【S】NAAAP-UW/ASC- “How I got to Where I am Today” Panel

As part of NAAAP-UW, I helped putting on a panel event together with other officers and ASC (Asian Student Commission) on Wednesday. It was a great turnout, and I really enjoyed meeting and listening to our professional panelists! All of them were super friendly and helpful.

I’d like to share some of my takeaways here- It’s just my personal notes so please don’t expect a perfect write-up…but if you couldn’t make to the event, or didn’t get a chance to take notes during the event, I hope this is helpful to you. 🙂 And of course, if the notes is unclear to you, feel free to ask me questions!

Margie Ye, Project Management Consultant in Yepoch llc/Capital One

  • One thing about big companies (like Deloitte), you get to learn many things from different fields. So some people get to change positions almost every year/often.
  • If you don’t know what you want to do: “Just pick one thing you think you really are going to do well. When you do well, you will encourage yourself, and you will succeed effortlessly.”
  • Don’t worry about what you’re gonna do after school, what you do in real life has nothing to do with what you did in school…but whatever you learn in school, you will apply to everything you do in life. (this is interesting)
  • Remember you’re different. Take advantage of your difference. Don’t try to mimic another person. What about you that’s so unique will create opportunities for YOU. You gotta believe in yourself. (In another words, no one is YOUer than you!)
  • Take advantage of being a student- in school, you get a chance to ask questions. 

Nina Kim, Instructor at UW (Gender studies and ethnic studies)

  • Advice: Internship and job shadow- learn about what you like or dislike
  • Important: Communication skills
  • There’s a strength about introverted people. Use your strength, but push yourself. Choose specific people you want to talk to one-to-one. It makes you real to them and you get to know them well. 
  • Build good relationship with professors…this is especially helpful if you are planning to go to grad school. 

Adrian Chu, Silicon Architecture Engineer, Intel

  • Important: Communication skills
  • At many jobs, half is doing your work, half is communicating with people.
  • Instead of “it’s not what you know but who you know,” it’s more about “who knows what you know.” (One of my favorite quotes from now on! :O)
  • Go to networking events! Every time you learn at least one thing new. (can’t agree more…)
  • When you are a student, you can play the “student card”.  But once you start working, depending on the situation…it might not be as easy, especially when you are no longer a newbie. People might be more suspicious with your intention.

Scheer Chen, Project Designer, Perkins + Will

  • “I’ve got all my jobs from references.” It’s not necessarily how many people you know, but how well you maintain those relationships.
  • Important: Listening skills and Communication skills! (I feel like that’s almost the main theme of this panel! Communication skills really is super important in all fields…) 
  • Lean how to communicate. Good communication leads to good leadership -> leads to success

Jae Hong, Fellowship/MD, UW Medical Center

  • Important: Internship, mentorship, relationship and networking. 
  • You don’t have to have just one mentor. There could be research mentor, life mentor, academic mentor…it could be your peer/teacher…it could be multiple people. You pick the qualities you like and learn from them.
  • It’s a small world! Show your best side to your peers. Don’t burn those bridges.
  • I wish I took more time to know myself (during college). Go abroad for a semester, learn about what I’m like in a completely new environment.”
  • About asking for recommendation letters: Don’t be shy about what you want them to write about or lead them on. They’d probably appreciate it too especially everyone is so busy…

After the event, Joydeep Hazra from Nokia (another professional who was also at the event), recommended Toastmaster to us. He said it’s super helpful for public speaking, and you really get to learn from the ground up. It’s a great suggestion considering how important communication skill is! Does anyone have experience with Toastmaster? 

Let me know if I’ve missed anything important! Hope this is somehow helpful.  

Have a great weekend. 🙂



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