WHO YOU: Perryn Thiessen
Connecting the social dots
Greta Kooy // Campus Life Editor
Six years ago, at just 17 years old, Perryn Thiessen packed her bags and took off to see the world. In her two years abroad, she spent two to three months working odd jobs and networking with people from South Africa, Switzerland, Chile and Mexico. “I was 17 and travelling alone,” said Thiessen. “It was an amazing experience, and I’ve learned so much about different people and cultures. My parents were scared to send me off, they were scared I wouldn’t come back.”
But, eventually, she did. Thiessen returned from her travels and began studying at Capilano University’s School of Business. Now halfway through her second year, the 23-year-old is using her gained world experience and applying it to her studies and current work endeavours.
Thiessen is spritely and personable, and focused on meeting as many people as she can. “After getting into the business program, I really pushed myself to network a lot. It’s something I’m still trying to do,” she said.
Constantly keeping an eye out for different social events, Thiessen caught wind of and attended a show called The Art of War. There, she met one of the speakers, Carmen Ruiz y Laza.
Laza works with Joytv and is the host of her own show called CarmenTV. “I met her [Laza], and we started doing all of these events together,” said Thiessen. For a time, she would volunteer her extra hours to help Laza with her show and around the studio. “I tried to put together a crew for her. We would go to various events and would help with the social networking,” said Thiessen.
Although she spends less time working with Laza now, Thiessen continues to help when she can, emphasizing how valuable the experience was. Now, she manages a Skoah spa in Burnaby and is working on reviving her childhood passion of acting.
Focused on her studies, Thiessen allows as much time as possible to go beyond the typical student experience. “It’s really easy for students to just go to class and then go home, and I’ve found it hard to network [at CapU] for that reason. I don’t want to be one of those students.”
For many, it can be hard to fully immerse yourself in school life, especially when there’s a lot on your plate. For Thiessen, her extracurricular activities and work experience allow for her to push herself further into what CapU has to offer.
“It’s one things to get your degree,” she said. “But who you are plays a big part in that. Network yourself, push yourself, meet people, get yourself out there. Essentially, you’re your own brand.”
A degree can take you very far, but networking and meeting the right people is half the battle. Thiessen’s confidence is palpable, but that doesn’t mean she has everything figured out just yet.
“I’ve always been super driven to go to school and get it done,” she said. “I feel really ambitious that way and can’t wait to finish. I just want to keep networking and meeting people and trying different things. I don’t really know what I want to do in the end, but it’s all been rewarding.”