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Meet Yasmin Botelho: SFU’s CMNSU President

Name: Yasmin Botelho

Year: 4th Year

Major(s): Communications Major and Gender Studies Minor

Hometown: Brasília, Brazil

How did you find yourself in Canada? And did you choose SFU?

So, my stepdad works for the Bank of Brazil (Banco do Brasil) and he got transferred to Japan when I was 15 and we all moved there – me, my mom and my dad – and I started studying at an international school there, and that’s where I learned English. I got to pick up the accent really easily, which was good and towards the end of high school, I noticed that all my friends were applying to universities in the US and really wanted to go there too, because, you know, everybody was going, and also because I thought, at that point, I wouldn’t be able to get in to any Brazilian universities since I had missed all the preparation for the entrance exams. But one day, I was talking to my dad about the future and universities and whatnot, and he mentioned that maybe American universities would not be involved in my plans given the high costs for tuition and all, so I immediately turned to Canada. I started doing some research and found SFU because they offered a great Film and Communication programs, which I really enjoy. After applying, I got offered scholarships, which made the decision that much easier because the University became the most financially viable.


What does a typical day in your week look like?

It varies a lot, depending on the day, but it’s mostly composed of school, work and the Union. So I wake up, have breakfast, I like to have tapioca for breakfast, some coffee, and sometimes I’ll watch some TV. I’m watching so many things right now – “This Is Us”, and this new show called “Loosely Exactly Nicole”. After that I’ll work on some stuff for school, and depending on the day I’ll head up to the mountain or I’ll go to work. I also love to cook, so when I come back I really take my time to learn and develop new recipes.​

How did you get involved with CMNSU?

Whenever SFU had Clubs Day, I would go up to the Union’s table and try to get involved or at least sign up for their newsletter. Eventually I got an e-mail notifying the students that CMSNU was hiring and I had event organizing experience – I had organized my High School Prom – so I thought I’d apply for the Events Coordinator position. I was invited for and interview and got hired while I was on my second year of studies and it was a great experience! Within the same year, I became VP of Events, so I really started organizing events and engaging with students and finally, last year, I got voted President.

Aside from being President of the CMNSU you mentioned you worked. What do you work with?

Right now I work part-time at Restaurant downtown and I also have a side project with my boyfriend. So, he’s in a pop-punk band and he started playing shows but was required to organize the shows from beginning to end himself, and I really wanted to help him with that, so we decided to start this production company that organized gigs and events and it actually escalated pretty quickly. We started off organizing parties and events for friends, and suddenly other people were reaching out to us, and asking for our business.


And what do you want to do after you graduate?

Well, I really enjoy doing events and I’ve been doing it for a while. I’ve done fundraisers and social events for the Union, and my side project and a lot of stuff and I think I’ll ultimately head into that, but I also have a pretty big passion for helping people. I don’t know. I feel like I really want to pursue an education path, and do some more research on how I can really make a difference in that area with a degree in Communication.


Do you plan on staying in Vancouver in the future?

I really don’t know. I mean, I really like the beaches and the mountains and it was really hard to adapt to the city because it rains so much! When I first moved here I lived in Residence (at SFU) and I didn’t really like it, just because it was all too new for me, but afterwards, I started getting involved with the community and that helped a lot. I just recently moved to an apartment downtown, so again, it’s all still pretty new, and honestly, I have no idea what the future holds. But I really like it here – I’d say my favourite area is probably Main street, because it’s very alternative and fun.


What do you miss most about Brazil?

My family and my friends. I miss everything about it, pretty much. The food – I don’t know, it’s just so authentic. I don’t like going to fast-food restaurants. And I miss the people. People there are just so much more open and warm, it’s easy to start a conversation and make friends.

Nicole is a third year Communications student at SFU exploring her writer side. She also likes to explore different places, countries and vegan restaurants.
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