For many students, transitioning into post-secondary education from high school takes some getting used to.
But some people seem to hit the ground running.
When Computer Engineering Technology graduate Brendan Woo enrolled at Humber four years ago, he felt right at home.
Woo was selected as the 2020 silver medalist in the Leadership Excellence for Students category from Colleges and Institution Canada (CICan).
Woo displayed his leadership qualities early on, when he began to train for Electronics Skills competitions in his first year, which led to participating in provincial and national competitions. In 2019, he won a Gold medal at the Skills Ontario competition, followed by a Silver medal at Skills Canada.
He also mentored and supported his classmates who were thinking of participating in Skills competitions.
Woo’s technical skills impressed his instructors. In his nomination for the award, Woo received high praise from several individuals within the Faculty of Applied Sciences and Technology.
“I was caught completely off guard when the Associate Dean of my faculty walked into my class and told me in person that I had won. It means a lot to me that Humber’s staff and faculty nominated me, and it made me feel very supported by the Humber community,” said Woo.
The CICan Leadership Excellence Award for Students recognizes an individual student or team that has made an exceptional contribution within their institution and the communities it serves.
Since recipients could not be recognized in person this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, CICan created an online showcase to share and celebrate their achievements.
Woo’s keen interest in electronics propelled his academic excellence. He was actively involved in several initiatives over the course of his time at Humber and maintained an impressive GPA.
“Woo dedicates what seems to be equal energy, passion and commitment to all activities in which he participates,” said Shaun Ghafari, Associate Dean of the Faculty of Applied Sciences and Technology.
He also found the time to serve as the 2019 Team Lead for the National Engineering Month Outreach for the Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists (OACETT).
He collaborated with Humber’s Community Outreach and Workforce Development department to lead a team of 13 volunteers to organize and run two workshops for 40 middle school girls, with the aim of improving awareness and interest in engineering and STEM fields.
For new students at Humber looking for opportunities to grow or lead, Woo strongly recommends speaking with their professors, classmates, and contacts within Humber.
“I guarantee there is someone there willing to support and guide you. Look for opportunities wherever you can,” he said.
If those opportunities don’t satisfy you, then create your own, he says – for yourself and for others.
Woo is on to his next opportunity – he will start at Ryerson University this Fall to continue his education journey toward a degree in Computer Science.