Illuminate Vancouver was an incredible experience, not only for me but for all of my teammates as well. Even though it was only an one-day event, the amount of background work and preparation went far beyond the parameters of a 12-hour competition. We planned, organized our commutes, practiced, delegated our roles, bonded as a team, we even went as far as to coordinate our outfits for the big day. However, no matter how much lead up there was to the competition, there is no way I could wholeheartedly say that I went into the Henry-Angus building at UBC that morning confident that we were going to bring home one of the two grand prizes. Personally speaking, I did not view the NHBC 2018 as solely a competition where the only things that I could take from it was a few hundred dollars and trophy. I saw it as a learning opportunity, a stepstone to build up my skill sets in the world of business and expand my own knowledge and connections.
So, beyond the trophy, aside from the final presentation and pre-win drumroll, there were so many other factors that changed and improved me as a person. First off, was the schedule, though extremely tight and jam-packed, it gave me a taste of how the real world was going to be like; time doesn’t work around you, you work around time. This allowed me, along with my team, to bring our maximum productivity levels to the table and somehow pull two presentations together in 3 hours, 90 minutes for each. When it came to the actual execution of the pitches, it was surreal to see our ideas come to life and fan out in front of the judges, stringing together our visions and talents into a 5-minute time frame in an intimidating conference hall with people that definitely intimidated me.
Afterward, the feelings and surge of emotions that coursed through me were indescribable. That rush of accomplishment and satisfaction from finally pushing that entire business plan through and making it work. On top of that, the entire process brought us closer as a team, and it was so motivating to meet the other teams as well, getting to know so many like-minded individuals with the same goals as me. I would definitely recommend Illuminate Vancouver to any young person interested in pursuing business, or young person in general, you learn so much about time managing, ideating, formulating, presenting, and you’ll walk out of the venue doors after it’s over feeling amazing about yourself and what you just managed to do.