January in Review

New years are all about something new, and here’s mine: I’ll be starting monthly blog posts summarizing my wins and my learnings. I’ve listed each paragraph here, so you can jump to any section you like!

Wins:

  • Xlerate Case Comp. – 1st place
  • Elected Double Degree Club president
  • Joined WATonomous Design Team
  • Stepped up the Networking
  • Went Rock Climbing!!

Learnings:

  • Explored Discounted Cash Flow analysis
  • Practiced Business Model Canvas design
  • Hosted demos of my projects
  • Created my first real resume and started interviewing for jobs
  • Learned JIRA to begin redesigning a critical internal process

So lets get started….

Wins

I had a ton of fun at Xlerate Lazaridis’ First Year Case Competition. The case this year was a partnership with Fidelity Investments, and our goal was to get Millennials investing. We chose to tackle this with a three-pronged approach: Educate, Empower, and Earn. We’d educate Millennials with a targeted ad campaign. We’d empower them through tailor-made, bit-size investing lessons. We’d help them earn, with ETFs focused on impact investing in Education, Infrastructure, and Sustainability. We were super proud of our strong solution, and the judges agreed. My team placed 1st, and each took home $1000!

Last semester, I had the pleasure of serving as a first-year rep on Double Degree Club, a student club focused on meeting the unique needs of Double Degree students, like myself. So I decided to take it up a notch this semester, and campaigned for president. My campaign was ultimately successful, and I had the pleasure of being elected as this semester’s president! I pitched our budget and (with the help of my amazing team) began planning our events for the semester. I’m looking forward to bringing DDs a great semester of valuable events and opportunities.

I also had the pleasure of joining WATonomous, a Student Design here at UWaterloo, who are working hard to build a self-driving car! I interviewed and joined on Marketing, but I soon saw a need elsewhere. WATO was looking for someone to head up their process redesign for handling sponsorships. You can read more about my efforts there below.

A new semester at UW brought me to opportunity to meet new people, and connect with old friends. I got to join the other UW Schulich leaders over lunch, and talk with them about the future of our network as the award continues to grow. I also met with a Tech Consulting Partner at Deloitte. We spoke about the work he does, and I got to hear about his perspectives on trends in Business and Technology. As a follow up from an earlier DECA U conference, I had a “coffee chat” with Mike Cote, President at DCM. I really enjoyed this chat and I got plenty of great advice and perspectives. His really welcoming and opening personality stood out to me. Finally, I had the chance this month to catch up some old friends from Elementary School, who also study at UW. It was great to hear how their paths diverged from mine, and what brought them to UW.

Finally, and most memorably, I got to go rock climbing for the first time in over a year!! I had a blast tackling wall after wall, and I had an amazing time!

Learnings

One of the first things I learned this month, early in the holiday break, was how to do a Discounted Cash Flow analysis. I learned for a Stock Pitch competition, which I had to pass on because of a conflict. Nevertheless, it was great reading up on this tool, and applying it to a read company to generate a real stock buy recommendation, based on my analysis. I love learning about Finance, and getting use analysis techniques to understand a business or make a decision.

In my first year Business class, we learned about Business Model Canvases. These frameworks help your break down you business model, and understand its likelihood of success. It was interesting to see examples of well-known company’s BMCs, and getting create one for our own business idea was quite valuable. I like this tool because it really helps break down the critical components of a business and see their unity.

For my new role with WATO (above), I learned the ins and outs of Atlassian’s JIRA platform. Getting to have a full control over the fields and screens and workflows of a JIRA project, and really diving into it has been quite fun. I’ve begun breaking down our real world processes into process maps for JIRA, helping to redesign a critical internal process for WATO.

Finally, I created my first real resume. I had the challenge of balancing my various experiences, while creating a readable and “breathable” resume. I applied to over 100 positions this month, through UWaterloo’s co-op program and I started interviewed for jobs. As a first year student, I’m new to interviewing for positions that require technical skills in addition to my transferable. I got to practice technical coding questions, while still demonstrating my confidence and calm. I’m eager to continue with my job search, and I’m looking forward to starting my co-op career.


January has been a busy month, but I’ve accomplished a lot, and learned even more! February is already off to a great start too. I’d love to hear your feedback on this new format of content. Let me know what you think!

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