Ever thought of a good business idea? No? Well, me too. Even though I never considered myself an entrepreneur, something about YELL enticed me to learn more about entrepreneurship.
I am grateful that I decided to apply and join the program because now I’m part of a family of leaders, innovators and changemakers. I’m excited to share my YELL story and what I’m up to with you!
My name is Matthew Tran; I am a first-year commerce student at the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University. I participated in YELL in Grade 12 (2020-21) during the pandemic with the Surrey School District class.
I remember applying for YELL right before the pandemic in Grade 11; I was excited to participate in this weekly course with other students interested in entrepreneurship. However, then a thing we now know called the COVID-19 pandemic started. Before YELL began, I didn’t expect to enjoy a weekly evening class that took place for two hours on my computer screen. I thought it would be a class I dreaded to go to; however, it was a class that I was always excited to attend. YELL taught me how to think innovatively and network effectively to learn from others.
The skills YELL equipped me with helped me support my team in achieving fifth in YELL’s annual venture challenge. We came from different schools in the Surrey School District and never met in real life; however, after those weekly meetings, it was like we’ve known each other for ten years. Our team was called Footprints, and our business surrounded the idea of supporting youth in their career and educational development. It took a while to finalize our idea, and even after finalizing, we were constantly updating our pitch.
I’ll always remember heading into every competition stage, thinking it may be our last time ever pitching as a team. This process of the program taught me how incorporating feedback and being an opener listener with a growth mindset could dictate one’s success. After every round of judging and competition, my team would reconvene and incorporate the feedback, which supported us in propelling to fifth place out of over 50 teams in the annual venture challenge.
You might be reading this and considering why I should participate in YELL? You may be going into commerce like I am or heading into a completely different sector like science or kinesiology; if you’re heading into the latter, you might be wondering how I can apply my YELL experience to a non-business degree.
A lot of what I took from YELL was applied to my recent internship with GrantMe Canada. This ed-tech startup builds technology and community to guide students on their education journey and solve the ‘I don’t knows’ of education for families.
As a former GrantMe student, I learned to tackle scholarship and admission applications while balancing academics, extracurriculars and other commitments. GrantMe supported me in winning over $25,000 in scholarships, securing a marketing internship with the National Hockey League, and getting admitted into Queen’s University’s commerce program.
GrantMe supports its students through mentorship calls, interview preparation sessions, essay editing and more. They also are always supporters of youth in the community by sharing youtube videos and blogs for free that cover topics from university research to how to write effectively like this one here.
Want to learn more about your scholarship eligibility or GrantMe, feel free to take our quick eligibility quiz, here! I hope to see you join the YELL and GrantMe family soon. Both programs bring an innovative approach to your education and will support you in achieving your goals.
I may have completed my journey as a YELL student, but I am excited to continue to be part of this extensive network of youth and their ambassador family. YELL continues to support its alumni and offers opportunities to support your development as a leader and learner.