Photo (above): The Enactus University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus team that grew from 7 to 70 in a year!
Name: Evonne Chen May Yie
Course/University: BA (Hons) Finance, Accounting and Management, The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus (Year 2)
Experience: Team leader/chief executive officer of Enactus University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus
At the age of 10, I began helping my father in his retail business. Ever since, it has been instilled in me that time is an invaluable asset. Whenever I had free time, I would take part in activities or societies.
Throughout my years in high school and university, I have taken up various leadership roles. I always find it interesting to lead and manage teams, in spite of the challenges when dealing with people.
My journey in Enactus is one that holds great significance in my life, and one that I can imagine speaking about for many years. This leadership role has been a turning point in my life, having to face various highs and lows albeit the packed schedule – juggling between academics, activities and responsibilities at home. Nevertheless, I consider myself fortunate to have had such an opportunity.
I must say that the team is my greatest motivation to take up this role. I still recalled the beginning of my journey in Enactus as a junior member, while I was in my first year and the other team members consists of mostly final year students.
I was coached by my seniors for several months before I was promoted to be a team leader, working with five other newer team members. These five important individuals made my leadership journey a memorable one.
We began with a simple objective, wanting to grow a team and share whatever knowledge we had to as many individuals in the university with the experience we had gathered from participating in social/commercial projects by our seniors.
At the beginning, I thought that it was probably too much to handle. I was almost clueless on how to start. However, it was my team members who stood by me till the end. We worked really hard although we were short-handed then, to now having 70 active team members with five running social and commercial projects impacting communities. That has constantly reminded me on why we even started this initiative.
The highlight of my leadership experience with Enactus is working with individuals from different backgrounds and personalities. I love working with a diverse group as it promotes creativity and has been proven to generate better solutions. Input gathered from a diverse team is an asset and the role of a leader in managing diversity is vital.
It truly fascinates me on how a team can be pushed further and made better with diversity. Conversations and discussions would be more complete and cohesive with their input.
I would consider the duty to assign the right individuals for the right tasks as a challenge for a leader. This plays a great importance in creating an effective team. Listening to the thoughts and understanding the perspective of different individuals has helped me to make these decisions.
Juggling between different responsibilities
There really wasn’t any easy way out. Firstly, we had to step out of our comfort zones and secondly, prioritise. I had used my after-class hours to work on Enactus activities and in the evenings, I would help my dad with his retail business.
As much as it is important to manage our activities, coping with academics is also important. We must find that balance and ensure we don’t neglect them, as they both contribute to our entire university experience.
A sound advice: I had experienced getting involved in too many different activities that it took its toll on my health. So, be sure not to overstretch yourself!