Tanya Walker is the Keynote Speaker at McMaster Undergraduate Academic Achievement Awards

Title: Tanya Walker is the Keynote speaker for McMaster Undergraduate Academic Achievement Awards
Date: November 24, 2021
Description: Thank you to McMaster University for inviting Tanya Walker to be your keynote speaker for this year’s Undergraduate Academic Achievement Awards. In her speech, Tanya highlights the importance of building relationships and giving back.

Transcript

0:00
[Music]
0:09
welcome to the 2021 degroot school of
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business undergraduate awards ceremony i
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would like to introduce our special
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guest speaker tanya walker
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tanya is an award-winning litigation
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lawyer she is managing partner at walker
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law and currently adventure of the law
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society of ontario she has the
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distinction of being the first black
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female venture elected from toronto as
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well as one of the youngest sitting
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ventures
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among her recognitions she is the
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recipient of the 2018 women’s business
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enterprise of the year award
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tanya is also a proud degree alumna of
0:39
the become o2 program thank you for
0:41
joining us today tanya over to you
0:45
hello everyone my name is tanya walker
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and i’m honored to be your keynote
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speaker for the academic achievement
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awards
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first and foremost i would like to
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congratulate the recipients of the
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academic achievement awards and the
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members of the dean’s honors list
1:01
i know how hard you have worked for this
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and i’m excited to celebrate your
1:06
achievements today alongside with your
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friends and your family
1:10
today i will speak with you about how i
1:13
continue to achieve success even during
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a global pandemic and what i’ve learned
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since i’ve completed my studies at the
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group school of business almost 20 years
1:22
ago
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specifically i will highlight the
1:26
importance of building relationships and
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giving back
1:29
before i begin i would like to thank
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marley annette from our law firm for
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helping me prepare to prepare this
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presentation i would also like to thank
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kelly rabbit chris fichek and cecilia
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angel from mcmaster university for your
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assistance as well
1:43
so before i begin you may be wondering
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who’s tanya walker
1:47
i was born and reside in toronto to
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parents that immigrated from jamaica my
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mother is a retired nurse and my father
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is a retired technician
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i spent most of my formative years in
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ajax and my parents continue to reside
2:00
there today
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i am the first person in my family to
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attend university and consequently to
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obtain a post-graduate degree
2:09
i’m a proud alumnus of the school of
2:12
business where i received an honors
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bachelor of commerce degree with a minor
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in economics in 2002
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i also obtained my bachelor of laws
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degree from osgoode hall law school in
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2005 and was called to the bar in 2006.
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i moved on to practice at two bay street
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firms before i opened my own law firm
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walker law which was also originally
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located update on bay street
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i started the firm with a part-time law
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clerk and now we employ almost eight ten
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employees with me moyer to join us next
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year
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the this year the firms celebrated its
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11th anniversary
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on the slide you can see a picture of me
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that i took for a magazine
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shortly after i opened the firm
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and at walker law i practice as a trial
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lawyer i often wear those ropes and
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assist clients with their civil disputes
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what this means is if there are disputes
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over money clients can hire our firm to
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resolve that matter and if that matter
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cannot be resolved by settling we try to
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go to court and get an order from a
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judge often i receive the opportunity to
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share my legal knowledge by appearing as
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a legal analyst on television such as
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ctv
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cbc and cp 24.
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one of my proudest professional
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accomplishments is becoming the first
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black female venture from toronto in the
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now
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224 year history of the law society and
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i was re-elected in
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2019 the law society regulates the legal
3:47
profession and serves to protect the
3:50
public by creating policies and
3:53
procedures that govern lawyers and
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paralegals
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every four years the law society hosts
3:59
an election for ventures where the
4:01
lawyer ventures must receive a number of
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votes in order to become elected
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adventures like a board of director at
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the law society
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so to me receiving almost 3 000 votes in
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each election to become
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and continue as a venture shows me that
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my peers respect and appreciate my
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efforts to assist the public
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now going into my personal achievements
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two of my personal treatments that i’m
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most proud of is being a wife to my
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husband daniel stoykovic he immigrated
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to canada over 20 years ago from the
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former yugoslavia and also being a
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mother to our son alexander who is
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almost three years old
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my career first started when i attended
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mcmaster university when i first
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attended mcmaster way back in 1997 i
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resided at moulton hall which was an
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all-female residence after moulton i
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lived at bates
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when i attended mcmaster i worked
5:00
part-time at the radio station cfmu in
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the role of marketing
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after third year i had the pleasure of
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participating in a 16 16-month
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internship with celestica which was a
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company started by ibm
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i completed a few more courses during
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the 16-month internship which meant that
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i finished school in january instead of
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june
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despite this i decided to graduate in
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june so i can graduate with my friends
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after graduation i was fortunate enough
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to receive a position at the head office
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of petro canada as a management trainee
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from january until i started law school
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in september 2002
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i say i was fortunate to receive this
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position because i participated in
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on-campus interviews around september 11
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2001 which we now refer to as 9 11.
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as a result of the tragedy tragedy in
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the united states there was a sudden
5:58
uncertain job market and many job offers
6:00
were put on hold
6:02
thinking back to that unfortunate time
6:04
to today
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where we are experiencing a global
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pandemic that also provides for an
6:09
uncertain job climate
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i realize what has helped me as a person
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and as a business owner persevere during
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those uncertain times
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and that’s the relationships that were
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founded on giving back and volunteering
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so before i dive into the importance of
6:29
building relationships i wanted to bring
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your attention to this picture of me as
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a little girl and the locals on the side
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some of you may recognize these logos
6:40
but what they all have in common is that
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our firm represents
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has represented or has been vetted to be
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an approved supplier of legal services
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to represent these companies
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reflecting on how i started as a child
6:54
with no connections in the world of
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business to now representing the
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businesses
6:59
that you see on the screen
7:01
i started from nothing more than just
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what you have
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all have now which are academic
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credentials
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what i found that is just as important
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as the academic credentials is building
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relationships which i managed to do by
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giving back
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philanthropy is a form of giving back to
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describe philanthropy i will rely on a
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quote from the founder of ebay pierre
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omadar he explains that philanthropy
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translates from the latin word to love
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for humanity
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it is a desire to improve the state of
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humanity and the world
7:35
to him
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philanthropy differs from charity
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because charity addresses immediate
7:40
suffering philanthropy requires us to
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think and address the root causes of our
7:46
problems so that we can prevent a
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tomorrow of future suffering so you may
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be wondering with your busy schedule and
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with grades being such a high priority
7:57
how do you even find the time to give
7:59
back and build relationships
8:01
what is the benefit to giving back
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one way giving back helps you is that it
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feels good to help others and others
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may appreciate and recognize you for
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your hard work i remember experiencing
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this feeling when i was a board member
8:15
on the mcmaster alumni association
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in 2017 i received the young alumni arch
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award from mcmaster university the young
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alumni arch award recognizes mcmaster’s
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most recent graduates
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for their unique and interesting
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contributions to society their local
8:35
community and to mcmaster university
8:39
so when the pandemic first started in
8:41
march 2020 the court system was put on
8:44
hold for almost three months
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and during this time we saw constant
8:48
changes in the news
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court setting new precedents and new
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court procedures were created to address
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the health and safety concerns of the
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public even i had trouble keeping up
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with the constant changes in the law
9:01
as a result i appreciate that others may
9:04
need our help as legal professionals
9:07
to share our knowledge about these
9:08
changes
9:09
also with the court closures and my
9:11
knowledgeable knowledge as a trial
9:13
lawyer i knew that approximately 95
9:17
of my cases settle and i appreciate that
9:19
knowing how to negotiate a settlement
9:21
was an important skill especially during
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the pandemic
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i also appreciated the limitations of
9:28
the reach of our firm and that there may
9:30
be people that required our help
9:33
so due to my continued relationship with
9:35
mcmaster university
9:37
we agreed to host a webinar for mcmaster
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on negotiations this webinar was very
9:43
successful as almost 700 people
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registered
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so some of you may be wondering we are
9:48
in a pandemic how do i even consider
9:51
giving back or having the resources to
9:53
give back during this time
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what is the link between giving back and
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forming relationships
10:00
you can start by sharing your knowledge
10:02
with others all of you have a special
10:04
skill that can be used to help others
10:07
for those of you in the accounting
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stream you can use this to teach
10:10
financial management
10:12
for those of you who are interested in
10:14
marketing you can teach a webinar on how
10:16
to market a product for people who have
10:18
just started a business
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i understand that there have been many
10:22
job losses throughout this period of
10:24
time
10:25
another way you can help is by donating
10:28
to those in need
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on the slide you will see a picture of
10:32
me volunteering in puerto rico a few
10:34
years ago after we did a book drive for
10:37
a school located in an at-risk
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neighborhood
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for those of you who may have limited
10:42
funds
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there may be items you have that you may
10:46
no longer need you can donate these
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items through facebook community groups
10:51
or coordinating a pickup from your porch
10:54
third and last on the slide
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make your spending count
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many small businesses had to shut down
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permanently or close temporarily
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maybe make your spending count by
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purchasing from those businesses who
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experienced having their drawers shut
11:11
the work you do through volunteering
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allows you to build relationships with
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other people
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for example
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through my volunteer work i built a
11:20
relationship with an individual who’s
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connected to world leaders
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because of our relationship i was
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invited to meet our prime minister
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justin trudeau four days after i
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delivered our son
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and the former first lady of the united
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states michelle obama
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just being in the presence of these
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leaders gave me a sense of energy and
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excitement to pursue my own goals
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i wouldn’t have had these opportunities
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to meet with these leaders if i didn’t
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build relationships with others
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lastly when you build relationships with
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others they may provide you with
11:56
business opportunities you otherwise
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wouldn’t have had
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most of the files that i worked on were
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sent to me by people who i’ve built
12:04
relationships with through volunteering
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the reason why i have a picture of me on
12:10
the television station cp 24
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is because i was asked by an anchor to
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appear on the show due to my work as a
12:19
venture
12:20
before becoming a trial lawyer i was
12:22
terrified of public speaking however
12:25
through giving back and appearing as a
12:27
legal analyst
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on national television stations it has
12:30
increased my confidence
12:32
our firm has also expanded the scope of
12:35
clients that we represent with
12:37
regarding canadian problems or issues
12:40
that they may have by being recognized
12:42
in the united states
12:43
through my volunteer work i was asked by
12:46
the editor to be on the cover of the
12:48
minority business enterprise magazine
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which is which is a publication
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originating from the united states and
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distributed throughout north america
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so
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the problem i think that you might be
13:00
thinking is where do i even find a time
13:03
it takes a long time to build genuine
13:06
relationships through volunteering that
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reap tangible results
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so if you’re performing well
13:11
academically and you may even also work
13:14
part-time you may find that you have
13:16
little time for anything else
13:18
my response to this is that everyone has
13:20
the same amount of time in a day
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you may want to consider giving back and
13:25
volunteering as an investment into your
13:27
future that will help you become
13:30
successful much like your grades will
13:33
so looking at time management giving
13:35
back teaches you a variety of important
13:38
skills
13:39
including time management consider
13:41
scheduling all parts of your day and
13:43
sticking to that schedule
13:46
this is a skill that i acquired at
13:47
mcmaster and strengthened while i was at
13:50
allison if you start
13:52
to schedule your day hour by hour you
13:55
will see that you have so much more time
13:57
in a day than you think
14:01
balance
14:02
successful people are able to prioritize
14:05
and balance their time they know when to
14:07
work hard but also when to stop
14:09
giving back helps you increase the skill
14:12
because you will need to create more of
14:13
a balance by continuing to achieve good
14:15
grades while having less time to study
14:19
stress
14:21
giving back helps you better manage your
14:23
stress
14:24
circumstances will always be thrown at
14:26
you such as this pandemic and it’s
14:28
important to know how to deal with them
14:30
and juggle multiple balls in the air
14:33
gratitude
14:35
giving back makes you realize how
14:37
fortunate you are and develop an
14:38
appreciation for humility i find that
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likable people are usually ones that are
14:43
humble
14:44
social connection
14:46
one thing many of us are experiencing
14:48
throughout this pandemic is social
14:50
isolation giving back even if it’s by
14:53
attending a meeting by video conference
14:56
helps to increase your interaction with
14:58
others and your happiness through social
15:00
connections you will meet people who
15:02
believe in your charitable contribution
15:04
and may be more likely to buy from you
15:07
or work with you because you have a
15:09
similar belief system
15:11
here is a picture of me with my family
15:13
when i graduated from mcmaster
15:15
university in june 2002
15:18
i put this picture here to demonstrate
15:20
that as you go out into the world it is
15:22
up to you to make decisions that will
15:23
help you and your career
15:26
based on my experience
15:28
it is difficult to call on the
15:30
assistance of others when you need them
15:32
it is much more easier to ask those for
15:35
help if you have a relationship with
15:37
that person or that organization
15:42
i will end my presentation today leaving
15:44
you with a quote from michael lee chen
15:47
who was an alumnus from mcmaster and
15:49
just like my parents was also born in
15:51
jamaica
15:52
in 1970 he came to canada on a
15:55
scholarship program sponsored by the
15:57
jamaican government to study civil
16:00
engineering at mcmaster university and
16:02
he completed his studies there in 1974.
16:06
mr lee chin who became a billionaire
16:08
through businesses that he owns such as
16:11
portland holdings is no stranger to
16:13
giving back as he donated five million
16:15
dollars to mcmaster university to
16:18
establish the michael lee chen and
16:20
family institute for strategic business
16:22
studies at the degroot school of
16:24
business
16:25
and he says
16:27
if people perceive themselves
16:29
as having very little opportunities to
16:31
be fulfilled it cheapens their life and
16:34
outlook the solution is to reverse it
16:37
make sure they know opportunities abound
16:41
and what this quote means to me and how
16:43
this may relate to you
16:45
is that high academic success will
16:47
certainly provide you with opportunities
16:50
however you are likely to obtain more
16:53
opportunities in areas that are unknown
16:55
to you by giving back
16:57
giving back may result in increasing
16:59
your business
17:00
getting a promotion or meeting world
17:03
leaders
17:05
thank you again for listening to me
17:06
speak please feel free to contact me
17:09
regarding any questions that you may
17:10
have or to provide feedback
17:12
congratulations to all of you for all
17:15
that you have achieved
17:18
you tania so much for a wonderful
17:19
message to our students

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