Celebrating Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month at Nova Credit

May marks the culmination of a month-long celebration of Asian-Pacific culture, heritage and contributions to the United States. While Asian-Pacific Heritage Month means something different to each of us, this time is an opportunity to come together to honor and celebrate Asian-American Novans as well as our diverse community and customers. 

This month, we’ve commemorated Asian-Pacific Heritage month in many ways from engaging in conversations with our lively employee community group, Asians@Nova, to participating in company-wide movie nights celebrating Asian-American contributions in film. We’ve even had the opportunity to take virtual cooking lessons over Zoom from some of Nova Credit’s finest chefs as they’ve taught us how to make budae jjigae, an iconic Korean dish, and debate ideas as we read about the personal experiences of Asian-Americans in our monthly company-wide book club.

Beyond these activities, we want to highlight and share the stories of some inspiring Asian-American Novans who are helping us build a world beyond borders. 

Here are just a few members of our talented team in their own words:

How has Nova Credit shaped your identity? 

Kevin Thrams, Marketing: "Growing up in Germany as a Filipino-American-German I wasn’t really exposed to many other Asians other than my own family. After moving to America and starting to be around more Asian cultures, I feel that I can better relate to my Asian roots because San Francisco has a much larger Asian community than anywhere in Germany.

I’ve built community at Nova through groups! The Asian community at Nova Credit has taught me many things about other Asian cultures which I'm still getting to know more. I tried immersing myself fully into the American culture after moving here through sports, events, travel, food and everything there is to it. I regularly come back to Germany and speak frequently with my family to stay connected to my German roots as well."

How has being Asian-American impacted how you think about work? 

Cloris Guo, International Partnerships: "As a Chinese immigrant, opportunities in the U.S. didn’t compare to what I could have had in China — at least when I initially moved. At first, I felt shy and hesitated to try new things. But I had to leave my imaginary burdens behind and chose to take steps forward. I’ve embraced my identity as an immigrant because I realize that my experience means that my challenges are also in many ways my strengths. Many of the stumbling blocks I’ve faced are transitional rather than permanent. It's encouraging to remember that at the end of the day, we're all human."

How do you build community? 

Lucia Hoang, Solutions Architect: "I gravitate towards so many different elements when finding and building community. All those different elements have two consistent underlying themes: change and celebration. I am motivated to find dynamic ways to answer two questions, "What needs to change about our current circumstances?" and "How can we celebrate the nuances of our cultures?

In pursuing answers to those questions, I've found communities that work to create more equity and opportunity in education and employment for underrepresented groups. I've also found communities that encourage multicultural exploration through building authentic connections with individuals through dinners, movie nights, podcast listening sessions, book clubs, etc that focus on Asian American-Pacific Islander heritage and other cultures as well."

How has Nova Credit made you feel more included? 

Kevin Thrams, Marketing: “The employee resource group (ERG) initiative has been really rewarding as it has both exposed me to new cultures as well as given me the ability to live out and uncover more of my Asian roots. I love it!”

Cloris Guo, International Partnerships: “I really like the ERGs, which give us a chance to communicate our feelings and struggles. They’re a great platform to get to know coworkers in a different way.” 

Lucia Hoang, Solutions Architect: “After signing my offer with Nova Credit, I was so excited to be a part of an organization whose mission is to inspire and facilitate the flow of human diversity. Nova Credit learned during my interview process that I thrive when I am involved in DE&I work. I felt like my passions and motivations were recognized by the staff - they empowered me to get involved immediately, not as an afterthought. DE&I is a "need to have" at Nova Credit, not a "nice to have." I am excited for our annual UN Day celebrations, where employees will share aspects of their culture with the entire company."