Student name: Paul Guo
Field of interest: Engineering
Company Placement: Illusense
Why did you want to become a student at Lifeschool?
“Having a chance to interact with successful entrepreneurs or business owners and learn how to do business has always been my dream. Undoubtedly Lifeschool has given me the opportunity to train myself and understand my future career goal in engineering more clearly. On top of that, I can get an actual job that matches my interest before going to university. These two factors convinced me to be a part of Lifeschool to improve my entrepreneurship skills.”
How clear were you on your career path before you did the Lifeschool Program? And after you completed it?
“Before I started my first class in Lifeschool, my future path is very unclear because I had little understanding of how things worked in the business world. It was not uncommon since most people at my age also have no meaningful work experience . However, after I completed the program, my understanding of entrepreneurship has completely changed, because I learned a lot of things I had never seen or heard about before.”
How good were you at managing your time before the Lifeschool program? And after completing it?
“Time management is always a crucial problem for most high students, because they have a ton of things to do, like school work, clubs, sports, etc. I was also one of those students who could not manage time properly and ended up messing up everything. But Lifeschool has truly taught me how to manage my time while completing my work everyday. I felt way different afterwards; in the beginning, implementing and using the time management techniques I learned, I felt it was really inconvenient and tiring, but after a few days I felt much better because I saved a lot of time for myself and made my weeks easier to handle.”
How confident are you in social interactions and networking as a result of the Lifeschool program?
“Throughout my life, one of my biggest weaknesses has been social interactions. I used to feel uncomfortable and underconfident when I spoke to people I had just met. Although I knew having conversations with other people is essential and important in the business world, I just could not break through the barrier that was holding me back. In Lifeschool, I think the most important lesson I learned in terms of networking was to boost my confidence by forcing me outside of my comfort zone. Confidence building exercises was the fuel I needed to put myself in front of people. I improved a lot through the program and even went to a networking event that Lifeschool brought me to. I got to know a lot of people my age in this event and realized speaking out was not as hard as I thought it has been. Working at Illusense, I was also forced to improve my social skills with people in the office and move towards becoming an aspiring professional.”
Tell us about your experience during your job placement… how has the experience changed you?
“Not exaggerating, but at the beginning of my job placement I was very intimidated. Seeing a bunch of equipment that I had never heard of or seen before in the engineering lab really scared me because I felt that there was no way I could learn how to use them to do research. But as time went on, I started doing self study on the materials my employer Nathan gave me and asked more questions when I got a chance at the lab. Although it took me countless hours every week during my spare time, I eventually got more comfortable with what the theories and understandings of equpment that had intimidated me at first. Also, it was a great opportunity for me to have an understanding of how complicated concepts in engineering, my future dream program in university, are used in the real world.”
What were some personal weaknesses that you addressed and improved through the Lifeschool program and in your job placement?
“Other than time management and social skills, setting goals for myself was also a weakness I needed to fix. Often, I failed to reach my goals either because I felt they were beyond my control or I was not motivated enough to accomplish so big. In this program, I learned not to panic and or quit, and starting tackling for attainable SMART goals. Setting SMART goals for myself can help me reach my bigger goal in the long run. While working in the startup, I found my motivation was to get ahead of everyone else by working hard for university and future. Now I don’t have trouble setting goals, instead I am reaching closer to my ultimate career goal every single day.”
How confident are you in getting involved in your desired industry after having completed the Lifeschool program?
“I was always interested in designing new things, but I had a narrow understanding of the industry. Apart from knowing that I would need a technical education in school, I had no idea of how to excel in important aspects of career growth such as networking, personal branding, etc. Lifeschool has taught me specifically skills that help in these areas that will help differentiate me from other engineering students who are not as proactive as me.”
Is there any advice you can give you to future Lifeschool students?
“I strongly suggest everyone in future sessions ask the instructors any questions they are confused about and to take full advantage of your job placement. Also, communicating with other students, co-workers, etc if you are weak at social interactions will make you more confident and enjoy the program more!”