Career Spotlight Q&A

Posted on September 24, 2016

A Q&A I filled out about my career and how I got to where I am now (which is not very far :P).

Name: Salina Siu

School: Simon Fraser University

Industry: Marketing

Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do.

I graduated from SFU Beedie School of Business concentrating in marketing and entrepreneurship with a minor in publishing. Currently, I’m co-founder of OMG Social Media Conference and Tubegether, a tech platform for increasing audience interaction during events. I also started a YouTube channel four years ago called, Salinabear, where I create DIY tutorials on cutting up t-shirts. I recently reached 100,000 subscribers and 16 million views.

How did you initially enter this profession?

I always knew I was going to study marketing because I have a very creative side, but becoming entrepreneurial was something I fell into. I never set out to start my own company – I was actually against it because I knew how much hard work is required. But somehow, an idea came or a potential opportunity came up and I went for it!

How did you prepare yourself to get into this area?

In the past, my desire to make an idea happen was the only reason I had to force myself to develop skills certain entrepreneurial skills. I was heavily involved with AIESEC SFU during my university career and I applied for two leadership positions, where I learned to lead a team and develop a strategy. Since I was very shy growing up, AIESEC slowly helped me grow out of my shell and start taking charge over my four years of involvement. During university, I also founded my own online magazine as a SFU student club called, WANT Magazine, where I recruited students to become editors, writers, and photographers.

I’ve always been interested in learning more about starting your own business, so I would read articles or books. I also attended a lot of business, marketing, or entrepreneurial networking events and workshops to learn from others and grow my network.

What’s one thing that’s awesome about being in your role?

Right now, doing a tech startup has been a whirlwind. Vancouver is exploding with resources, events, and groups dedicated to tech startups. I love learning something new all the time and even the uncertainty and stress makes every day exciting.

What has been the most rewarding moment in your career?

As the co-founder of OMG Social Media Conference, there is almost a year of planning and promoting that leads up to a one-day event. Our mission is to simplify social media for small business owners and I think on the day of the event, it’s extremely rewarding to see attendees learn, network, and participate! To know my team and I made a difference to 200 small business owners from the community is a great feeling.

What is the best career advice you have received?

“Ask for feedback, but don’t listen to everyone.” If you do listen to all the feedback you get, you’ll be changing your mind every other day and you won’t be able to get where. So it’s good to get different perspectives, but most times, know that you know more about your situation than an outsider and trust your gut feeling. Don’t be too easily swayed.

What are trends that excite you?

We are so lucky to live in a time where innovation is happening every day and can be achieved by anyone. The trend of people becoming more and more mobile excites me because no one has to stay in one place anymore and the world has become a lot smaller.

Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us.

As a kid, I wanted to become a dessert chef when I grew up and during high school, I took a cake decorating class for fun. I can make icing roses!

What role has education and/or training played in your career path?

My university career was a huge turning point for me that turned me from a girl that was extremely shy and never spoke up, to a girl that could lead a team and get in front of a camera. I got very involved when I started university, which allowed me to develop so many new skills, make lots of friends, and become the person I was meant to be. Because of all of those reasons, I’ve been able to find opportunities to do something awesome and excel in it!

Who was the one person that influenced who you are today?

My dad has been a huge influence on who I am today. I think he has a more unconventional way of thinking and looking at the world, so growing up I started doing the same. I’m thankful that he taught me how to think critically and always have a curious mind.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give your younger self?

Stop wasting time on the computer and watching TV – go learn something new.

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