Metro Vancouver is a beautiful place to live and play. While many visitors come to Vancouver and ravels at the majestic beauty of this modern city surrounded by beautiful nature, mountains, forests and the sea, some individuals fall in love with the place and decide to stay and work here. That is the story of our alumnus, Colin, who chose to stay in Vancouver nine years ago.
Wryan Colin Chan graduated from BCIT in 2016 with a Diploma in Marketing Management with a Tourism option. He was born in Hong Kong and lived in Australia for several years to earn his Bachelor of Arts in Communications before settling in Canada. Now he works as a Membership Account Manager at the Burnaby Board of Trade (BBOT), one of BCIT School of Business + Media industry partners.
Where are you originally from, and did you have any educational background before coming to Canada?
I am originally from Hong Kong (1/4 Thai). Yes, I studied at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. Bachelor of Arts majored in communications.
Who influenced you to come to Canada?
I initially came to Vancouver nine years ago on vacation for a month. I fell in love with the city almost instantly. Love, at first sight, is a real thing. A fun fact about me is that Canada is the 5th country I’ve lived in!
What convinced you to study at BCIT for post-secondary education?
I always had an interest in marketing, so I thought, “why not go back to school and learn new skills?” I knew I didn’t want to go through 3-4 years of an undergrad program again. While researching, I came across BCIT’s express two-year Marketing Management program. BCIT is highly reputable, with great reviews. BCIT School of Business + Media also had one of the highest post-graduate hiring success rates at 94% (2014).
Name and explain three unique qualities that BCIT graduates possess as they enter the workforce?
- Strategic thinking and time management skills involve seeing the big picture, planning ahead, and putting thought into action, typically to gain a competitive advantage in business. For example, the BCIT Business Consulting Project (BCP) aims to develop solutions to a company’s real-life operational challenge with a clearly defined and achievable scope.
- Adaptability (thinking on your feet) is the ability to rapidly learn new skills and behaviours in response to changing circumstances. BCIT students, in their practicums, are working in the field and must be able to learn quickly and efficiently.
- Composure and perform well under pressure. The “make or break” workload of the 2-year compressed program pushes students to the limit and ultimately tests their ability to work under immense pressure, time management, and multitasking skills.
What does a Board of Trade do, and why is it important for young students should get involved with this type of organization?
As the chamber of commerce for Burnaby, a 112th-year-old organization and one of BC’s largest and most active business associations, BBOT is a vital partner for all businesses.
We are a trusted convener bringing over 1,100 unique businesses to collaborate, network, and connect.
We also serve as a catalyst for economic growth, working with businesses, government, and institutions to ensure our community remains a great place to do business.
As a chamber of commerce, we are the champion for businesses by providing resources and connections and advocating on behalf of their interests with all levels of government. We are stronger as a group, and our efforts are more impactful when businesses come together as a community.
Young students should get involved because being connected and having a strong network is the key to success. Chambers of commerce are the type of association to would help establish, build, and nurture long-term, mutually beneficial professional relationships.
What are the best things about your current role at the Burnaby Board of Trade?
My strengths in networking and communication complement my role as a membership account manager at BBOT, making this a very natural fit. When you are at peace with your job, success has a natural way of finding you.
I love connecting with business leaders; my role has allowed me to work closely with local and international city or government officials, C-level executives of major corporations, and SMB owners.
I have been very fortunate to engage and collaborate with organizations such as the City of Burnaby Council, Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (HKETO), Svante, Cytiva, Acquilini Development, Vancouver Canucks, Earls Restaurant Group, Cactus Club Café, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, HSBC, and many more.
With the BBOT, I won Alignable’s Local Business Person Award 2022, representing Burnaby. In April, we also won the Ethical Finance Award from Wealth & Finance International magazine.
What is your why?
Coming from a rather challenging family background, I had to look after myself from a young age. Everything I have now, I did and built myself. My why is, first and foremost, to continuously improve, be better, and challenge myself to level up and see how far I can go. Secondly, it is also to help people be more connected in their life, career, and business – to build a more robust and thriving community.
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About Ask BCIT Alumni Series
Ask BCIT Alumni Series features successful BCIT School of Business + Media grads in their chosen field and industry. The Series asks about their professional journey, career advice, and provides insights about their line of work to help guide and inspire fellow BCIT grads and students. Through their unique experience, leadership perspective, and involvement in the community, Ask BCIT Alumni Series provides an avenue to highlight and share messages and stories from BCIT alumni.