Formulating Your Passion – Alessandra Tam

Who?

Alessandra Tam is a passionate and highly motivated individual currently working at OWN Academy where she helps to transform the way education is viewed by bridging students to professionals. In terms of her education, she graduated from Oxford in 2016 after studying Archaeology and Anthropology. It was from here she went on to pursue a wide range of experiences such as event management. Before joining OWN Academy, Alessandra acted as a successful Senior Account Executive at Proof contact where she operated in the furniture industry. Through this interview, we got an exciting insight into her ambitions at OWN Academy as well as the lessons students can take from her journey.

Quick Summary

Alessandra’s journey resonates with that of many of the most successful individuals, it’s a journey that is not only incredibly diverse, but catalysed by an ambition to help others and impact their lives in a positive way. Alessandra’s decision to join OWN Academy came about as she witnessed her peers going through what was called a ‘quarter life crisis’, as they ended up in prestigious jobs but weren’t able to derive a sense of enjoyment. Alessandra took heed of this problem and wanted to help students ‘find their calling’. Through her work at OWN Academy, she empathises with the youth of our generation to inspire them and let them know that there are multiple pathways to success. 

Much like the team at Discere, Alessandra has a very constructive view in regards to the education system. She described the current gap in our education system revolving around the idea of ‘awareness’. There is a common misconception that college is the only legitimate choice for a students future if they wish to become successful. In regards to career choices, another set of presumptions arises, a common example of this is often experienced in households where strong secure jobs such as lawyers, doctors, engineering, etc are encouraged. Through platforms such as OWN Academy, Alessandra helps students to prepare for the real world by providing them with skills that schools do not cover. By immersing students in the multiple possibilities from an early age, they are increasing this sense of ‘awareness’ that translates over to better informed decisions in regards to their future. Alessandra believes that students should be rewarded with experiences as opposed to monetary incentives. 

While there are numerous merits to academic classroom learning, Alessandra’s perspective revolves around the thought that we shouldn’t limit our ability to learn as dependent on schools and classrooms, we should otherwise view the world as our classroom. There are numerous skills which are demanded in professional workplaces that are not taught in schools, therefore we should capitalize on our out of school experiences to make the most out of them. Whether it’s in another country, or in any sort of foreign experience, out of classroom learning allows us to not only acquire valuable soft skills but garner numerous perspectives. 

To conclude our interview, Alessandra responded to our classic question by leaving us with a very relevant piece of advice. Given we are in an incredibly unprecedented moment in time, we should be using this time to create a uniqueness about ourselves that wouldn’t have otherwise been present. After all, the ability to formulate and identify your passion is something that helps you excel in the long term.

“Start formulating your passions, because that’s what will differentiate you from others down the line”

Alessandra Tam

From the Guest Student

I really enjoyed today’s session with Alessandra. Personally, I think that the most significant lesson today was that as millennials, it’s ok to be uncertain of the world. She has taught me that, we don’t have to have a solid plan or direction in life and it’s ok to experiment with the choices that we choose to make because often times it’ll lead us to opportunities that we’d never thought were possible in the first place.

In one of my questions, I asked her if she’d have any advice for the new generations who’d like to showcase their products in a new market. Alessandra stated that when it comes to such areas, it is important to note that you have do your research, understanding the facts behind the type of audience such as their age, income as well as their ways of living. Small details that are being added in such as the shopping experience could also lead to a much bigger impact, and it could be just simple things such as they type of music being played inside the store. All these eventually lead to us knowing how they choose to spend and how much they’re willing to spend on certain products and services. When we are able to occupy a certain amount of percentage in the niche market, we are able to have a strong foundation.

If you’re trying to portray your idea to your group of colleagues, the best way to showcase why you think your idea is beneficial is by showing a lot of factual information about your decisions. A solid factual data plan is key to persuasion.

After listening about her past experiences and transitions in various working environments, I really think that life is unpredictable regardless of which career path you wish to take on in the future. Most importantly, just have a clear mind, believe in your skills and keep learning!!!

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