Jason Liu, UBC Commerce Star & Extreme Sports Enthusiast
Our first Spotlight of 2016 features Jason Liu, a first year Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) student at the University of British Columbia. Jason holds some leadership positions within the UBC campus, including Vice President Internal at the Unlimited Dance Club, and Sports and Recreation Director at UBC Heart and Stroke Foundation Club. In addition to being a Sunday school teacher at the Evangelical Chinese Bible Church, Jason has also taught piano. In our interview, find out about Jason’s decision to pursue a BCom, how his interest in extreme sports developed, and the benefits of accidental networking.
- How did you decide to switch from arts to business? Walk us through your thought process.
Going into university, I liked business because of how people-oriented the field is. During my first year though, I had to consider whether or not business was really right for me. I believe that many people associate a faculty with a certain image and don’t necessarily understand what a faculty pertains to. I was faced with this reality when I realized how competitive business is and that graduating with a Bachelor of Commerce doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to get the job you want. I did have some doubts about transferring but eventually realized that I was more interested in the courses offered in the commerce program, compared to the ones in arts.
- What led you to try out extreme sports and in particular, to develop a goal of bungee jumping in every country you visit?
Great question! At amusement parks, I always loved going on rides that my parents initially said “no” to. When we were in Nanaimo, I heard that there was bungee jumping and I knew that I had to try it out. Bungee jumping really kick-started my interest in extreme sports. Since then, I’ve tried to do something “extreme” every time I go to a different place. In Hawaii over the Christmas break, I went shark-cage diving (pictured above)!
- You’ve played piano for 11 years. What inspires you to continue playing and to teach students casually?
Honestly, I have a love-hate relationship with piano. While playing the piano is an impressive skill that can wow people, I have had to put in a lot of work (and tears) into this. Piano is an area of my life that can easily frustrate me, which can make practicing and learning new pieces difficult. However, playing piano is a form of self-expression is extremely de-stressing and allows me to become more zen.
I like teaching kids because it gives me the chance to make learning more fun. For example, I would have my students learn the theme songs to their favourite shows or movies.
- You’re very involved in extracurriculars. What sorts of lessons have you learned from your involvement?
I think the greatest thing about being involved in extracurriculars is meeting new people. Every time I meet someone new and really talk to them, I get to take in a new perspective and even learn something about myself. For example, I was actually able to meet my roommate through the dance club I’m in and extremely thankful that it happened.
Occasionally though, conflicts arise. At the end of the day, it’s important to realize that we’re all working towards the same goal and having bad feelings towards your teammate is not worth it.
- What has been the best experience of your undergraduate career thus far?
My best experiences thus far are through accidental networking. Accidental networking is when you meet someone new either through a friend or just by chance and really connect with them. Recently, while studying for finals, I met an upper year who was specializing in a subject I’m interested in. Now we regularly meet and chat. Forging a new relationship gives me a sense of excitement because I can potentially help them in what they want to achieve and they can help me with my goals.
Want to ask Jason a question? Schedule a chat with him today! Jason is happy to answer your questions and offer advice on business and more.