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The Illuminated Experience

My name is Daniel Zhao and I participated in the Illuminate Universe x North York event. I am a grade 10 student at St. Andrew's College. This is going to be my blog where I talk about my experience and what I learned from the entire event.


I don't even know where to begin talking about this extraordinary event. It was a great way for me to prepare myself for the future, socialize with new people, build teamwork skills, learn from successful entrepreneurs, and more.


The first speaker we heard from was Dan Kiernan. Kiernan was able to open my eyes to the world, making me take a completely different perspective on life and our society. He mentioned how sometimes in life you shouldn't choose a career that you're only passionate about. Most of the time those people end up failing. The biggest take away from listening to Kiernan would be the 3 C's to building a connection.

  1. Context

  2. Credibility

  3. Call To Action

These 3 key C's are extremely important and can be useful no matter where you go in life.


Later, we moved on to do an extremely fun workshops. The first workshop, I was put into a breakout room on Zoom with a random stranger. We would then implement the 3 C's Kiernan talked about and introduce ourselves. I found it extremely fun as my partner was really open and kind.





Later we had this mini Q/A with Swish Goswami. He is a Canadian entrepreneur who was zooming in from Calgery at the time. It was really inspiring to listen to his story and understand how he dropped out of college to peruse his business. A key take away I learned from the Q/A is the never be scared to take action, sometimes you have to take a risk!



In the end, my team placed 3rd place out of all the teams. I'm extremely proud of my group members. Great job boys!


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