Where it all began

Richard Ou
Monday, June 5, 2023

Ever since I was young I was told what I should be and what I should become, "a doctor, an engineer, or a computer scientist!" That's what my family would echo. I was always slightly rebellious, feeling that my talents lay in other fields, so I followed my instincts and chose to prioritise my passion at pivotal decision points. Like when I applied to university, I chose instead to pursue Physics, motivated by my curiousity towards uncovering the wonders of the universe.

As is in the nature of life, we can only see so far along a path, one eternally changing and riddled with forks. Somewhere down that path in university, my eyes had opened to new opportunities and with it shifting interests.

During my time at King's College London, I began to discover my passion for impact and towards supporting others in shaping their lives, I filled my time initially with student politics - serving as student representative in the first and second years and later as chair of the committee in my final year. All the while, I did my fair share in the rat race. I began by participating in recruitment events at King's Business Club, and before long I was scooped up in the club's committee as I worked towards spring weeks and summer internships in consulting and later investment banking.

However, my most valuable learning from these experiences, was not in the toolkit of skills I had built - but the uncovering of where my passions truly lay. I decided that for my final year, despite pursuing a Physics degree and amidst the chaos of the pandemic, that I wanted to contribute back to the Business Club. I realised that I was far more passionate about my work there in helping others figure out and achieve their prospective career paths, than I ever was in a corporate career in banking or consulting.

I took that spirit with me when I decided to pursue a Masters at the University of Pennsylvania, choosing to iterate and build upon what I had learnt about myself. I became a Resident Advisor and a member of the University Council. In working with students across the university, I built a comprehensive understanding of the issues plaguing our generation in this day and age, and particularly in societal pressures that shape our choice of careers.

Simultaneously, I came to realise the vast quantity of talent that exists across society, particularly ones that remain untapped as they are not considered relevant to one's academic or career pursuits. Even rarer are individuals that know how to monetise their talents, and in doing so contributing to the local eco-system and becoming independent.

In working closely with AI during my masters I also came to acknowledge the challenges that it might pose to society in the near future - a shakeup across industries and revolution in traditional service sector work. Coupled with the current rampant problems in the workforce: high levels of job dissatisfaction and substantive numbers of hidden works; we sit at an apex in which a solution must be presented. Yet none exists so far.

Inspired by the current generations, Talentifyr seeks to be that solution.