August 03, 2021 4 min read

Discovering her penchant for words, Pei-Chyi knew a marketing profession would match her creative mind. She lays out how she made the connection and how far she's ventured outside her comfort zone for the better. 

Career Exploration Beyond International Trade

When I think of my career exploration, it feels similar to what reading a treasure map might be like. With an English BA, it seemed that the best use of my language skills laid within the international trade sector. This narrow view from my younger self pushed me to dive into the world of international trade which thankfully opened new doors for me. It exposed me to various functions of business: product marketing, sales, procurement, and even accounting.

Smiling Pei-Chyi standing in front of yellow brick wall.

Before coming to Canada, I was in a project marketing management role across many different industries. Realizing that simply having the general know-how of business wasn’t enough, I decided to pursue an academic path at Douglas College, entering the Sales and Marketing program. I graduated last year with a post-degree diploma in Sales. These experiences enabled me to sample the many flavours of my career options. I concluded that wherever the ingredient of communications is most valued, that’s where I would go!

The Hurdles of An International Student

I see challenges and opportunities as interchangeable. All the same, the decision to live abroad was a challenging one to make. Like all other international students, the idea of building a trustworthy network of friends from zero and landing my first job was beyond what I thought I could achieve. Living in Kaohsiung, Taiwan was all I knew.

Jumping from that world where I knew which sidewalks to avoid on my way home to a country where I needed to hold onto Google Maps to get around is still a challenge I am overcoming. I face this by turning myself into SpongeBob: a combination of being lighthearted and a quick absorber. Being lighthearted simply because no one can stand a serious person! And being a quick absorber means learning as much as your capacity allows wherever you go - be it culture, language, business acumen, or the names of dishes on restaurant menus!

But I also remind myself that there’s nothing more challenging than taming a heart that wants to race a thousand miles per minute. Patience. The process of riding through the ups and downs strengthens my mind and ability to let go of what I can’t control.

A Clear Career Objective

Though oftentimes people joke about landing a dream job that compensates very well with a minor workload and commute, I can picture myself being stressed due to the little stress of working at such job! And I am someone who enjoys vacations! In all seriousness, I am hoping to venture into the SaaS industry and help market a technological solution that even skeptical adopters would want to examine further with a magnifier and read word-by-word and ultimately, try the software out!

Regardless of the title of the position, my ideal role involves a portion of time dedicated for me to dive deep into the world of words and let my creativity flow like a live stream in summer. It would also enable me to split my time in collaborating and communicating with people and thereby oiling the chain of human interactions. The final cherry on the top would be the element of analyzing numbers for further fine-tuning of entire processes! After all, technology helps us save time to spend with our beloved ones.

Pei-Chyi standing looking to the right in front of fallen tree.

Speaking of which, the free resources such as Google Skillshop, Google Analytics, and MOOCs have largely changed the landscape of upskilling for the workforce in the world of business. They break open so many doors that used to be thought of as barriers to accessing knowledge. The great impact for me as a young professional is the self-assurance that resources are out there and that my growth only depends on my willingness to click the mouse. Simply that. No excuse.

Growing Personally & Professionally

I feel lucky in the fact that I have maintained a positive relationship with all the companies I worked. Aside from that, the most impactful experience I have had is my opportunity to work with kids on the autism spectrum as their behaviour interventionist!

From my perspective, it can be challenging for autistic individuals to perform some abilities that to us seem like a natural reaction; a kernel turning into popcorn. On a wide spectrum, you can meet someone who has difficulty communicating verbally in words, and someone who is well-spoken but talks at length. It was a defining moment when I first realized what I used to label “anti-social” can be very anxiety-provoking to someone on the spectrum because our brains are wired so differently! The awe-striking moment made me immediately drop the lens of judgement!

An Inspirational Tale to Hold onto

My inspiration is Abraham Lincoln! He was a self-taught lawyer and a committed lifelong learner. Despite being born into poverty and having limited exposure to formal schooling, these circumstances didn’t trap him in a fixed mindset; he still managed to educate himself despite his huge responsibility of putting food on the table for his family.

His success inspires me so much because it shows that even when all the circumstances seem to be against you, it’s excuses that can encage you. You can do anything and everything if you truly believe in and commit yourself to it!

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