#InspireItForward: @MeghanWong

The following post is written by Meghan Wong. It’s been awhile since I had time to do information interview. I was really excited when I got connected by Meghan who is a recent graduate of SFU Crimonology (Honours). Meghan is a part of PACT: Professional and Career Transition and was recommended to reach out to me by my previous supervisor at SFU Career Services, Brenda Badgero. Meghan and I were able to connect right away.  We chatted for half an hour about personal branding, social media jobs, and her passions. Before she left, we took a selfie and she wrote this super sweet post about our time together. Please note that this post was not altered in any way. 

Meghan & Stephawie

I had the pleasure of meeting Stephanie Wiriahardja, the community manager of Hootsuite for an informational interview. I was extremely nervous before our meeting, however, within the first few minutes of our meeting I felt extremely comfortable talking with her. I actually brought my list of questions on a sheet, but I did not need my “cheat sheet” as our conversation simply flowed. This was my first informational interview. I did not know about these types of interviews until I joined PACT. Brenda Badgero from SFU Career Services is one of the facilitators for the career portion of PACT; Brenda was kind enough to introduce me to Stephanie because I am interested in social media. Stephanie and I talked for about 30 minutes, and I really appreciated all the advice she gave me. Let me tell you, Stephanie is brilliant!

Key points that I learned during our informational interview

  • Having a brand is important, but you need to know what you want your brand to say. Before our meeting, I never thought about what I wanted my brand to say. Right now I am still brainstorming ideas.
  • Passion is important. Stephanie is passionate in all facets of her life. Whether she is working as a community manager at Hootsuite, the creative director at Le Meredian Bali Jamban, or the person behind The Selfie-Guru; Stephanie exudes passion.
  • Sometimes taking opportunities where your passion lies, may not necessary pay off at first, but when you’re happy at the end of the day, it is worth it.
  • Not only should we celebrate the big moments in our lives, but we must also remember to celebrate the small ones too.
  • Social media has changed the way that we interact with one another. Although social media never sleeps, we need to take time out from it.
  • A job is like working with a blank canvas, and we need to work with different paint colours that we are given and make it work. This is probably one of my most favourite analogies!

After my meeting with Stephanie, I feel more motivated to blog and continue this project of mine. Stephanie devised The Dandelion Theory; where she “grow[s], evolve[s], and spread[s] [her] knowledge, skills, and passion in building community, design, photography, and marketing”. She is authentically living her Dandelion Theory. I can see this! I really admire Stephanie and all of her accomplishments. Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to meet with me Stephanie!

A Month to Celebrate

Yes, yes, the sun is setting a little earlier now and the street is getting more wet now, but I’m particularly excited for this September. There are a few things I’m celebrating this month:

  • 10 years in Canada: I’ve always wanted to move to Vancouver since the first time I set foot in 1999 but I didn’t make the move until 2004 when I graduated from ninth grade. I was (and am still) stoked to be in this beautiful city. I’m so thankful for all the friends I’ve made and the amazing opportunities I’ve had in the past ten years.
  • PR Card: Not a lot people know this, but I was studying and working solely on visa and work permits. It’s not until June of this year that I finally got my PR and I just recently received my PR card. So happy I don’t have to worry about renewing my work permit for the next little while.
  • 3 years at Hootsuite: It’s crazy to think that I’ve been working at Hootsuite for three years now. When I first joined the company, I knew it was something special but I had no idea I would still be here three years later. I’ve seen a lot of changes in the company but the culture and the opportunities are what keeping me happy there.
  • Rappelling off a 20 story building: In less than four days, I will be rappelling off a building as a reward for raising $1k for the Easter Seals. The fundraising itself was the scariest part really. I never raised that much money before and I thought I was too optimistic. Thankfully, I have some really awesome and supportive friends that helped me raise enough money two weeks before the event. I’ll be rappelling in my favourite princess costume, it’ll be both awesome and embarrassing!
  • It’s been 3 months since Kingsley was last in town. He’s visiting this week for 10 days to attend 2 weddings, celebrate our monthiversary, and watch me rappel.

While I’m usually all gloomy and sad when summer is over, there’s too much to celebrate this month to feel blue. So cheers, let’s be merry! We all have reasons to celebrate this month. Let gratitude take over! Don’t let the sunshine fade away from your heart :)

The Sublime ALS Challenge

Two nights ago I got nominated by Diana Luong to participate in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. For those of you that has been living under a rock, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is, ironically, the hottest social media trend this July / August 2014. While the challenge wasn’t originally associated with ALS, it sure has created a huge buzz on social media and the ASL Association has benefited quite a bit from it.

To be quite honest, I’ve been living under a rock myself. I didn’t know what ALS was and was only intrigued to learn about it after seeing the trend.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. The sad thing about is, there is only one cure that has been approved by FDA.

This popular challenge has shine some light on this disease and the association reported that they’ve received over $31.5 million as of Aug 20 2014. That’s $29.6 million MORE than this time last year. It’s incredible and this is truly the power of social media when it’s put to good use.

For my submission, I decided to do something fun. I’m super thankful my buddy, Serge, agreed to help me out with the special effects at such short notice. The result is quite incredible. 

So have you done the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge? What’s your thought about this trend?

Burst of Gratitude

I like to things for granted. I like to think I reflect back to the past to learn and see what I’ve done and celebrate successes, but the truth is. I haven’t done so lately. It was a great wake up call when I got an email from someone in Edinburgh last week asking to get a little bit of my time to learn about my work. I said yes immediately because I was incredibly honoured to be recognized by people from across the pond, but a few minutes before the call I started panicking. What should I tell her? I don’t know if my experiences are good enough.

The call turned out great. She has done quite a bit of research about the work I do for the Ambassador program and familiar with my portfolio. She reminded me that it has been quite an accomplishment to get to where I am. But that’s not all. During the call, I remembered everyone that has helped me to get to where I am today. Without their help, there won’t be 544+ Ambassadors worldwide, there won’t be 80+ #SelfieSticks running around Vancouver, there won’t be fun and excitement in my world. I certainly hope one day I can thank each one of them accordingly. One hug and one call at a time.

From One Superhero to Another

In my last post, I talked about my excitement to fundraise money for Drop Zone and why I am passionate about it. After sending a few tweets and posting that Facebook post, I’ve achieved 22% of the $1,000 goal but I’m still far from done. Starting this week, I will start approaching institutions and companies to help me get there. To make the process easier, I put a quick one pager together to outline everything they need to know.

It would be sooo awesome if you could share this with your friends / colleagues as well. I’m hoping to raise $1,000 before September 8th! Thanks so much in advance.

Stoked to be doing @DropZoneVAN this year!

I’ve been looking for a way to give back to something I am passionate in. When I was presented the opportunity to fundraise $1,000 for Easter Seals (an organization dedicated to fully enhancing the quality of life, self-esteem and self-determination of Canadians with disabilities), I was intrigued. When I found out at the end of it, I get to rappel down a 20-stories building, I was sold. I signed up right away and that’s when I realized… how could I fundraise that much money?

While the event is still a few months away from today, I knew I had to get started right away. So I did. I started at the first place I could think of: Facebook.

Image

Shortly after posting it, the donations started to come in and I felt overwhelmed by the amount of support my friends have. To date, I’ve reached 20% of my $1,000 goal. Twenty percent and this is just the beginning! I still have 3 months to fundraise. It’s a remarkable feeling and so humbling at the same time. Also, I didn’t realize how much of a big deal 20 stories was until everyone said it! I guess I’ve skydived before so I always feel pretty invincible. Or maybe I’m too #YOLO? 

Anyways, so why this? Why this cause? Well I have a cousin that was born normal, slightly premature but normal. When she was just one or two months old, she rolled down the bed when she was with a babysitter. The babysitter didn’t tell my aunt right away, but my cousin kept crying and crying all night and her temperature went up significantly. So my aunt brought her to ER right away and next thing we know, she got really ill and doctors were giving up on her. My aunt and uncle were advised to let her go and prepare for her departure. They cried and cried and finally gave in and bought a coffin. By some miracle, my cousin never ended up in that coffin. She survived. But she became autistic and she still is until today. She can’t speak, can’t walk, can’t eat by herself but she can feel. We can see her eyes brightened up when she’s around people and when she has her favourite doll. Everyday her parents pushed her limit further by enrolling her in classes and taking her places. It breaks my heart every time I see her and I know there are many others that are like her, but not as fortunate as her. 

I’m currently looking for ways to give thanks to the donators. I have two ideas in mind that would work, just need to put it together and let it fly. It’ll be fun!

If you are interested in donating, please head over to my personal Drop Zone page

Videos of Julian’s Birthday & @CraftedVan’s Booth at #GotCraft

Once in awhile, I like to challenge myself and push my own boundaries, especially in a creative sense. Over the last year, I’ve starting to realize I enjoy filming. Though I’m not good at it, I always look for opportunities to practice and do more and this weekend, two opportunities showed up: 1) my nephew’s 5th birthday party 2) Craft’ed booth at GotCraft.

For the last few years, Julian’s birthday party has always been held at home and this was the first time it was held somewhere else. It was also my first time going to Koko’s so I had no idea what the lighting and the space was going to be like. To my surprise, the colours on the video turned out really well. Chasing after super hyper 5 year olds are not the easiest, so I mostly just filmed them when they’re sitting down and eating their food but I’m glad I got to capture some precious moments. This video was also a surprise for my sister who worked so hard to get all the decoration ready. Just look at how amazing everything is!

After the birthday party, I rushed to see a friend in Yaletown and since we didn’t end up shopping for long, I decided to check out GotCraft. When I got there around 4, it was pretty busy and the Craft’ed booth was one of the busier ones. I made my way there and said hi to the two creatives behind the brand, Erica and Diana. As expected, they have the biggest smiles as they greeted everyone to their booth. Their display and cute characters won my heart right away and made it so easy to film their booth. Again, I’m happy the colours turned out well and somehow I was able to handle the camera well this time. Usually I would get a shake or a jerk here and there, but this short video is just oh so smooth!

I’m looking forward to the next opportunity to film again because it’s just so fun. A great break from typing and staring at my computer all day :)