Members from the TRMC 2020 team had the opportunity to interview Michelle Park, a TRMC 2014-2017 Alumni, to discuss her conference experience, professional journey, and her advice for current students.
Michelle is currently employed as a Project Manager at the Brookfield Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (BII+E).
Michelle Park played many different roles on the TRMC team throughout the years, what made her keep coming back?
I don’t think I would have ever imagined myself to be on TRMC for four years. My TRMC journey started by being a part of the Breakthrough Program and attending their first Networking Night. At the event, I had the pleasure of meeting the VP of Events for TRMC, who told me all about the conference. The conversation ended with a request for me to volunteer for the second day of TRMC which was an eye-opening experience. I felt a sense of community that I didn’t know existed in university institutions. I couldn’t believe that the conference was planned by undergraduate students. I thought to myself “I have to be here again next year” and that’s when I applied to be on the events committee, following that year as VP Events, and then finally as Chair.
How would you describe TRMC in 3 words?
Unique, creative, and influential. I chose creative because every year TRMC pushes the boundaries and is constantly doing something different. There are many aspects of the conference that sets it apart from others such as the workshops, panelists, speakers, social activities and the environment that is created for all attendees. TRMC is known to focus on the delegate experience, above all else. Influential leadership is also a word to describe TRMC because the attendees are comprised of influential leaders and changemakers within their community, schools, and programs. TRMC is also known to have a rigorous hiring process for the organizing team in order to uphold the legacy from year to year.
How has TRMC impacted you personally or in your professional career?
I can say with confidence that if it wasn’t for TRMC I would not be working at the Brookfield Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (BII+E). TRMC gave me the opportunity to explore and discover my passions, especially for my love of working with people. Graduating from the Retail Management program at Ryerson University, I wanted to give back to the school and the opportunities that it provided for me. When I discovered BII+E, it aligned directly with the work I wanted to do around innovation and entrepreneurship and the opportunity to fill gaps in Canada’s innovation economy. TRMC has influenced my life personally and professionally and has truly set me up for success. TRMC without a doubt, has been one of the best experiences at my time at Ryerson University.
Do you have any final advice or words of encouragement for current undergraduate students?
Two words of advice.
First, getting involved in your school is going to be important to diversify your portfolio professionally and to grow your network personally. You can do this through student groups, volunteering at events, being involved in class, and so on…there are endless ways you can get involved.
Second, the key to success is not just growing your network, but also learning from your network. Being in university or a recent grad, you do not have all the answers nor will your current title as a student group leader signify your importance in the workplace. You need to be able to continuously learn from your peers/colleagues/friends, and to ground yourself in knowing that in fact, you may know nothing at all. As a young person in a new industry, you bring a unique perspective, but you also may realize that you have a lot to learn! So grow your mind, your skillset, and be ready to roll up your sleeves.
You can check out Michelle Park on Linkedin.