Brian Do (@brianjoseph.do)
Age: 21 | Profession: Commerce, Economics and Finance Undergrad Student
Brian is a well-rounded millennial who is pursuing an ambitious Double Major in Commerce and Economics and a Specialist in Finance at UofT. He was accepted to study for a semester abroad at the University of Melbourne, Australia, and is currently getting ready for that experience. In the break between the previous fall semester and upcoming winter semester in Australia, Brian is spending his time visiting family in Vietnam and travelling to Singapore.
Read more about Brian’s thoughts on our generation below in today’s Millennial Spotlight.
1. What traits do you have that you think you share with other millennials?
I began to notice I can get really impatient. If you look at our modern world with the latest technology – you’ll start to understand why. Millennials are growing up in an environment with instant gratification – you want to buy something? Go on Amazon it’ll arrive the next day. You want to watch a movie? Netflix has literally thousands of selections that will numb your brain. You don’t even have to wait week to week for a show, you can just binge the last few seasons. Instant gratification! Why get rejected by hurtful human interaction when you can subtly and softly be ignored on an application? Everything we want we can have instantly. So when we compare these instant aspects of our lives to real world aspects that are not fast and immediate, we become impatient. Building relationships for your business network, finding a satisfying job or just core presentation skills – we shy away from these opportunities because it takes time and can be scary.
2. How do you think people perceive millennials? Do you agree/disagree?
The biggest one is entitlement. I definitely agree, because millennials (including myself), grew up subject to participation medals and being told “you can get anything you want in life”. We all want to make an impact and have fulfillment, yet we expect to receive it instantly. Growing up in an environment where most things are just given to us, it becomes hard to adjust to the real world where it truly is “survival of the fittest”, and I don’t even blame our generation.
3. Can you tell me a little bit about your studies at UofT and related work experiences?
So I’m in the field of Finance, and this past summer I had the opportunity to work in Toronto for Bell’s Corporate office doing some financial analytics for their internship program. Moving forward I am looking for a role in a financial institution, more specifically a role in Corporate/Commercial Banking. Nowadays in the work force, you will see a lot more “programs” tailored to new graduates that are listed as “rotational”. This is a fairly new concept introduced around the later part of this decade, and is a way for new grads to move around different areas of business segments (Finance services, Digital Strategy, Sales, etc.) without getting bored. Remember how I said we were impatient? This is great for millennials as it allows us to experiment with what we like and dislike in a very amount of time – without first committing a few years to that segment.
4. You are heading out to Australia on a semester abroad, can you tell me more about that?
This January I am flying out to Vietnam for a month for travel, then Singapore and finally Melbourne. I got an opportunity to study at the University of Melbourne for a semester, and will be taking finance and economic courses there – most notably “Street Finance”, where I am involved in visiting high schools in Australia where I am hoping to teach financial topics of Fintech, personal Finance and Capital Markets to their students.
Many people ask me how I got the exchange program, to which I say “literally anybody could of gotten it”. As long as you put yourself out there, get out of your comfort zone and be willing to take on new experiences, you can do it. I hope everybody reading this heavily considers studying abroad in their university career, as it can truly be the opportunity of a lifetime.
5. What are the main thoughts/concerns on your mind right now?
I’ve been trying to limit my usage time on social media – especially Instagram and Twitter. This is for a multitude of reasons primarily because I want to distance myself from having my phone be an integral part of me. There are so many people who cannot wake up one day without first checking their social media. And I don’t have anything against social media (in fact I do enjoy using it), however I think there needs to be a balance between investing my time into my real life vs my filtered life. Now when I go out to lunch with my friends, our phones are always stacked in the center of the table – first to grab, grabs the bill.