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Meet Deniz! Our Student of the Month


Have you ever wondered what it's like to embark on a journey far from home, diving into the unknown with the hope of personal growth and self-discovery? Well, meet Deniz Um, our Student of the Month, whose adventure took him all the way from Korea 🇰🇷 to the welcoming embrace of the Great White North, Canada. Let's delve into Deniz's incredible journey and discover an inspiring story that offers so many learning opportunities. 


Choosing Canada, Choosing Growth 🍁


Deniz's journey to Canada, like for so many other students, wasn't a straightforward path. Initially eyeing a prestigious university in Paris to study to become a diplomat, he faced a detour – a rejection that, interestingly, opened the door for him to explore the opportunity of an exchange program. A twist of fate that redirected his focus to Canada, specifically to Simon Fraser University (popularly known as SFU). 


Canada, with its bilingual allure (yes, he initially thought English and French were everywhere, not just in Quebec), became Deniz's new academic adventure. It wasn't plan A, but sometimes the unexpected plans turn out to be the most enriching.


Cracking the Code: Deniz's Application Journey to SFU 🎓


Getting into a Canadian university, especially one as prestigious as SFU, is no walk in the park because they have a lot of applicants, as you can imagine. The application process may seem like a labyrinth of paperwork and requirements that demands meticulous attention to solve. So much so that the majority of international students ask for support from a third party (an agent) to help them with the process. But Deniz decided to take the bull by the horns and do everything on his own 💪🏼. He stated, “I really wanna tell everyone that the application process is not, like, difficult at all.”


“Applying to any school and any visa is all about patience and research,” Deniz says. “It’s about spending your time on the website of the university you want to go to, talking to former students, and researching visa requirements on Canada’s website.” 

Landing in Canada: Deniz's First Impressions 🛬


The moment Deniz stepped onto Canadian soil, he felt the beating heart of a nation known for its inclusivity and warmth. But, surprisingly, his biggest cultural shock wasn't related to the picturesque landscapes or the raccoons scavenging in the trash. It was the palpable sense of inclusivity and diversity that struck him.


Unlike anything he had experienced before, Canada welcomed him not just as a student but as a member of a diverse community. Deniz found himself in a place where everyone could be themselves. No one will judge you for what you like, what you wear, or who you want to be. A stark contrast to the cultural norms he had known. The warmth of the people and the acceptance of individuality became the cornerstones of Deniz's Canadian experience.


From Classroom to Career: Deniz's Professional Journey 🚀

As Deniz progressed through his academic journey, the next challenge awaited him – landing a job. The path to professional success is often filled with challenges, and Deniz faced them head-on. His determination to secure a position with Emirates, the airline of his dreams, was nothing short of inspiring.


Embarking on a journey that required not one or two but eight attempts, (yes, you read that correctly, eight!) Deniz faced rejection, and yet, he persisted. The resilience he had shown throughout his academic journey was now mirrored in his pursuit of his dream job. The eighth attempt bore fruit, and Deniz found himself soaring through the skies as a cabin crew member for Emirates. The key to his success? He never doubted his skills or the idea of achieving his dream. On the contrary, he tried to improve with every new attempt.


“The most important thing to care about is not the degree of difficulty (how hard it is to get that job), but to care about yourself,” said Deniz. “So once you decide you want that job, GO for it! But do everything you can to get it.”

So, naturally, Deniz proceeded to focus on himself and his skills. To do so, he started to talk to other candidates, candidates he knew were in the last stages of the interview process or who had already been selected, and asked for any tips about the process and the interview itself. That’s what made the difference, that’s how Deniz got to work for Emirates.


Transitioning from the skies to solid ground, Deniz set his sights on a new challenge – the world of hospitality. Pairing his customer service experience from working as a flight crew member and his passion for marketing, he applied to join the Hyatt family in 2023. It is then that his bachelor’s, mixed with his customer service experience, skills, and passion, earned him a spot in one of the best hotels in Vancouver as a Marketing Manager.


Words of Wisdom: Deniz's Advice to Fellow International Students 🌐


Deniz's journey is not just a personal narrative; it's a guide for those who follow in his footsteps. So if you are an international student navigating the Canadian landscape, here are Deniz’s words of advice:


"Do not give up, and love yourself. Prepare to study abroad because every little thing can become a really big issue for you. Remember that nothing is ready for you and there’s never the perfect moment. So keep growing and take on challenges. Always open your potential to anything and everything.”

He encourages you to keep asking yourself what you like and what you want and urges you not to limit your potential. Deniz's story is a testament to the limitless possibilities that unfold when one embraces challenges, remains true to oneself, and persists in the pursuit of their dreams.


Join us as we continue to unravel more chapters of Deniz's incredible journey – a journey marked by growth, cultural exploration, and the unwavering spirit of a student who thrives in the face of challenges. Stay tuned for the next installment of Deniz's story, exclusively at Thrivve Magazine! #ThrivveWithDeniz



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