At Brescia University College, one international student is already on her way to becoming a very inspiring leader. Qiaoyu Wu or more commonly known as Grace Wu is a graduate from the class of 2019. Grace completed her undergraduate degree in Non-Profit Management. But while she was in the program, she discovered her leadership potential and her ability to make a change in her community.
Grace went to a Canadian international high school in China. So she already knew she would someday go to Canada for university. But she didn’t know which school she’d go to. That all changed when she attended a Universities Fair. She learned about Brescia’s speaking contest, “Take the Lead”. Moreover, she visited the campus and she knew she found her calling. Furthermore, she met with other students and was inspired to become a leader and think about her own leadership potential. And then she knew she wanted to become a part of Brescia.
Grace learned early on that she needed to have a voice to make a change. She felt it was important to her to represent international students to create a more inclusive community. Moreover, during her time at Brescia, she was part of the London Youth Advisory Council of the city and was also Student Ambassador at Brescia. From there, she said, “I learned to understand the impact of social development on a small scale.” Additionally, she also wanted to her credit one of her professors, Colleen Sharen for opening her eyes to what makes an effective leader. As a leader, she should consider others and see how different cultures influence other people. So she saw this as a way to understand others and build relationships.
Grace is now a Banking Advising Intern at RBC and she credits Brescia with giving her the start to her career. She says that during summer, she participated in a leadership program and she worked with RBC during that time. Moreover, she kept her connections from that experience, and it led her to where she is today. So she wants to give back and help people who are vulnerable. She loves being able to help people and empathize with their individual needs. For now, she knows that to be a good leader, she should also know how to be a good follower. So this will ensure she can achieve her leadership goals. She says, “Leadership can be both leading and following to support whatever the goal is.”
Grace had some advice for current students at Brescia. Moreover, being a leader takes time and they should learn from all around them, so for now, she had this to say:
- Regardless of what you are studying, develop your own opinions. Having your own opinions, to me, raises more value than greed or your future income.
- The meaning of education is not about changing your own life, but about changing the lives of others. I want students to know, the four years they spend at Brescia, gives them the potential to change the world.
- Remember, try new things. Get involved as a student leader at Brescia, or within the London community. When I did this, it helped me learn much faster and build my character and skills outside of the classroom.
- And finally, don’t be afraid of being different.
Grace believes a leader is someone who sees the inequality in the world and decides to create a better future. So she is always looking towards the future. She says, “They taught me to always consider forward-thinking ideas and concepts, reminding me to consider my long-term goals. This gave me the confidence to develop both personally and professionally regardless of where I am working.”
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