#7MilOfMe Workshop at @SIAT_SFU 10th Year Celebration

Flattered beyond words. That was how I felt when I received an email from Jan Castro a few weeks ago. He asked me if I would be interested in sharing my “success” stories as a alumni of SIAT (School of Interactive Arts and Technology). I said yes almost immediately. I was so honoured to be invited back to the school I graduated from to share my knowledge and my experience so far out there in the real world.

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Although we secured the date early, I did not have the time to actually start planning the presentation until the last few days. I knew what I was going to talk about and I have almost the materials and documentations I needed, but it was just a matter of connecting the dots and putting everything into pretty slides.

The day of the presentation went by so quickly and before I knew it, I was up there, standing in front of the +- 45 students and alumni that came to hear my story. I must admit, it was a rocky beginning. I was nervous, as always. Public speaking scares me, but I wanted to conquer that fear so badly that I was able to control my mind and just step right into it. It was really cute too when Kingsley and Diana walked in the door, about 3 minutes late, with a huge flower bouquet. They hurriedly took the front seats and settled in. I smiled and started the presentation.

I kept the presentation to only about 30 minutes long as promised, 10 minutes for the activities, and the remaining of the time was for the audience to ask my any questions. I think the format went well. There were a lot of intelligent questions asked that reminded me to go back to a few points that I didn’t cover.

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At the end of it, Jan gave me a gift bag and an umbrella (apparently the last one!) to thank me for coming and I surprised him with a handmade card I made on the transit there just a few hours earlier. I was happy to see how surprised he looked to have receive something back. That was the least I could give to him. During every minute of the presentation, I kept thinking how amazing and honoured I was to be there. Never in my SIAT years I would ever think it would come down to this moment. I was never a great speaker and I was never someone that would raise my hand in class to ask questions. Yet I was noticeable enough that one of the Professors nominated me to give this talk.

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It was really humbling as well to get about 15 people came to me after the talk to take a closer look at my portfolio and thank me personally. Some came from an hour away, some signed up right away to Twitter, some said I inspired them to start thinking about their personal branding. A few days before the presentation, Chi also said she will be blogging my talk but honestly, I did not know if she would actually do it, but she did! Both Chi and Kennett documented my talk: Chi wrote a blog post, Ken drew an analog visual notes. It’s quite interesting to see someone else’s notes about my own talk; these notes taught me which points were they more interested in.

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There were much more smarter people in the room and I know they have so many more interesting stories. So hopefully our paths would cross again. I would love to hear what everyone’s story is and exchange thoughts.

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