By: Althea Alabat

Joning Yu is an international student in the business administration program, majoring in Finance, and when she first moved to Edmonton she wanted to try and see if she could adapt to her new school and environment in her first semester. She started her academic career at NAIT in January of 2018, shortly after moving to Canada in October of 2017.

“I wanted to enrich my student life and started to seek different opportunities,” said Yu.

She later knew that she wanted to pursue extracurriculars and eventually sought out new opportunities to be involved in student life on campus. One of the first things she did to diversify her student involvement was volunteering at the International Centre where she got to know some of the peer mentors who’ve helped other international students like her.

“I started to follow all of NAIT’s and NAITSA’s social media accounts and subscribed to several newsletters to update myself on potential opportunities,” said Yu.

She also volunteered for NAIT events, such as the Mosaic event (formally known as Global Village), Welcome Week and NAIT’s Program Review. The peer mentors who worked for the International Centre were also involved in the International Student Club (or ISC), where she was eventually appointed as a financial coordinator. Little did she know that the very same club members were prepping her to become the VP Finance of ISC.

“They were asking me if I was willing to step up to the position and I did,” said Yu.

She was officially appointed VP Finance in the summer of 2018 and still holds that position to this day.

Other than being an executive for the ISC, Yu is also one of two senators that represent the business administration program and one of 17 senators that represent the entire student body. Prior to running as a representative, she got to learn more about the senate during the club retreat. She submitted her application the day after.

“I was concerned whether or not I was well-equipped to even run for the position, but I knew I wanted to try,” said Yu. “As I was submitting my application for the election, I was thinking of how I could add value and purpose to the students being a part of the senate.”

Yu is expected to finish her business administration diploma with an emphasis in finance at the end of 2019. After reflecting on her involvement with NAIT and the students, she admits that it can be a learning curve when stepping up to new challenges.

“I learned to be open-minded and embrace challenges. It can be difficult to learn how to balance everything at once, but it’s all part of the learning process,” said Yu.