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Girl Boss: Victoria Poon, Sponsorship Coordinator of P[H]assion

Today, Her Campus McGill is sharing our interview with Victoria Poon, a sponsorship coordinator of P[h]assion McGill. P[h]assion is a Desautels Faculty of Management non-profit student organization known for its numerous events on-campus. If you want to find out more about this cutie and the organiztion, please continue reading!

Averie Hah from Her Campus McGill (HC McGill): Good afternoon, Vicky! Would you like to first introduce yourself to our readers?

Victoria Poon (VP): Sure! I am in my final year at McGill majoring in Marketing with a concentration in Finance. I’m also one of the sponsorship coordinators at P[h]assion McGill. 

HC McGill: Could you tell us a little bit more about P[h]assion?

VP: P[h]assion is a student run organization, and we are basically the liaison between the student community at McGill and Maison Plein Coeur. Maison Plein Coeur is an organization that promotes the awareness of HIV/AIDS and raise money for people with the disease. So everything we fundraise goes towards Maison Plein Coeur and its cause. What we’re most known for, besides the monthly bake sales, is our fashion show – this year, it’s going to be on April 2nd. While promoting awareness, it’s a great opportunity for us to showcase local talent within Montreal and especially at McGill, for students who may be interested in sharing their passion and talent in fashion through their designs.

HC McGill: So you get all of your designs for the fashion show from local stores and students?

VP: Yes, we get them mostly from local designers in Montreal and some students.

HC McGill: What made you want to get involved in P[h]assion?

VP: I think it was the club that stood out the most to me as it spoke to my passions: fashion and beauty. It was a way for me to pursue my interests while giving back to the Montreal community.

HC McGill: So as a sponsorship coordinator, what is your role?

VP: I’m responsible for finding sponsors for our fashion show. I collect in-kind donations and monetary donations, so I’m in charge of finding and contacting local businesses and designers, and keeping good relationships with them for potential partnership opportunities.

HC McGill: What’s your specific goal as a sponsorship coordinator?

VP: Basically to get as many donations as possible, and to make the fashion show as much of a success as possible! I’m dedicated to making this year’s fashion show the best one it can be.

HC McGill: Asking for donations can be a bit tricky. Do you have any tips for students who might be in the same position as you?

VP: You just have to be kind of …shameless, almost. You need to be outgoing and enthusiastic. I know it can be very awkward, but the worst thing they can say to you is no, and they’re not going to make you feel bad or embarrassed. It’s part of the process to be outgoing, and the potential partners will definitely appreciate it more if you keep a positive and enthusiastic attitude.

HC McGill: Then so far, what is the achievement that you are most proud of?

VP: The fashion show is yet to happen, but so far we’ve done very well with our bake sale. We sometimes raise over $200 just from a single bake sale, and we are consistent with the bake sales, which definitely contributes to the overall amount of donations we give to Maison Plein Coeur.

(Example of P[h]assion’s bakesale! Check them out here)

HC McGill: On the other hand, what are some difficulties that you’ve faced?

VP: As I said, we hold frequent bake sales and it can be hard to motivate everyone to continue baking and tabling. When you get into the school year, people get very busy with their own commitments, but for the most part our members have been very dedicated. Another thing is communication. It’s quite a large organization, and it can feel a little bit segregated as we’re divided into different segments such as sponsorship, the fashion show itself, etc. We have weekly meetings to resolve this as much as possible, but sometimes people don’t show up because, you know, they get busy. but we try to debrief everyone after every meeting.

HC McGill: Outside of P[h]assion, what are some memorable experiences you’ve had at McGill?

VP: Exchange! It felt like I was leaving home for the second time – first to McGill then to Hong Kong all by myself. It was fun to meet so many new and different people. For example, you wouldn’t necessarily think that Americans would be very different from Canadians, but they are! I met someone from Kansas, others from SoCal, NoCal, and they all have their own personalities and perspectives depending on where they are from. I also realized that Australians get along very well with Canadians — I loved meeting all of them! It was so cool to interact with people from different parts of the world in Hong Kong. We also travelled a lot given the location: it’s very easy to go to different places in Asia (like Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Korea and Japan) since they’re so close and flights are relatively cheap.

HC McGill: To wrap up, what are some tips you want to give to McGill students? Maybe things you wish you had done more of or earlier?

VP: I’ve always been the shy type, but my exchange experience opened me up a bit, and I wish I had done that earlier. You know, open yourself up, and expose yourself to different experiences! There are things that may be slightly out of your comfort zone and it sounds a bit cliche, but it’s those things that help you discover yourself. It pushes you in a direction and help you realize what you like or dislike. Students around our age often struggle with the question “what do I do with the rest of my life?” and my last year was really about discovering myself. I asked myself the same question, and I find that the best way to put it is, if you are into something, just dive into it. If you don’t like it, at least you learned something, now try something else. 

HC McGill: Thank you for your insight, Vicky! So what are your current plans for the future then?

VP: I’m very interested in the beauty and fashion industry, and of course, L’Oreal is a big company that would be perfect for these passions. But if not, I realized recently that I’m very interested in Graphic Designs and the knitty-gritty stuff. And so I want to pursue this at a design school. Hopefully I’ll be able to build a portfolio in the near future and apply to different design schools. In my first year, I thought I was going to be an accountant, because I liked the idea of stability. In accounting, you take the appropriate courses, get your certifications, and there’s sort of this ladder you climb up, but recently I decided to embrace my creative side — a realization I earned through the marketing courses I took. People sometimes say, “marketing is so fluffy, why do you need to major in it?” but it’s through Marketing that I realized that I want to incorporate my creative side into my career. So if you like something, don’t be afraid of it. Pursue it!

HC McGill: Any last words on P[h]assion?

VP: Come to our bakesales in Bronfman lobby! And most importantly, our fashion show is on April 2nd, at SAT so please come out and check out the amazing local talent while supporting a great cause!

 

Images obtained from:

https://www.facebook.com/phassionmcgill/ and provided by the interviewee.

Averie Hah

McGill '17

Digital marketer, social media enthusiast writer, feminist, leader in training. Recent Marketing and Economics graduate of McGill. A social media enthusiast  - Instagram addict @ave.hah  - Tumblr junkie here  - See my other work here
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