What I've learnt recently spending time with UBC's finest
At our fall Alpha Kappa Psi alumni social, Azim Wazeer, former UBC Senate and Board of Directors member, said something that deeply impacted me. Audience members were all looking for reflections of both UBC graduates and AKPsi brothers with the role of AKPsi in their lives. Azim modestly started with this: "I don't know how much wisdom I can share with you guys, seeing as I'm only 22, but I'll do my best to just share my experience."
This sparked a humble realization in me that as much as I do know, and as many people that I do know, there are so many people that are sharper and smarter than I am. I went on to approach 10 of the respected names I have here throughout my time at UBC yet never had the chance to officially meet. I wanted to sit down with them and get a better idea of their schedule on daily basis, what drives them, and why they're doing what they do. Here's a summary of what I've learnt from them.
Joshua Sunga, current president of AIESEC at the time of writing, started our conversation with "Jay, how can I help you?" I was shocked at how quick and eager he was to help me, but it came clear when he said later on "I know if I help you, you can help the students in organization who need it." He went on to point me in the right direction in regards to whom I should talk to.
David Hyunh, 2nd year CUS rep, shared how honesty and being up front with one's intentions has gotten him to where he is now. Having secured an internship with KPMG this summer, it is easy to see how he connected in the application process. His simple personal message? If you help enough people get what they want, you'll get what you want. He attributes learning this life lesson from Tim Tong. He has an innate compassion for helping people and doing well, driven by pursuing self-growth to become better than where he is now. David's solution for the future is hard work, an openness to new experiences & new people, as well as never being complacent with your accomplishments.
Sophia Ng reviews her lecture notes from that day to solidify what she's learnt, so yup, you guessed it, she's extremely academic. It doesn't stop there, but continues on with her rigid schedule that helps her balance her relationship, her schooling, her work, and her active lifestyle focused on healthy dieting and training for a marathon. She taught me that a regulated sleeping schedule and a simple understanding that discipline and commitment coupled with directive action lead to results. With five alarms set, five minutes apart from one another, she is always up when she needs to be, and I have applied that to my life and haven't been late ever since.
Jon Degerli stood out as one of the sharpest individuals I have met on first impression. Well-dressed and well-spoken, you can tell that he is eager to learn from others and knows how to get where he wants. He has direction long-term and understands how to properly connect and network with others. He shared with me his current focus: approaching 20+ marketing firms/ad agencies and setting up what he calls "information meetings." What are information meetings? They are short 15-30 minute meetings with a firm where Jon shares his background and experience, and -asks for advice-. His words? If you ask for a job, you'll get advice. If you ask for advice, you're more likely to get a job.
Margaret Kim is in her second year at UBC, yet will be taking over as the president for AIESEC UBC in a couple weeks. She reminded me that even if our original intentions don't work out, there are always opportunities and options to look into. She helped look into ways my job as a corporate recruiter could be promoted through AIESEC's conference and how I could help train students in sales.
Bob Wang, UBC Sauder graduate in marketing, is somebody I would describe as a good man. I've been friends with Bob for a while, learning something new every time. An avid reader, he spoke recently of John Maxwell and Stephen Covey. I was struggling with figuring out what to do when I overfilled my plate and had too many obligations. He said, "Why don't you go back to using the important/urgent grid and place your tasks appropriately? That'll help you get rid of the unimportant time wasters. (see picture at the bottom) Do what's important now Jay."
Kim Choy has an eagerness to develop himself. Having just come back from exchange in Warwick, he learnt that being an outstanding individual is dependent on who you spend the most time with. Kim has always been an athlete, whether it was running, swimming or basketball competitively, There's that quote that says you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. In Warwick, he met students who he felt surpassed him in everything: attitude, discipline, work ethic, you name it. Back in Vancouver now, he is pursuing life with vigor, realizing that it is easy to be complacent, but harder to do when you surround yourself with people who push themselves and you.
Ben Chen, founder of Blank Vinyl Project, UBC's first independent record label, surprised me the first time I spoke to him. From afar, he appeared like one of those guys that was really outgoing. When we met up for lunch, he revealed that he was more naturally introverted yet had grown out of that over time. He was soft-spoken, yet succinct and clear. His statements had direction and focus, passion and drive. He wanted to build something at UBC that would foster a community for musicians to grow and learn from one another. After spending time w/ him, I felt like we were fairly similar. University had pushed us into something different where we had figured out who we were and where we wanted to go. Ben Chen reinforced that if you have a vision for helping other people, it's only a matter of time before they see how they can help you.
Daniel Kong, president of Advertisinc, is an extraordinary individual who is passionate about fashion. After I shared with him my choice to be selectively ignorant (I don't watch the news unless something huge comes up), he introduced his two favorite places for information that was interesting and different: www.adage.com and Monocle magazine. Monocle is a niche magazine that shares diverse insight on global and current news in the world. He helped me find a way to continue learning new things and provide a source of conversation threads, without having to sift through Facebook for it (which is what I have done in the past with viral videos).
Dima Pel is one of my former roommates and the only student this year to be given an invitation to interview for Harvard's med school. I sat down with him and helped him practice interviewing because he wanted to make sure he stood out from everybody else. And stand out he did. Why? Whenever he answered a question, he drew on personal experiences that impacted him in becoming the person he is today. These personal experiences were intimate and private, but he shared with me story after story about why he wants to be a doctor. The way he was 100% genuine made me want to help him fulfill his aspirations because he was being a HUMAN.
Get it yet?
The world is one social network, interconnected in so many different ways. Family and relatives, friends and loved ones, co-workers and classmates are all there for you to help you get where you want, but only if you reach out and ask for advice.
A blog on my continuing journey through life, covering self-development and success strategies, but also personal reflection.