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My Experience at the Illuminati x North York Regional Conference

Hi everyone!

I’m Yolanda Chen, grade 11, and currently attending Richmond Hill Highschool. Today I participated in the Illuminati x North York Regional Conference! I’m going to be discussing my experience at this conference and what I’ve learned about career planning and prospects of the future.


“A leader is a dealer in hope” - Napoleon Bonaparte


The first keynote speaker was Dan Kiernan. He spoke about how passion changes and how career paths change. Kiernan said that people of our generation would change companies 20 times, and change career paths 3 times throughout life. That really put my decision in university programs in perspective. The future is intangible and changing.


Kieran did a workshop called Elevated Pitch, where I was put in a breakout room to introduce myself. I was able to speak to two other students my age and we discussed how we all had a similar interest in going into medicine.


The next keynote speaker was Swish Goswami, who works with data. I’ve actually done research on data science in the past, so his company was actually very interesting to me. He talked about how his work includes creating a genuine audience instead of working with fake social media, or fake influencers.


“Empower your own audience,” said Goswami.


He also talked about privilege he had in his position to be able to work on his startup, the ability to take risks and drop out of college. He talks about taking calculated risk; it may fail, but it is still better than the feeling of regret.


For the Deloitte Keynote I was able to work with my peers to analyze and solve a critical problem that affects present day solutions. In doing this I was able to explore different options regarding education and really think about my perspective on the current education system.


I believe that being an entrepreneur involves taking calculated risks. It’s being able to identify your own strength and what sets you apart from anyone else. It's the ability to network and come up with new ideas. For the future, I can keep in mind the different pathways open to me and to live life with risk rather than regret.


I look forward to attending illuminate x North York next year! I’m excited about the keynote speakers and prompt that will be given next year.


I think the thing that stuck out to me the most was to live life by taking risks, accepting failure, and most importantly to live without regret.