Updated: Jul 29, 2021
Hi everyone! My name is Thamira Seralathan and I am going into grade 11 at Lester. B Pearson CI. I am currently attending the Illuminate Leadership Academy and had the pleasure of meeting Dannielle Sakher and attending her lecture. Here are my thoughts highlighting what I learned.
Firstly, I’d like to mention that her presentation was very engaging and fun, it was interactive and everyone got to participate. Unlike other lectures her's was simple and it didn’t feel long. Now don't get me wrong, I liked the other lectures too, but Dannielle took another route which made it different, however it was just as informative. She talked about herself, her career, and the junior achievement program.
The company she currently works at is called Zapier which is a software automation company and helps run businesses between all apps. Before that, she worked at Shopify which is a software company that helps online stores. Prior to this she participated in the junior achievement program in high school which is a non-profit organization that helps students learn about financial literacy and entrepreneurship. She actually landed her first internship at Shopify through one of the mentors she had during her time at JA! Throughout all these experiences she made lots of connections and networked. She mentioned that it is a very important to keep up with your mentors and the people you have made connections with because it could help you in the future. Not to mention that they took the time into mentoring you so reaching out to them and showing your appreciation means a lot.
This leads me into mentioning the 5 Leadership Lessons she taught us which is one of the many things I took away from this lecture!
5 Leadership Lessons
Most people know better than you - ask for help
Make the most out of mentorships
Be ready to enter an open door
You will not know what to do until you try
Sales is a highly transferable skill
During the second half of the lecture, Danielle held a pitch competition where we all had to find an object in our rooms and conduct a sales presentation to everyone about our product. We had 10 minutes to find a product and practice our pitch. Then in breakout rooms we share our ideas with a peer and get feedback. After that, we would present our pitch to
everyone in the group.
The object I made my pitch on was a scrunchie and here's my pitch even though this isn't word for word what I said it's pretty similar :)
For those who don't know this is a scrunchie *interest image of scrunchie* Now some may think it's for VSCO girls or it's a Tiktok trend and they aren't necessarily wrong, but a scrunchie not only helps you protect your hair from breakage, it's also easy to use and super fashionable which could be used as a bracelet as well! So head on over to Shein and purchase not 1 but 12 scrunchies for only $4.00!!
I decided on a scrunchie as my object because it was honestly the first thing I saw. I was very nervous about presenting, but after I did present it wasn't bad at all and I felt really good. The group was very supportive, gave compliments and feedback which was amazing. I took notes on what I should improve on and what I did well on. Not to mention it was very fun listening to everyones pitches as it made me want to buy the products they were trying to sell! I was blown away by how each person had a different tone and approach to their pitch and it was very interesting to see since I've never done anything like this before. The only pitch I ever made prior to this lecture was during middle school so it was a nice refresher.
Overall, I had a wonderful time attending Dannielle Sakher’s lecture and it was a pleasure to meet her! I’ve definitely learned a lot, especially the 5 leadership lessons and practicing my sales presentation skills.