As the bustling crowd in C-120 began to settle, MSJ DECA and Medcorps welcomed The Spark Optometry’s leading optometrist, Dr. Christine Yang, at lunch on Monday, November 14. Being an MSJ Class of 2002 alumna, Yang returned hoping to give back to her community by sharing her life experiences after graduating and her incorporation of ethical beliefs into her work.
Yang opened her speech by discussing her experiences in college and launching her own optometry business, The Spark Optometry, which is now located in multiple Targets around the Bay Area. By sharing her path to optometry and the value of forming strong connections with the patients she’s served, she pushed forth an important entrepreneurial message for both the Medcorps and DECA audiences. “If I feel like somebody here has absorbed something and can use it going forward in their life … that would make [my presentation] worth it,” Yang said.
While planning the event, MSJ DECA hoped to find a guest speaker who could highlight the significance of ethics in the business landscape, drawing attention to how companies should follow the same values and morals as individuals. “I think [for] a lot of students, when it comes to business, the first thing they think about is capitalism and how everything is for profit,” MSJ DECA Vice President of Hospitality Junior Allison Huang said. Although money and time are the priority, the officer team wanted to emphasize that sometimes values are just as important in a successful business. They believed bringing in MSJ alumni would add credibility to this sentiment, so MSJ DECA Teacher Adviser Bellamy Liu reached out to Yang, his old classmate and friend. In her talk, Yang emphasized the value of connecting with her patients on a personal level to and taking the time to help understand their conditions, even if that time would be spent on other patients for more profit.
The DECA leadership was apprehensive about attendance, given the relatively niche nature of the event. “When we go schoolwide … we find it hard to find people who are interested in business … and we’re always kind of worried we won’t have enough participation,” Huang said. Therefore, DECA partnered with MSJ Medcorps to widen its appeal to non-business students while aligning with Yang’s background. Coupled with an active social media campaign over Instagram and Facebook, this helped bring in around 150 students to C-120 for the event.
MSJ DECA hopes to continue hosting talks with other leaders in the business world and MSJ alumni since guest presentations have been rewarding experiences for both the speakers to see how far they have come and for the students to learn valuable lessons from the real world. “[We have other speakers we plan on bringing in], so stay tuned,” MSJ DECA Vice President of Leadership Junior Zoe Lee said.
Cover Image by Web Co-Editor Jennie Wang