story in The California Aggie’s five part series profiling seniors graduating from UC Davis this spring. Throughout the quarter, The Aggie will be speaking with seniors about their UC Davis experiences, favorite memories and plans for after graduation. 


Winona Lo is a fourth-year cinema and digital media and communication double major  from Hong Kong. Lo began her freshman year at UC Davis on the pre-veterinary track, which heavily influenced her decision to attend UC Davis.

“I used to be in pre-vet so it just made sense to come here,” Lo said. “I [also] liked the campus and aura, so I chose Davis.”

When asked what influenced her choice of studies, Lo said her parents’ wishes for her future played a major role in her decision-making.

“I always knew I wanted to do film, but my parents expected me to do medical studies, and they saw that I really liked animals so they were gunning for me to do pre-vet,” Lo said. “I personally think my parents are really wise and have good intuition, so I followed their expectations until I went full into pre-vet.”

After beginning the pre-vet track, however, Lo realized that her parent’s wishes did not align with her own passion.

“During the fall quarter of my sophomore year, I shadowed this one vet and I followed her the entire day, practicing at different farms and doing surgery on different animals, and I realized that I’m not fit for the jobs,” Lo said. 

Lo said it took time to accept that she wanted to follow her heart and pursue her dream of working in the film industry, but she eventually did switch her major to cinema and digital media. In addition to changing her major, Lo also joined two on-campus communities that aligned with her goals.

“I joined Alpha Phi Omega, which is a national service fraternity, during my freshman year,” Lo said. “During my sophomore year, I [also] joined Aggie Studios.” 

Lo also participated in research and internship opportunities during the summers of her college years that have prepared her for her post-grad life — and were fun experiences to have along the way.

“During the summer after freshman year, I did a dolphin research internship in Hong Kong,” Lo said. “During the summer after sophomore year, I shadowed on some film sets. During the summer after junior year, I went to San Diego to intern at a local news station.”

Although Lo plans to take a break after graduation, she hopes to eventually work in Los Angeles and immerse herself in Hollywood’s film industry.

  “I really want to explore more of the film industry because I feel like I don’t really know about many of the roles that exist,” Lo said. “[I want to] take some art direction classes or try to find a job in Los Angeles, which is where I want to end up in the future.”

Lo’s favorite college memory at UC Davis was actually also the day that she decided to change her major.

“I shadowed a veterinarian, and that day she asked me to help her de-horn goats that she had,” Lo said. “It was Halloween, and my whole shirt was stained with goat blood when I left. I went home […] and when I walked in my roommates freaked out. Then they were laughing at me and saying that my outfit was my Halloween costume because I looked like a serial killer.”

If Lo could go back in time and give advice to her freshman self, she would tell herself to participate more.

“Try anything and everything,” Lo said. “Also, go big or go home. I feel like you should go all out if you really like something.”

When asked what UC Davis means to her, Lo emphasized the university’s welcoming environment.

“To me, UC Davis means an encouraging place to learn, grow and develop yourself,” Lo said. “I think personally, everyone here is above-average-nice compared to the rest of the world, and this is a place where a lot of people can be comfortable trying new things out, and I think that happened to me too.”

The most important thing Lo learned during her time here is the importance of embracing who you are.

“Go with your intuition and pursue what you really want to do in life,” Lo said. “I feel like a lot of people have a natural tendency to follow the expectations of people they admire and love, but at the end of the day, it’s your life. If there’s something you really want to do with your life you should just go for it … Be shameless.”


Written by: Jalan Tehranifar — features@theaggie.org



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