It felt totally surreal. The experience was unlike anything I’d ever experienced before and it was once-in-a-lifetime. I was so incredibly honoured to be recognized as one of Canada’s Top 20 Under 20. I admit, the interview process was quite nerve-racking – to talk to a member of the Order of Canada and submit countless applications was definitely an interesting journey in itself. But then the Leadership Summit began, and I was thrust into an unfamiliar environment with 19 other people who knew about as much as me in terms of what was about to happen… so in other words, nothing. I was nervous, I really was and had no idea what to expect. But the one thing I never expected to except was meeting the 19 people who would change my life for the next four days. I seriously cannot talk enough about these guys, I’m still so much in awe and admiration of their amazing accomplishments and also how down-to-earth and personable each of them were. They were just as nervous as I was, but somehow in those four days, we became great friends!
The Leadership Summit included such adventures as visiting the Globe and Mail newspaper (and even sitting in on a top secret editorial meeting), getting a great stress-counselling session at Right Management, participating in Media Training, and learning all about Personal Branding. All of the workshops, guest speakers and presentations were not only informative, but they all so relevant and applicable which is always fantastic!
Then on Thursday morning, came the Awards Breakfast. This was the chance to show off all we had learned during the week (especially in Media Training), in a three-question-interview in front of at least 200 people, talking about what we did to receive the award. And guess what? I was first up to go. It was terrifying. But at the end of the day, I think I did a pretty good job and it was such a relief to finish answering those three questions!
Overall, the Top 20 Under 20 Award experience was once-in-a-lifetime, and it’s one I’ll never ever forget. I’ll always cherish my time with those 19 amazingly accomplished young people, and hope to stay in touch for many years to come!
(This is a great picture in the newspaper of me, talking about the Top 20 Under 20 Award)