#WisdomWednesday: Julian Lai UofT
School and Major: University of Toronto; Bachelor of Applied Science in Mechanical Engineering
What organizations are you a part of while you were in school?
o The Engineering Athletics Association as the publicity director (2015–2016)
o The Iron Dragons Engineering Dragon Boat Club (2014-Present)
o F!rosh Handbook Committee (2014)
o Skule Ski Trip executive organizer (2014–2016)
Why did you choose to be in this organization? What’s your role in this organization?
I chose to join the Iron Dragons because I found dragon boating to be a unique sport with a large focus on community and competition. With each crew consisting of ~26 paddlers and 2 coaches, every single one of your teammates becomes your family who share your love for dragon boating. Currently, I am the Social and Recruitment Director for this club, in which one of my duties consist of reaching out to the students within the engineering faculty with hopes of getting them hooked onto this sport! I also plan many events, such as team dinners, Christmas parties, beach days, camping at Hart House Farm, and many other fun excursions.
If you were a freshman again, what would you do differently?
If I were a freshman again, I would have studied a lot harder and hit the gym sooner. I really underestimated the difficulty of the first year Engineering Science program and it took some time to bounce back.
What’s your biggest regret?
Not taking part in design clubs! Shout outs to the Formula SAE, Baja, and Human Powered Vehicle teams who work day in and day out for the love of their craft.
What’s one of the biggest risks you’ve taken in college?
Becoming a manager for the Iron Dragons, the publicity director for EAA, and the executive organizer for the Skule Ski Trip all during the busiest year of Mechanical Engineering. It took a lot of work, and I wanted to pull my hair out at times, but it was all worth it in hindsight.
What job/field are you in now? What do you like or dislike about it? Or what are you planning to pursue?
I am currently working at Toronto Hydro on a team that handles long term projects with the goal of streamlining the operations of other teams in our division. Many student employees are not given the opportunity to take on large-scale projects that involve many external stakeholders. However, I feel that I’ve been given the opportunity to take on a variety of meaningful projects at Toronto Hydro.
Proudest/happiest moment of your college career (so far)?
I suffered a concussion the night before an exam in the winter of 2014, so I had to defer my exam to be written in February. However, as lady luck would have it, the deferral date landed on the same day that the Skule Ski Trip bus was scheduled to depart for Mont Tremblant. I studied really hard, wrote the exam, and ended up acing the course when I got my marks back after the ski trip!
- Christopher Paolini — the Inheritance Cycle (the Eragon books)
- Pittacus Lore — the Lorien Legacies (the I Am Number Four books)
Favorite quotes/ motto:
- Sun’s Out, Guns Out
If you could have one super power, what would it be?
If I had one super power, it would be to slow down time
If you could meet anyone (alive or dead) in this world, who would it be?
Ryan Reynolds — he could turn me gay.
Song to describe your college experience:
Gimme Shelter by the Rolling Stones