Patrisse Chan is a modern-day storyteller, lifestyle and well-being architect, and vehement advocate for honing our humanistic approach to learning so that we can continue to build robust relationships with one another amidst rapid technological change. She is currently pursuing her Bachelor of International Economics and Master of Management Dual Degree at UBC and leverages her position as a student to build a community of next generation (z) leaders.

Other than mobilizing non-tech students in the tech industry and youth leaders in everyday society, she currently also works with local businesses and restaurants as their development strategist to help them restructure their business model to not only integrate efficient technologies and stay current with social media strategies, but also to prosper in solidarity with socially responsible practices. Particularly with immigrant business owners, she also helps bridge the cultural gap, while encouraging them to retain and embrace their own unique origins (that’s a no to assimilation!).

In her leisure time, you can find her hiking (favourite: Panorama Ridge, BC), learning new languages (currently honing Mandarin), engaging in lively discussions (on ethics & existentialism), educating youth about financial literacy (with JABC), and recording for her podcast (Rise Regardless).

Connect with & follow Patrisse on LinkedIn & Instagram!


Since connecting with Patrisse through the lovely LinkedIn platform, I’ve been consistently in awe. The stars definitely aligned as we became friends and talked about almost everything and anything. One of the things that Patrisse has taught me is the importance of priorities. Throughout the past year and a half, I’ve watched her not only speak to her values but attest and act upon them which is why it’s such a privilege to share her story. Today, I’m sharing some insights which are transcribed from an oral conversation back in December 2018.

C: So tell me a bit about your values. Watching you grow the past year and as well as challenging me to be the best version of myself, I admire how much you live your life with intention that’s aligned with your values. You’ve especially taught me about the importance of family and it’s helped me reconsider and readjust some of my priorities.

P: My values are very fundamental to me and these forefront values including family, health, and academics are quite the typical ones of a student. However, there’s always been a distinction between what values are and what we do. For me, my number one priority is family. But in reality, I spent a lot of my time outside of school away from my family doing extracurriculars throughout high-school. I was not holding myself accountable to the values I had or thought I had. I always told people, I had certain values but in reality, I did not uphold them in my actions or in my daily life. So once I realized that there was this disparity between what I told people I was about and what I was actually doing, I began to actively adjust the time I spent with my family and give them the value that I said I was. I started to base many big life decisions around them and not the other way around. And in essence, as I became willing to make those accommodations for my family members, I stopped seeing it as a tradeoff as there was inherent value from spending that time with them.

I think also to some extent that growing up in Western culture, I saw how important it was to value time with friends. Where often time spent with friends were a bigger priority than family time. But coming from an Asian culture and living with my grandmother, I realized how important family and communal values were. I truly did not understand this when I was young but as I grew older, I started to see how often I would cancel on my family for networking opportunities. I realized a lot of the things I did, didn’t align with what I said I cared about or what it was I stood for. I devoted so much time to my friends and myself but not my family. It was a rude awakening.

C: I think it’s so difficult to be honest with oneself especially with realizations like these. Ones that confront the very fabric of who we are. The realization can be incredibly daunting when we figure out that in fact the values we want and the values we actually have diverged at some point. But seeing the work you’ve done this past summer, I also know that you had to test another value of yours, which is committing to growth as opposed to relaxing into comfortability. Tell me a little bit more about that experience of letting, something as familiar as a career in finance which you had been preparing for most of your undergrad, go.

P: The economist in me recognizes that there’s a cost. The first time, I went into banking, I didn’t feel like it was for me. So I tweaked it to mutual funds and ETFs. I forced myself into liking finance because I had believed that this was the trajectory for me. With what I was studying and what seemed logical going forward. But as I started spending more time talking with people, I realized I wasn’t enjoying the work I was doing and that it wasn’t going to be a lifestyle I would enjoy and this came through having opportunities in my 20’s where I could lean into resources such as other people’s willingness to help and other peers. But I would remember my 9 to 5 where I would go above and beyond to implement my work on the national scale…however it wasn’t what I was looking forward to. Though the work was valuable, it wasn’t comparable with my values and what I wanted to ultimately, accomplish in my life. I wasn’t loving the work that I was doing and because I wasn’t hardwired or forced to it, it didn’t mean it wasn’t difficult to give up especially as I invested so much time into it and when my degrees BIE and MM had seemed such a logical transitioning into a finance career.

Going to school isn’t just about learning hard skills but it’s about learning from others and developing your drive. I’ve realized that I want to struggle a bit more now to define what I want to be and what I want to do.

So that’s why I’ve decided to start to pursue something more entrepreneurial such as start-ups. I was initially inspired through the LinkedIn community with a local event. I didn’t know why I wanted to be writing LinkedIn posts and stopped doing it when I told myself that school got busy, but it was then I realized I was just forcing myself to fit a mold of who I should be…like I previously had in finance.

LinkedIn has been teaching me about the “why” and it’s such a powerful resource to learn about the global landscape as well as different people’s perspectives. It has taught me to look outside the “local” and to look more global. I don’t know what I’m going to do or what yet, but I know the reason why I’m doing, what I’m doing and that has provided me with a lot of confidence and comfort.

C: I relate to a lot of things you say about finding the “why” and leading a purpose driven life. I think it’s such an internal motivating presence that can help fuel us through even turbulent or challenging career pivots or life moments. I also think to a lot of the feelings I had growing through high-school where there was this herd instinct and a lot of pressure to do something that everyone else was doing simply because it was the “right” or “best” thing to do. To pick a certain path if you were good at this or to work towards a certain goal because of this or that.

P: There definitely was a lot of pressure from people around me doing certain things or asking me what I was going to be doing. And it’s been incredibly valuable for me to stop comparing myself with others. When I see others accomplish things, I feel admiration. And it’s so inspiring. But I only see that as an external motivator. When somebody got into a great company, I used to think, maybe I should do that. When I stopped focusing on what others were doing, it meant a lot less stress and focusing on feeling grateful for my own journey.

But I realized that it’s okay for me to choose something that is on a more non-linear route. And being okay with not comparing myself to others. There’s definitely a lot of pressure to seeing people doing things but it all comes down to defining my own values and making sure I’m living my life with intention and in accordance to my values. On the grand scale, I reflect often on my values and try to adapt them if there’s any issues or if I’m not living them.

All in all, I think for me, I like keeping my options option and open to build something from the ground up where there’s no rigid structure containing the possibilities. I’m excited by this curiosity that drives me. However, at the same time, I recognize how great the 9-5 is for some people. I don’t count myself as a risk loving person, but I don’t mind taking risks especially when I see a potential reward.

C: So you’ve been working on launching your podcast (as of current, the podcast was released on March 8th which can be accessed on Apple Podcasts)-> here:

 Tell me more about the inspiration for it and what it’s about!

P: One of my values is talking to people. On a fundamental sense, when I talk to people even if it may not be frequent with a specific person, it takes me to so many different places and gets me to reflect. I was inspired by a friend who was contracted to do a launch with the music industry but he couldn’t go because of a health incident. And in essence, having these conversations with people brings so much value for myself and the other person when it comes from a genuine place. I call this “big talk” where we can learn so much more about the person and what their values are. There’s great value of learning more on both sides.

The Rise Regardless podcast showcases people and how they have grown from their struggles. People have been so bold and audacious for taking on challenges that people might not know about. So I wanted to give these people the opportunities to share their experiences; to create a platform. It really aims to highlight trials and triumph of individuals who have gone through difficult circumstances and triumphed through them. I didn’t want to just highlight people with contributions and accomplishments… it’s about the unspoken stories that others don’t get the opportunity to listen to. These are the ones who can associate and relate to more. Because sometimes we can place some people on pedestals and it can be hard to relate to them. This podcast not only aligns with my values but I hope it can contribute to others as well.

Add some positivity and extra boost into your morning routine or daily commute. Check out Patrisse’s podcast here:

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