My (April &) May 2022
Travelling to Banff, starting in corporate, and some summer adventures
It’s been a good two months since my last newsletter article in March 2022, and a lot has happened since then. I’ve quickly realized that one of the first things I’ve been ready to drop when life get’s busy is this newsletter—setting an unrealistic standard of writing weekly over at bulletin.brandonyu.me was just simply not realistic.
I’m committing to writing a monthly recap similar to a public journal—documenting and sharing the ups, downs, and everything in between. Feel free to read on.
Updates in short
I closed out the school year and took my first ever “friends” trip to Banff in April 2022.
I started work in healthcare consulting at KPMG
I learned that (i) life is better with people, (ii) how critical routines are, and (iii) that everyone needs to refine their story
Traveling to Banff
On April 23-30th, 2022, a group of 8 of my closest friends went over to Banff in Alberta. It was incredible—one of the best experiences of my life. I was fully disconnected from work and school, and fully immersed in nature and in the company of my friends—it was amazing.
However, this trip wasn’t without a hitch. By the end of it, we called it the daily tragedies. Some of these so-called tragedies included: our windshield getting cracked by a flying rock, getting ticketed by the Calgary Police, and getting stitches at the hospital after being stabbed by a poorly-designed metal frame of a bed. We also had a notable fall that will undoubtedly be the most memorable aspect of our trip (if you follow my Instagram @brandonoliveryu, you know what I’m talking about).
Nonetheless, this was an incredible experience for all of us. We’ve all become much closer as friends, and we were able to have a great mix of ceaseless laughter and deep, personal conversations. I also can’t help but think of how traveling really drives key life lessons into you. Here are some of the few things I’m taking away from this trip.
Life is better with friends
Yes, it really is. We’ve all come from so many different upbringings and paths of life, and having the opportunity to be in the same house with each other for a week really allowed us to get to know and learn from each other. The world became a slightly bigger place and our dreams were just slightly less out of reach—all because we had the support of each other around us.
Make lemons out of lemonade
Despite the daily tragedies we’ve had (and everyone took part in being the victim of such things), we’ve always found a way to laugh it off. Be grateful for everything. Although several of the main attractions were closed at the time, we were able to have so much fun hiking on trails in our Nike running shoes, cooking meals with whatever ingredients we ended up having, and enjoying the time we had with each other.
Take time to take time
Life can be so incredibly busy at times. Just the week before, I was cramming 4 exams and being destroyed by the neverending onslaught of emails, messages, and Slack notifications. It seemed like I had to be everywhere but here. I took a 6am walk when we first arrived and ended up meeting a seasoned biomedical lawyer during my walk. She told me how she moved from a busy city to Alberta for the purpose of being able to just be present. I’ve definitely reflected on that since and am trying to be more intentional in making sure to make time for time, and just be present.
My journey in consulting
On May 2nd, I began my journey in corporate doing healthcare consulting for KPMG. Today is the start of week 6. It has been a great experience since I started—I have the pleasure of working with some incredibly smart people, doing some very fun work, and having the opportunity to get involved with whatever I’m interested in. One month in and I’m having a blast. Here are a few learnings throughout my experience so far that I think can be applied anywhere.
Create your future
Coming into the firm, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew I was fully staffed already on a great project but wasn’t expecting to be able to lead things at the intern level. Well, I was wrong. It’s really about putting myself out there and demonstrating what I’m passionate about. So far, I’ve been able to lead strategies and even contribute to the development of new service lines. I’m also leading thought leadership about topics I’m passionate about. Through this, my identity (and my future) at the firm is slowly shaping, and it’s a really exciting time to be here.
One of the coolest things about my experience so far is the people I’m able to work with. In my intern class alone, I’m working with a surgeon with 5 years of experience and someone with 5+ years of health-tech startup experience. Needless to say, I’ve been hit with some severe imposter syndrome. However, I’ve realized that the strength of this practice is really due to the different backgrounds we are all bringing in. A key learning for me was to really double down on what I’m passionate about (in this case biotech and the life sciences) and really make that my differentiating factor—not only in the consulting industry but really all throughout life.
Some last thoughts
The last few months have been an absolute blur, and it’s really shown what I subconsciously prioritize. A key takeaway here is to go back to the drawing board and build up a few routines that can ensure that some of the priorities that I want to maintain (ie. reading books, working out, reading the Bible) are kept.
Something I look back on with a sense of disbelief is how I ended up in consulting. My journey has consisted of being in a life sciences program, doing some immunology research, and getting involved in startups. None of those things were planned at all but yet there’s a common thread in my “why”. This makes me now think about the story I want to have for myself and the story that everyone generates for themselves throughout their experiences.
Say yes to uncomfortable things. I went to a web3 event despite not knowing anything about the industry. Not only did I end up meeting my dad’s colleague, but I was also able to run into ex-big techers who are now launching their own startups in web3. It definitely accelerated my drive for the industry and I’m eager to see what happens next.
All in all, a big and exciting past few months. The biggest challenge for me is to really just slow down time and enjoy the moment. Excited to continue on throughout the summer. Next month: VC, Collision, and more summer fun.
Thanks for reading my monthly update. I’m looking forward to reading any of your thoughts or comments below. See you next month!