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The Final Build Up to Meeting Alina Huang - Speaker Time Conference

Illuminate x Durham | April 9, 2021

The start of the speaker time conference was like fireworks! There was excitement buzzing among us, we finally got to meet Alina Huang, the CEO of Illuminate Universe and the Principal of Illuminate Academy. Weeks have been leading up to this moment, the regional leads have been hosting their weekly meetings, but the build-up finally came to this moment!

Hello, my name is Yukttha Sivaraju, and I am in grade 12 from J. Clarke Richardson Collegiate. I had the pleasure of meeting Alina Huang in the Illuminate x Durham - Speaker Time Conference. An important lesson I learned from Alina Huang is how post-secondary education is not a linear path to success. For example, Alina Huang has a degree from Western University in Classical, Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Studies and Archaeology. However, through her passion she was able to secure a position in IBM as a Product Management. Later on, she also worked as Technology and Management Consulting at Deloitte. It truly shows how with determination and passion, you can achieve far greater things in life. This was an eye-opening experience, as Alina is an example of how your education does not end with your passion.

One thing I thoroughly enjoyed about the conference was about understanding your mental fitness. To simplify, positive mental muscle equates to sage. You may be wondering what the 'sage' is. Your sage handles obstacles with positive emotions (e.g. gratitude, empathy, and self-confidence. On the other hand, your negative mental muscle equates to saboteur. Your saboteur handles obstacles with negative emotions (e.g. anger, fear, and guilt).

This is very important as individuals in society to understand these two concepts. Therefore, when faced with challenges, you will recognize quickly with you must react in sage mode. By reacting with positive mental muscle, you are not only helping yourself deal with the challenge in a calm manner, but you are also keeping in mind of your surroundings, this keeps you grounded and in balance. The key to facing challenges is remaining calm and balanced.

But, let's combine our sage with PQ (Positive Intelligence Quotient). The PQ is the measure of mental fitness, the best indicator of how happy you are and how well you perform relative to your potential.

You might be curious if you can increase your PQ? The answer to that is YES, and it is through practice. Once you activates this area, you release endorphins, making you a positive, thus, you will be clear-minded when making decision.s


To conclude, the end of the conference was filled with excitement as the following week was presenting our solution for the case competition. I was inspired by Alina and how easily she was able to keep the group engaged! There were many key takeaways from Alina's presentation, and I will continue to use that in my everyday life!


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