‘SWAT’ Star David Lim Opens Up About Early Jobs Before Acting

by Chris Haney

SWAT star David Lim‘s career has taken him down a long and winding path to Hollywood success, and he recently opened up about it all in an exclusive interview.

The former Quantico star had his big break in 2016 with the recurring role of CIA recruit Sebastian Chen during the show’s second season. One year later, Lim joined the cast of the CBS series SWAT. Within five months of filming, CBS promoted him to a series regular role. Ever since then, Lim has starred as SWAT officer Victor Tan.

But previous to his famous TV roles, Lim was like anyone else trying to get by. The actor graduated from college in 2005 with an Electrical Engineering degree, but knew a career in the field wouldn’t be for him. Therefore he worked various unfulfilling jobs, including a three-year stint as a loan officer. While speaking with Augustman, Lim dished on his career transition.

“That’s a long story!” the SWAT star said with a laugh. “The short version is, once I graduated college from UC San Diego, I knew a career in engineering wasn’t for me. A buddy of mine suggested I interview for a loan officer position. Although I knew nothing about a mortgage, I was intrigued by the amount of money the company claimed you could make. I ended up getting the job, hustled to learn the ins and outs of the mortgage industry, and was fairly successful over the next three years.”

‘SWAT’ Star Admits an Actor’s Lifestyle Drew Him To the Career Change

It sounds like the SWAT actor could’ve continued on and had a fruitful career as a loan officer. But he says he needed a new challenge. The idea of a life in show business drew him in and prompted Lim to switch careers. He hasn’t turned back since.

“But at 25, I wasn’t feeling challenged, and wanted a change, and that change was becoming an actor. I knew nothing about show business. But again, I was intrigued by the lifestyle, and wanted a new challenge. So I quit my job, got some headshots, got into a local acting class, and dove right in,” Lim explained.

Within a few months of auditions, Lim earned his first acting gig in an independent film shot in the San Francisco area. After sampling what it’s like on set for the first time, he made up his mind, and moved to Hollywood.

“Just a few months later, I auditioned and booked the lead role in an independent film shot in the Bay Area. I got my first taste of acting on a film set, and knew I wanted to give it a real shot. As soon as I returned home to San Diego, I packed my bags and headed for Hollywood,” he concluded.