Redefining Myself

Spring 2014

Jonah Zankl

Schulich Leader at University of Calgary

It is hard to believe that my first year has already come and gone. Reflecting on the past eight months reminds me of the incredible experiences and opportunities that I have had at the University of Calgary.

In January I had the opportunity to listen to W. Brett Wilson speak on campus about his book, Redefining Success. I had received the book for Christmas and was excited to hear him speak as he is someone I look up to as a role model. Especially of interest was his anecdotes about starting his first companies and setting a new corporate responsibility standards in Calgary, committing to go above and beyond in giving back! This passion and dedication to making a difference in the community is inspiring to me. Brett Wilson was one of the major supporters of the Strathmore Assembly of Youth, a group I volunteer with that is committed to expanding youth representation in Strathmore. Redefining Success also encompasses reflecting on, learning, and still making mistakes. There is something to be said when we can step back and accept that mistakes have been made in our daily lives, commitments, and relationships; to commit to making a significant change is noble. It is humbling to me to learn about the challenges that those we look up to have overcome. In essence, by stepping back and realizing where we can redefine what is important to ourselves we can ultimately lead more successful and fulfilling lives.

Beyond the classroom I expanded my involvement with the University of Calgary Solar Car Team. The opportunity arose to apply for the position of Business Manager and Project Co-Chair for the team, and I was more than excited to apply. I am thrilled to be working with an amazing team of students on a project that I believe makes an incredible impact on the innovation and drive in solar technologies, and is inspiring to the thousands of K-12 students we reach out to over the school year. It was exciting to be stepping into the new role as the team celebrates 10 years of success (and challenge), especially to be able to help announce our plans for North America's first street legal solar car by 2017!

It has been an amazing year, one where I have been able to redefine my own success and be energized about what I can look forward to in the coming year!