alumni UBC’s afterwords is a digital conversation series that shares the stories of some of UBC Okanagan’s extraordinary alumni.
Meet Alviss Luu
1. What is your current profession?
I’m a Project Analyst at lululemon.
2. What education did you receive at UBC?
Bachelor of Management (2016) with a minor in Economics.
3. What do you think makes UBC Okanagan great?
UBC Okanagan is a beautiful campus with great amenities and a very warm, welcoming community.
4. If you could start university again, would you do anything differently?
I would take some Computer Science classes and learn how to code. I would also participate in the Co-op Program instead of trying to finish my degree as soon as I could.
5. What was your first official job after graduation?
Divisional/Departmental Assistant working in international recruitment and admission.
6. What is the best part of your current job?
The best part is learning project management in IT. My project management experience was mainly in real estate development/construction projects so I am very excited to learn about Agile IT projects.
7. What are some of the challenges you have faced in your career?
One of the major challenges for me as an Asian woman is to find my voice in the workplace. In many Asian cultures, women were taught to be quiet and agreeable. It has been a challenge to me to be more outspoken and confrontational. Especially in the current climate, I am more determined to break the stereotype, be more visible and make my voice heard.
8. What would you like to share with current students who will be graduating in the coming years who have concerns with the current work climate?
There is a place for everyone and you will find that place for yourself so don’t be discouraged when you don’t hear back from one job application. Go to an interview with the mindset that you are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you. Prepare questions. Be curious and critical about the job you are interviewing for. The last thing, and also the hardest thing to do for new grads, is to counter offer and negotiate salary. My challenge to you is to always counter and negotiate. It will have a huge impact on your career down the line.
9. What's the best advice you can give to help plan a career?
My advice is to try out a few different sectors in your first five years. The public and private sector are extremely different in working style and pace. Try as many sectors as you can to find out what you like best and then plan your next career steps in that sector/industry.
10. Do you have a mentor? How have they influenced you?
I am lucky that my mentors are my past bosses who are badass women. They push me to be more aggressive and not to back down in tough negotiations.
11. What is something you continually find yourself saying?
NBD — no big deal.
12. How do you balance your work and home life?
I am guilty of checking my emails and work chats late in the evening and early morning. However, I made a rule for myself that I would completely disengage during the weekend and spend that time with friends or work on my personal projects. One thing that works really well for me during the work week is to wake up early and plan/prep my day in advance.
13. Where do you volunteer or how do you give back to your community?
I donate to charities I believe in. I have great admiration for people who give back to the community through volunteering and wish to be more involved in person after the pandemic.
14. Do you have any books that you would suggest are a must read?
Harry Potter for fun and Why Nations Fail for thoughts.
15. Who is one UBC Okanagan alum you would like to nominate for afterwords?
Nagi Matsuoka and Danielle Jerowsky. I greatly admire the meaningful work they do for their communities.