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Illuminate x Markham - Amazing learning opportunity

Hi everyone! My name is Audrey Tian and I am a Grade 11 student at White Oaks Secondary School. Today, I had the pleasure to attend Illuminate x Markham’s regional conference. Here are my thoughts highlighting some useful information and valuable lessons that I was able to acquire at this conference.


The first keynote speaker, Christal Wang shared her experience from university, RBC, L'OREAL to BAIN, and finally starting up the social entrepreneurship of shimmer. Her experience was fun to listen and the main idea of never be scared to try out new things really motivates me to explore my interests.


Christal also introduced a method of planning called the Theory of Change. Starting from the identification of the core problem and the impact you want to achieve, then work backward and decide the outcomes, output, activities and inputs. To give us a better understanding of how it looks like, we were asked to generate ideas and solutions of one of the Sustainable Development Goal in groups and create a mind map using the Theory of Change method.


The second keynote speaker was Mash Chowdhury. As a cyber risk analyst, his workshop was extremely helpful for me since I have been considering to pursue a similar career path. During the workshop, Mash gave many useful insights about the cyber security industry and the consulting pathways. The "Let's make you a Consultant" activity was very engaging. I was able to have fun while learning all about the use of consulting languages, procedure and their mindsets.


Although the two workshops are both amazing and informative, the best part in this conference is definitely the case study. This is the first time for me and my group to create a presentation in such a short durations. We struggled to come up with innovative ideas and unfortunately went a bit overtime. However, the case study is fantastic, we were able to explore many possibilities and there was no right answer. Every groups had came up with their own solutions in different field. I enjoyed watching all presentations and learned a lot from their structures and how they present.


Overall, this is an amazing experience. I would like to say thank you to Illuminate universe, the regional team leads and keynote speakers for offering such an incredible learning opportunity. I am grateful for attending this conference and I wish I can participate in it next year. :D