yl lot fall 2014 - Vancouver Board of Trade

FALL 2014
Connecting Leaders of Today with Leaders of Tomorrow
Prospective Leaders of Tomorrow students attend annual Interview Night in July. This year saw over
270 students from across the lower mainland apply for the 120 available spaces in the program.
How Travelling Might Land You a Job
By Sally Ha-Hau
“I backpacked across Europe for two and a
half months.” This type of travel experience
often piques the interest of potential
employers. Throughout my own trip this
summer, I researched why.
Worldly connections
Teachers, entrepreneurs, experienced
businessmen, new friends from all around
the world. It is surprisingly easy to make
deep connections with fellow travellers —
in many cases, much easier than suit-and-tie
networking sessions.
The cliché ‘you discover yourself’ is true
In unfamiliar surroundings you will be
tested. You will learn more about the
extent of your capabilities, your likes and
dislikes, and how you react under various
situations. Greater exposure to different
ways of life will also allow you to reflect and
discover exactly what you want in life. This
translates to you making better decisions for
yourself, meaning you make a happier more
productive employee.
Global advantage
You begin to understand the reasons and
mentality behind how people of different
A Program of The Vancouver Board of Trade
cultures live, think and function. You might
be considered first for an international
opportunity in the future or, it also
helps with simply getting along better
with international partners, clients and
colleagues. I learned to judge less, forget my
preconceived notions and really attempt to
understand from a different perspective. This
exposure also fosters creativity.
An intensive way to develop leadership
Uncertainty and things not going your
way is bound to happen. You develop an
awareness of surroundings and the ability
to solve problems, deal with people, be
adaptable, communicate without a common
language, develop intuition, and manage
various stresses. You also master the art
of small talk and how to connect with all
kinds of people in a few minutes. Every
day you utilize and practice multiple skills
typically desired in the workplace, including
confidence, assertiveness, calculated risk
taking, and emotional intelligence.
Of course, there is so much more to
traveling than this. In addition to all of
the above, it also becomes a part of your
identity and a statement about who you are.
How Travelling Might Land You a Job
By Sally Ha-Hau
Page 1
Four Habits of a Successful Mentee
By Shivani Mukerji
Page 2
How to Gain the Experience You
Need to Land the Job You Want
By Marie Hunter
Page 2
Adding Depth to Your LOT
By Amanda Peiris
Page 3
Finding Jobs You Didn’t Even Know
By Chris Petersen
Page 3
Your First Career Reality Check
By Christine Liew
Page 4
FALL 2014
Four Habits of a Successful Mentee
LOT Program Director
By Shivani Mukerji
Austin Nairn
Carolyn Price
Contributing Writers
Sally Ha-Hau
Shivani Mukerji
Marie Hunter
Amanda Peiris
Chris Petersen
Christine Liew
Technical Coordinator
Marie Cheung
Photo Credits
Jennifer Chu - Page 1
Adam Gilmer - Page 3
Noravera Visuals - Page 4
Austin Nairn - Page 4
We are constantly learning – at work, in
school, and especially from those around
us. Finding a mentor and striving to learn
and apply as much as possible is a goal we
would all like to achieve, and in order to do
so, we must be ready and receptive to learn.
It is a fine balance to be conscious of
making a good impression and establishing
a long lasting connection with mentors.
Here are a few simple habits of a good
Be proactive in scheduling meetings
This may seem like a no-brainer, but the real
reason that it is the mentee’s responsibility
to schedule meetings with your mentor
is because it shows enthusiasm. The best
mentees are enthusiastic to learn, and the
very first step to learning is to be with your
mentor in the right place at the right time.
Remember the details
What’s the drink they always order? Have
it ready for them when they visit. Did
they recently go on vacation, or attend an
interesting conference? Ask them about it.
Besides being good conversation starters,
remembering the details proves that you
have been listening and internalizing what
they say.
Connect with fellow LOT members
Your relationship with your mentor is
important, and so are lateral connections. I
personally found it rewarding to hang out
with fellow LOT members to discuss our
progress in achieving the high goals we set
for ourselves, and sharing useful information
among young professionals (CYP, anyone?)
Don’t be shy to stay in touch
This will be the most important habit to
keep those meaningful relationships alive.
Send them an article you think they might
find interesting, or ask them their opinion on
a work issue, or just shoot an easy “Haven’t
heard from you in a while, how are things?”
email and restart the conversation. It is easy
to let life get in the way of keeping in touch
with people, but nursing and maintaining
connections are one of the best ways to
develop both personally and professionally.
A good mentee shows enthusiasm to learn,
remembers the details, connects with as
many people as possible and stays in touch!
How to Gain the Experience You Need to Land the Job You Want
By Marie Hunter
Finding a job in your desired field, after
graduating, can be frustrating. Most
companies require candidates to have some
experience, even for entry-level positions.
It makes you wonder how you can get
experience if no one will hire you without it.
One way to acquire the necessary skills is to
As a recent marketing graduate, I ran
into the same problem. I was competing
for entry-level positions with fifty other
people with a range of backgrounds and
job skills. Applying for these positions was
not working and I wasn’t getting through
to the right people. My resume was not
standing out from the crowd. To gain the
right marketing skills and credibility to help
me land the right job, I decided to volunteer
while I worked part-time over the summer.
I found the perfect position through a
connection I made at a Vancouver Board
A Program of The Vancouver Board of Trade
of Trade event. I met the Campaign
Coordinator for The Leukemia and
Lymphoma Society of Canada, who briefly
mentioned their struggles with social media.
They were trying to increase exposure and
get the word out about their big fundraising
event on Oct. 18, the Light The Night walk
in Stanley Park. I connected with her on
LinkedIn and I didn’t think anything of it
at the time. Four months later, struggling
to gain the right marketing experience,
I thought of them. I sent her a message
asking if I could volunteer a few hours a
week, to help them navigate social media
and work through some of the challenges
they were facing. They were thrilled.
Now, I am getting the experience I need
while gaining credibility by working with an
established non-profit and helping people
in need. In addition, I have the flexibility
to experiment with various techniques
and ideas for driving traffic and marketing
events, a luxury I may not get in an entrylevel position. Volunteering with this
organization has allowed me to showcase
my knowledge and skills. I also have
something tangible to show on my resume,
helping me stand out and get noticed.
If you are a new grad looking to gain more
experience in your related field, reach out
to your network and see how you can help.
Is there an organization that could benefit
from your talents and skills?
If you are a new LOT member, spend the
next year connecting with as many people
as possible. You never know what kind of
doors will open and who you will meet that
can help you gain the experience you need
to start your exciting career.
FALL 2014
Adding Depth to Your LOT Experience
By Amanda Peiris
How can one make the most of their Leaders of Tomorrow (LOT)
program experience?
there much demand for people? Is the industry growing, LOT members gain access to a plethora of experiences stemming
from their involvement with The Vancouver Board of Trade. To
maximize one’s newfound admittance into the centre of Vancouver’s
business community, mentees should follow up with contacts they
have met at networking events — and one of the best ways to
solidify relationships is through an informational interview.
and what do future employment opportunities look like?
How does the economy affect this field?
Informational interviews can be mutually beneficial for both
parties. LOT members acquire interview experience, knowledge
on their industry of choice, and technical feedback, while working
professionals gain insight into today’s workforce and their passions.
For both individuals there lies the possibility that if a suitable
employment opportunity does arise, your contact already knows
about your strengths, passion, and skills.
If you were entering this field today, how would you prepare?
Do you know of other people whom I might talk to who Below are some questions that will generate comprehensive answers
during informational interviews:
have similar occupations?
What are the personal benefits and disadvantages connected with your occupation?
How does your company differ from its competition?
What particular skills and talents are the most essential in your profession?
Is there a basic philosophy of your company? If so, what is it? Is it people- or service-oriented?
What can you discuss about your corporate culture?
What kinds of changes are occurring in the field?
What is the employment outlook in your industry? Is 9.
If your work were suddenly eliminated, what other types of work would you feel prepared to tackle?
Which professional journals and organizations would help me to learn more about this industry?
Be mindful of the time your contact has allocated for you, for you
probably won’t have enough time to ask all the questions you’ve
prepared. However, like a regular interview, I would prepare
more questions than necessary after researching your contact’s
education, experience, place of employment, etc. (LinkedIn is
great for this) to demonstrate your interest and expertise.
Above all else, don’t get overly attached to your prepared
questions. Your contact will most likely elaborate with anecdotes
on technical matters and personal stories.
Finding Jobs You Didn’t
Even Know Existed
LOT Students meet UFC President Dana White following his
June presentation to The Vancouver Board of Trade.
By Chris Petersen
The employment landscape has changed immensely in the last
decade, so much so that jobs you once dreamed of having may no
longer exist. The opposite is also true, in that there are many jobs
now that didn’t exist 10 years, or even 5 years ago.
whose entire job was to tweak TV channel bundles by researching,
compiling and pricing them to maximize user subscriptions. This is
just one example, but you never know what unique jobs are out
there that could be perfect for you.
Some of the newest job titles include Big Data Architect, Cloud
Service Specialist and Mobile Marketing Specialist. Thomas Frey, a
Senior Futurist at the DaVinci Institute, was quoted saying, “60 per
cent of the best jobs in the next 10 years have not been invented
yet.” So, how are you supposed to know which job is right for you if
you don’t even know that job exists?
So, how do you get into these companies? Well, one option is
to attend their open house, but I find private tours much more
beneficial. A private tour gives you a more in-depth experience and
makes you really stand out as a curious and driven individual. While
it may sound obvious, the only way to get a private tour is to ask.
This is easier if you know someone that works at the company, but
it’s not impossible if you don’t. Reach out to friends, or connect
with an employee over LinkedIn. Companies are very receptive to
students, so it’s important to explain that you would like to learn
more about their company and industry.
My recommendation is a workplace tour. This allows you to
see first-hand how a company functions and gives you a better
understanding of the working world and the jobs available. This is
particularly helpful if it’s a company you plan on eventually working
for, because you can truly feel the company culture and determine if
it’s the right fit for you.
Many people will understand your situation because they were
once a student in the same spot and would have done anything for
the same opportunity. So, flex your network, find a company, and
go explore. You never know what you might find.
The other benefit is you may learn about jobs that you didn’t know
existed. On a recent workplace tour of TELUS, I met someone
A Program of The Vancouver Board of Trade
FALL 2014
Your First Career Reality Check
By Christine Liew
The road to success is not easy nor
straightforward. Every career hiccup you
encounter will play an important part in
defining your professional journey. For
recent graduates (or soon to be!), you will
likely experience a few of these “reality
checks” along the way. This can include
things like making your first mistake,
disappointing your manager or team, being
confronted on a bad habit or flaw, or in my
case, getting called out for doing what you
thought was the right thing.
One of my first reality checks happened
at my current workplace. For one of my
projects, a major issue had surfaced on a
client’s website late in the evening that was
caused by an external party. In order to
complete the fix, I needed help from two
individuals – Cory* who was my developer
in charge of fixing the problem, and Jake*
who wasn’t part of my team, but was a
senior developer responsible for making sure
the fix was applied to the live website.
assured Jake that the issue was externally
caused, the website was fixed, and Jake
understood the root cause of the issue.
However, I already felt deeply hurt and
humiliated. Upon reflecting on the incident,
I realized that neither Jake nor I were at
fault, but both of us could have handled
the situation differently and avoided the
This major reality check has been etched in
my mind. I have since come to peace with
the incident and I have come out the other
end stronger and wiser. Here are my key
takeaways that will be beneficial for new
graduates when facing a similar experience:
Don’t beat yourself up too much – It’s easy
to fall under the victim’s mentality and either
blame yourself for making the mistake or
When it came time for Jake’s part, he was
frustrated that the fixes were needed at
such an inconvenient time. He assumed
that the issue was caused by poor quality
assurance testing and scolded me in front
of Cory, questioning my leadership skills.
Long story short, Cory defended me and
blame the other person for being unfair.
Take ownership and have a positive attitude
for what happened and see what you can
do better next time.
Evaluate the situation objectively – It’s
easy to get emotional, or feel what you
experience wasn’t justified. But take it
with a grain of salt, and evaluate the
situation objectively. You may realize
that you were wrong or that it was just a
Embrace it, learn from it, move on –
Mistakes are meant to teach you a lesson,
not deter you from your goals. Acknowledge
the event, reflect on your lessons learned,
pick yourself up, and move on!
* Both names have been changed for
LOT Students and mentors participate in a Leadership Cafe’ style event in which they brainstormed
and presented ideas to increase the profile of the Canadian Cancer Society’s Wellness Fits Program.
September 4 – LOT Graduation & Anniversary
October 7 – LOT Orientation Evening
October 22 – YVR CEO Craig Richmond
Visit boardoftrade.com/events for details and registration
Platinum Sponsor
The LOT events Committee connect at the July Interview Night and LOT Mentors Andry
Tanusdjaja and Paul Leedham address students at the August Accounting Speaker Series.
Gold Sponsors
EVENT Sponsors
Silver Sponsors
BCIT School of Business,
Chartered Professional Accountants
Hewlett Packard
Labatt Breweries
Noravera Visuals
Citywide Printing
A Program of The Vancouver Board of Trade