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Designing her Future with KPU


Maggie’s team, AIDA, took home first place at the 2020 YELL Venture Challenge. Pictured here with their team mentor, Ping Yao, and sporting AIDA shirts that Maggie designed.

I was first introduced to the idea of the YELL program by my high school’s career counsellor. I told her I was interested in design mostly, however, I had an interest in business too. She reminded me that regardless of the field of work, business will always be applicable. It made sense to me, so I joined the class with one of my close friends who was also into business. 

On the first day of class our teacher asked us what major we’d plan to be studying in university. This simple ice breaker had me questioning if I was meant to be in that class. Everyone with the exception of me and one other person said business. Despite my feelings of being in the wrong place, I stuck with the program because I truly believed I could learn a few things from the course. I enjoyed listening to the guest speakers talk about their journeys and was excited to hear about how different everyone’s story was. There were so many ways to start a business that I had never even thought about and it made me super excited. Hearing all these stories made me want to create something of my own. Luckily the venture challenge had just started to begin, and I was ready to hit the ground running. 

I knew I didn’t have as many business-related skills as my peers, but I did have a creative edge which I knew would be helpful in the process. I ended up forming a group with 4 other amazing individuals and soon became close friends with them. We each brought a different strength to the table and as I predicted it was beneficial to be different because I was able to provide skills that others lacked. After months of daily calls and countless hours of work my team managed to win the venture challenge with the help and guidance of our amazing mentor Ping. 

Although the whole experience was a huge learning curve with its ups and downs, it was the most fulfilling and rewarding experience I’ve ever had. You truly do get out what you put into the course. We poured our hearts and souls into our pitch and business plan and at the end, regardless of if we had won or not, we were proud of what we had accomplished. This feeling of accomplishment is what I hope every YELL student takes away from their experience. 

After graduating high school I went on to study at KPU Wilson School of Design. I enrolled in their one-year Foundations in Design program and studied online for a fall and spring semester. In all my courses I felt like I had a head start because I had impeccable time management skills that I had learnt from YELL. Deadlines were easy to meet, and I found that I was able to juggle all five courses with relative ease. Because my YELL group was so intensive in our efforts, in contrast, university seemed like a breeze.  

The Foundations in Design program has helped me choose fashion as the sector I want to pursue. Heading into the fashion program, I am excited to apply all the business skills I learnt in YELL. The fashion industry is highly competitive and business skills are essential to your success. As it turns out, no matter what career path you choose, it all does revolve around business. YELL strengthens not only business skills but interpersonal, professional, and organizational skills as well. To this day I am a firm believer that the YELL program is beneficial not only to business students but students of all disciplines.

Maggie Sew
YELL Alumni 2020

Did you know, Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Melville School of Business has partnered with YELL to offer YELL graduates a place to dive deeper into their entrepreneurial identity. As a polytechnic university, KPU’s BBA in Entrepreneurial Leadership Program offers small class sizes, experiential learning opportunities, and the mentoring and support needed to turn entrepreneurial aspirations into reality. By successfully completing the YELL program, students can get credit for ENTR 1200 (3 credits) and get a head start on their post-secondary education, regardless of the career path they choose!

For more information, click here.