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AccessU Presentation at Wilfred Laurier University | Ramy Nassar

AccessU Presentation at Wilfred Laurier University

This week I was asked to give a talk about life, entrepreneurship and TEDxWaterloo all in a one hour block for a program called AccessU at WLU. A big thanks to Jon for hosting me and to the students to came to the session. It was great to connect with so many enthusiastic, motivated students in such an open environment.

Preparing these kinds of talks is always a challenge for me, but the preparation ends up actually forcing me to reflect on certain things in my life and in the end, is something I am always happy to have done. It was a chance to look at my last year in particular, leaving RIM, going to a non-profit, and now working on two different startups as well as doing some consulting work on the side (not to mention planning TEDxWaterloo for 2012). It’s been a great journey and I’m thankful for the opportunity to share a bit of it. 

Marcie Foster from the Cord (WLU’s student newspaper) covered the event here: http://www.thecord.ca/articles/49505 and I also have the full text from the article below.

As part of an ongoing workshop series put on by Wilfrid Laurier University campus club ACCESS U, Ramy Nassar, executive director and co-host of TEDxWaterloo, spoke at WLU Tuesday night in the Student Leadership Centre. Nassar entertained attendees with candid memories of TED events, inspirational entrepreneurial spirit and career advice.

With an introduction from Frances Humphreys, manager of career development from the Laurier Career Development Centre, Nassar explained how TED talks effectively inspire and lead through critical engagement and discussion. He recounted the history of TED and TEDxWaterloo, urging his audience to broaden their dreams instead of restricting oneself to a job description.

ACCESS U president Jon Pryce was not only impressed by the turnout, but motivated to bring the lessons from the workshop to the community and abroad. “The workshops are all about educating, so that you can help educate people in the developing world through donations and coming to these workshops,” he said.

“This is the major purpose of these workshops, the theme is to educate by helping others and helping you at the same time,” he added.

It was more than just about humble beginnings for TEDxWaterloo and Nassar’s other projects, it was about creating something and sharing it with others.

“Ideas worth spreading. It’s such a powerful sentence of three words, who knew in 2005 they were going to start something like this.” Nassar said, reminding his audience that while there’s value in planning, life lies in the actions we take.

“It’s that entrepreneurial spirit within [Nassar] that keeps this going. I want to show people who are interested in this, especially people in ACCESS U, that these are the things that help you become a world leader. That’s what ACCESS U is all about,” Pryce explained.

ACCESS U, while still relatively new as a club at Laurier, has sent students abroad to Haiti to help children gain access to education by funding a library and resource centre.

Nassar was also an outreach director for Shad Valley International, has worked as senior manager for RIM and also an embedded software engineer for LSI Logic located in Waterloo.