By Catalina Zou
In our 2020 September meeting, we were introduced to our guest speaker, PwC Managing Consultant Jany Xu. But today’s focus was not about business. Instead, she focused on something that is relevant to every person: identity. Many students and young adults struggle to discover their own identity, so Jany Xu shares her story on how she came to find herself as a person.
Though it may not be easy to see now, it’s important to note that life is more than one’s accomplishments and work is more than knowledge learned in school. Prior to work, Jany always identified herself solely as a student, and had a lack of self-confidence due to her poor academic performance. The start of her career opened her eyes to the world around her, but like everyone else, she still had a lot to learn. She once accepted a challenging project, but it overwhelmed her so much that she eventually had to get out of it. The hard decision of quitting made Jany feel lost and broken as a person, but the failure also marked the start of her path to finding herself again. Every person’s journey in life starts with the question: “Who am I?”, and that is a question every person must answer for themselves.
Jany Xu concluded her speech with 3 key tips. First, explore. There’s a lot more options in life, and it’s important that you start to look at your options early. Second, consider optionality. Find something that interests you, but know that not all choices are created equal, so look for the one that gives you multiple options after. Finally, calculate risks. Don’t be afraid of failure, but also know what you are getting yourself into. Don’t ever make blind decisions. Jany ends with a key takeaway, which is to discover your purpose. As you continue on with your life, find what the world has in store for you, and never let an obstacle be the thing that stops you.