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Meet Nae Hase | Student of the Month

We want to introduce you to Nae Hase, a name you'll soon find inspiring and relatable. Nae, just like us, embarked on a life-changing adventure as an international student, all the way from the beautiful island of Awaji in the Hyogo prefecture of Japan. Her journey in Vancouver has been only one year but nothing short of remarkable, and it's one that you can draw inspiration from as you navigate your own path to success in this exciting city.

Let’s revisit the highlights of Nae’s international student experience as a Co-op student. 😉

Motivations and Dreams

Nae's love for languages and international relations led her to Canada. Just like you, her goal was to build a career in a multicultural city and explore the world. "The opportunity to immerse myself in such a diverse environment was incredibly motivating," Nae shares. However, what made her choose Vancouver was its nature, which resembled what she loved back home.

After her co-op ended, Nae’s willingness to volunteer led her to a full-time job from which she currently gets great satisfaction from assisting international students find the perfect accommodations. “I take pride in being a part of students' experiences, especially because I can empathize with the challenges they face, having gone through similar tough times myself.”

This early success and the determination to keep improving herself and her marketing career convinced her to extend her stay in Canada, chasing her dreams.

(The same opportunities are waiting for you. 🥹)

Challenges and Triumphs

However, nothing came easy for Nae. Like many of us, she faced the formidable challenge of breaking into Vancouver’s competitive job market. "Maneuvering through the job market was quite a challenge. My dream was to break into digital marketing, but I had limited experience. I had to start from scratch," Nae recalls. “In Japan, they hire you based on your potential rather than your experience and here I was shocked to see that it’s the opposite.”

Nae wanted to be in digital marketing so much that she took on unpaid content creation roles to gain hands-on experience as a volunteer. This allowed her to make up for her lack of previous experience in her field and eventually led to her landing her dream job.

The struggle of finding the job you want can be disheartening, often pushing us to settle for survival jobs that may deter us from our dreams. But remember, every challenge brings you closer to what you want.

Networking and Making Connections

Nae highlights the importance of networking in Vancouver, a city filled with opportunities. "Building meaningful connections can open doors you never thought possible," she notes. Her journey from intern to full-time marketer was made possible through networking and forming relationships with industry professionals.
“I got this job because I met a Sales manager at my school’s volunteering fair. Even though I did not get selected the first time, I kept in touch with this person for months. They eventually contacted me and I got the job!”

Attend events, connect with professionals, and build those relationships. You never know where they might lead. Your network is your net worth.

Exploring Vancouver

Beyond her professional journey, Nae enjoys hanging out with her friends, learning from them, and sharing experiences such as trying new cuisines. On top of that, she recognizes that having different beaches and the mountains so close is an amazing thing about Vancouver.

Can you imagine yourself hiking mountains and exploring the ocean on the same day? This is a reminder for us to keep exploring Vancouver and its surroundings. It is easy to get caught up with our day-to-day and navigating school, work and social life.

Nae's Advice for International Students

Nae’s advice started by remembering that being a student in Canada has not always been great. “As an international student with limited experience, I went through some incredibly challenging times that left me feeling depressed and nearly eroded my confidence.”

However, just like the rest of us, she found the strength to carry on. In her case it was a quote: “Everything looks impossible until it's done.” During those moments when Nae was on the verge of giving up, this quote served as a beacon of hope to her. It was a reminder to keep moving forward, knowing things would eventually fall into place.

“And now, I can confidently attest to its truth. Perseverance pays off, and those hard times have made me a stronger, more confident, and more open-minded individual.”

As you embark on your own Canadian journey, here are the 3 things Nae would like you to keep in mind:

  1. Never underestimate yourself: “You have more potential than you think. Just keep going while taking care of yourself. Don’t overdo it either.”

  2. Network Actively: “School will not give you everything. We have to go make our opportunities" she emphasizes. "Attend events, connect with professionals, and build those relationships. Connections are everything."

  3. Have a goal: “Studying abroad is nothing without a goal. Find others who are in the same situation and motivate each other.”

Join Nae's Journey

Nae Hase's journey from Japan to Vancouver embodies the determination of international students. Her story of overcoming challenges, pursuing passions, and building connections is truly inspiring. Now, it's your turn. Follow Nae's footsteps, take her advice to heart, and consider joining our Slack community to start your own journey to success in Vancouver. As Nae puts it, "Your dreams are right here in this city of endless opportunities."

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