Describe your role and what it is that you do overall and on a day-to-day basis.
I’m the Co-Founder of Allbry, a student health platform that improves communication and insights between students and school counsellors. My official role is deputy CEO and CMO, but it being in a scale up phase means that my day-to-day work consists of being everywhere all the time. I love running operations, making sure everything runs smoothy, so I spend a lot of time managing and coordinating between management, product and marketing (which is also my responsibility). Overall, my role is to make sure that we operate in the right way, grow our brand and all activities that come with it.
What interested you about the field/company/role you are currently in? What drew you to want to engage in youth mental health?
At heart, I am a true entrepreneur and I always have been. Running my own operations is how I’m comfortable working and it allows me to be more creative, flexible, and efficient. My background is in marketing and advertising, but my true passion lies in creating societal change and doing work that is impactful, work that will leave a mark in the world and help for the better. When I left my last job, my boss told me: “for better or worse, you don’t fit in a box.” It’s a mixed blessing that I’ve chosen to embrace.
That’s what drew me to wanting to engage in youth mental health. I’ve had quite the track record with mental health challenges in my life and overcome them with a lot of support, motivation and will power. Today, I’m more empowered than ever and I really just want to give back and be proactive, to prevent young people from having the same experiences I had. I know that life has so much to offer if you believe in yourself.
Good mental health is a fundamental cornerstone to a person’s well-being and to be able to offer a platform where youth can get the help that they need, on their terms and at the time that they desire, is so rewarding and such a motivator.
Why did you choose to study your subject area at SSE?
When I was deciding what to study it was always between business and psychology. I chose business but I chose Retail Management instead of Business and Economics, it felt more creative and there was more marketing there which drew me to the program. When I chose to do my Masters, I was again drawn to marketing.
How did your time/education at SSE help guide you to the career journey you have embarked on?
SSE really opened my eyes to many career paths that I had never considered before. My parents, being first generation immigrants, had limited knowledge of all the different choices that were available to me, and so I didn’t really know either. But I quickly realized that marketing was fun and my first internship landed me a job at a communications agency. All those years working in communications my parents never fully understood what I was doing for a living! In my second year I joinedthe SSE Business Lab and that was also very eye-opening. It was my first venture and we failed fast but I learned so much from it.
What path did you take from graduation to where you are now?
I worked with strategy and branding in advertising for a few years. I started as a planner and went on to become strategist and client manager. I always felt a bit misplaced, and with time, felt way more inspired by clients with social impact. So I co-founded a company and worked on that simultaneously as I worked corporately. By 2018 I burnt out and had to slow down so I took a year off. After regaining my spark, I decided to go with my gut and chase my true passion of working with socially impactful projects. I quit my day job and invested everything I had, both time and money, in building my own company focusing on youth mental health.
Following your time studying, do you have any words of wisdom or advice you would like to share with our current students?
Live in the now and take every chance you get! SSE is such a great place to explore all kinds of possibilities (even though it might be scary at times). So, remember to have fun, trust me, it’s way more important than getting straight A’s because at the end of your SSE journey you’re going to realize that the learning part is forever, it doesn’t end just because you graduated. What you can’t ever get back though is the “school of life” that SSE teaches you. It’s not about what you do, it’s about how you do it. In business, in career choices, in finding your own identity – I think I learned great lessons from my time studying.
What are three words that sum up your time at SSE?
Eye-opening, challenging and rewarding.