January 26, 2021
Name: Jessica Lin
School: York University – Schulich School of Business
Year graduated: 2020
Industry: Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG)
I joined EDGE due to a personal passion against racial and gender discrimination. Like many other POC, I grew up with a complicated relationship with my race, experiencing many macro-, micro-, and internalized aggressions which led me to always be involved in social issues. I found that progressing through business school, this started to take a backseat even though it was more needed than ever. That is where EDGE came in and provided an opportunity to reopen these conversations and really validate that there is an issue and we can do something about it.
Starting out, I really didn’t know how the response would be. At the time, it was EDGE’s first year and I tend to be a very cautious person. I think I was just happy to be a part of the team and meet such passionate and driven members. I would have been happy if just one person learned something new or took action from our events, but it’s incredible to see what EDGE has become today!
Previously, I was on the EDGE Marketing team, helping to build its brand and promotional posts. Since then, I have come back throughout its growth to help volunteer and photograph events. In my professional life, I work as an Account Executive at P&G on Skin Care at Walmart. Essentially, I manage P&G’s Skin Care business at Walmart, analyzing and creating recommendations on how to grow and then building out plans and executing.
I think more than anything, being with EDGE showed me that there are people out there who do care, and that you need to find and work with those people.
Don’t settle for an organization that doesn’t make you feel valued and comfortable, and call out issues when you see them.
I think sometimes as a student or young adult you feel limited or unheard, but who you surround yourself with can make such a difference. Also – there is always more to learn, unlearn and re-learn!
Definitely our first ever taster event. Up until then, everything we had been doing was intangible and behind the scenes. This was our first real thing that would demonstrate what EDGE meant. I remember scrambling to push people to come, setting up, the stress of hoping everything ran smoothly, wondering whether people would find value in it... and it ended up being a huge success!
A lot of different people are going to try to tell you what they think is best for you. At the end of the day, you are the one who has to do it. Definitely consider different options, but if you ultimately don’t want to do something then it’s okay to say no. Try not to stress too much about what “looks best” or is more “impressive”. Who cares if it’s impressive if you’re miserable?
Interview the company as much as they are interviewing you. Make sure to chat with recent hires and ask them questions about their experience. I think how a company treats their youngest or entry level employees is very telling. Ask what initiatives, networks and mentoring opportunities they have, their COVID-19 response, and more.
When you’re young, you are so impressionable. If a guidance counselor or teacher tells you that you should go down a certain path, you will likely listen. I think there needs to be a lot more training or on how systemic biases shape these discussions. As well, I would like to see how resources would be provided to help eliminate biases and set up students for equal opportunity.
Drawing, painting, digital art, makeup and making Tik Toks!