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Illuminate x Markham: Reflection Blog

Hi everyone! My name is Soni Rambharack. I am a Grade 12 student at L’Amoreaux C.I. Today, I had the amazing opportunity to attend Illuminate x Markham’s regional conference. Here are some of my highlights and a couple of things I’ve learned from the inspiring keynote speakers.

To start off, I learnt that social entrepreneurship is more than prioritizing your business’ profits. It is being more concerned about social objectives and supporting the community. The role of running a social enterprise includes continued growth and staying engaged with your customers and overall, there should be a seamless mission to grow your business while helping out society.

Our keynote speakers were very engaging and gave amazing advice. They described the several challenges they experienced, but also how to overcome them. One piece of advice that stood out from the rest, was that as an enterprise, you must ensure your product or services “firsts.” For example the first sale of your product or your first service to a client. As

an enterprise, you have the responsibility of being reliable and trustworthy, and so, there isn’t room for error. You must be confident in your decisions. Another point I found helpful was that there is always room for improvement. As a start-up, it would be hard to gain customers, show that you are reliable, and gain their trust. However, with hard work and effort into becoming a reliable business through community outreach, you are on track to success!

I was also very grateful to hear advice from the Illuminate CEO and founder, Alina. She taught me how important it is to understand other people’s needs. She talked about how high school was a more familiar environment, where people all have similar interests and experiences. However, when you branch out and are in working environments, you’ll be working with people who have different cultures and opinions. Therefore, it is very important to develop emotional intelligence.

In terms of confidence, her great advice along with Mash’s was to push yourself in uncomfortable situations. It’s important to think bigger and ahead of others in order to be on the path to success.

My future career goal is to go into management consulting and perhaps law further down the line. It was great to learn that consulting gives you that exposure and opens up your doors in the industry. It also provides me with people skills and the ability to be self-aware of other cultures and social groups. I will push myself outside of my comfort zone and apply for opportunities in a variety of industries. Prior to this conference, I was more focused on one straight pathway. However, I now understand the importance of exploring and networking.

All in all, Illuminate was an experience to remember. I appreciate all the effort put in by the regional leads, and keynote speakers. Thank you for allowing me to participate. :)

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