We acknowledge that we live and work on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. The University of Waterloo is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land promised to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River.
Joyce Lee is a recent graduate of the Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology (MBET) program.
To prepare for the transition from summer to fall, I decided to reorganize my closet. Typically, this process begins with untangling articles of clothing. Some knits require additional attention as they are gnawing on tights. To reduce the overcrowded closet, apparel is separated into two piles; one pile consists of things to "keep" and the other consists of things to "donate”.
Rummaging through articles and articles of clothing has led to a third pile: “the nostalgic pile”. I have unknowingly collected and saved pieces of apparel throughout the course of this past year, from volunteering or participating in various events run through the Conrad Centre during my time pursuing my MBET degree. All of these events I have attended are unforgettable learning experiences, unique to being an MBET student at Conrad.
My first t-shirt is from volunteering at the SociaLIGHT conference: a social enterprise committed to empowering entrepreneurs and leaders. This conference allowed us to connect with like-minded individuals who were passionate about making an impact and forming lifelong friendships with fellow entrepreneurs.
I pick up another shirt and remember volunteering at CBC’s Dragon's Den. This experience enabled us to see what it was really like behind the scenes of the hit television series by working with the producers. Along with this, we were also able to connect with a diverse range of entrepreneurs across the region.
Start-up Weekend Kitchener- Waterloo
My most memorable t-shirt, though, is from Start-up Weekend Kitchener-Waterloo, hosted by Communitech. Our team won the competition! From this, I will never look at weekends the same after a hyper-productive 54 hours at Start-up Weekend and an exciting win!
The shirt I am most proud of is my Planboard one because it was my commercialization project for Conrad`s BET 604 course. Planboard is a software solution that helps teachers streamline their lesson plans, find resources, and collaborate with others. We not only placed third in the innovation showcase, but we also doubled the company’s project revenue! Planboard also placed second in the Lee Kuan Yew Global Business Plan Competition and completed a fellowship in a Californian incubator. Now, this is an experience that started within the walls of the Conrad Centre, but has grown exponentially since then!
Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT)
As I continue to sort, I stumble upon an unexpected canvas bag. This bag signifies my summer school experience at Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT). It was a unique opportunity to meet over 105 students from all across the world in an open environment. I got a taste of student diversity first at Conrad, but LUT opened my eyes even further to the possibility of networking and learning from a unique group of individuals.
Once my closet is finally cleaned, and the shirts sorted neatly into piles, I realize that my world pre-MBET was minute. Surprisingly, I do not even have apparel from some other highlights of this year. I am grateful for all of the opportunities that being an MBET student brought to my life. During the first week of classes at Conrad, we were told that “50% of life is about showing up.”
The MBET program is a place for personal growth. Put in the time for these opportunities, and I promise you, you will be amazed by the results."
Joyce Lee has a strong interest in social entrepreneurship. She is currently working to inspire more kind acts in the world through Goodspotter. Joyce is also working with the Project Management Institute, Canada's Technology Triangle Chapter, as the social media lead.