Harnessing our Experiences – Martin Foakes

Expert in startups, investments and mentorship; Thomas Walsh Insights With Experts

Welcome back to Insights with Experts!  We are kicking off season 3 with exciting new updates to the podcast. In today's episode, our CEO, Shyam is joined by a co host, Noah Tracey!   In this episode, Shyam and Noah are joined by Thomas Walsh, and expert in investments, startups and mentoring.    Socials!  Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/insights.with.experts/ Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/insights-with-experts/   TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@insights.with.experts Twitter: https://twitter.com/iwexperts 
  1. Expert in startups, investments and mentorship; Thomas Walsh
  2. Piece Of Advice For New STARTUP Founders! Ken Mocabee
  3. Do you think it's luck?
  4. Are you crazy enough to fail? Leeor Groen – Blockchain Valley Ventures
  5. Emre Buyukkilic on how Gen Z is influencing the future!

Who?

Mr Foakes is an explorer, environmentalist and outdoor education coordinator. Currently acting as head of outdoor education for Tanglin Trust School, Foakes has a long history of developing and delivering outdoor and adventure experiences for students of all ages. These of which involve activities such as Rocking Climbing, Caving, Trekking and Wild Camping. Through embarking on expeditions in places such as Antarctica and Myanmar, Mr Foakes advocates what he learns along these trips to build a more informed youth community through various platforms. In this interview we will be learning about Mr Foakes’s journey as well as what the youth can take away from it. 

Quick Summary

What inspired you to pursue exploration? Was there perhaps a specific moment that set you on this path? 

Even from a relatively young age, Mr Foakes’s passion for the outdoors was always evident. An example being that fact that his mother recalls that the only way to make him happy as a baby was to push his stroller outside into the garden. Even till this day, when Mr Foakes feels stressed at work, he resorts to spending time outside. Mr Foakes then went on to talk about the absence of a ‘careful path’ when becoming a professional outdoor person. Using the analogy of a pinball, Foakes constantly looks for opportunities to channel his passion for the outdoors in numerous stages of his life. Resultantly, he found himself at a position which he is very happy to be at. 

There can often be a misconception among students that outdoor activity wouldn’t benefit them in future ambitions such as corporate jobs. What cross applicable skills do you think students can gain from engaging in outdoor activities such as exploration which apply to all walks of life?

In an age where students can very easily fall into the trap of having a ‘predictable’ CV, Foakes referred to the highlight of his CV being the fact that he has proven experience in the outdoors, something that is not easy to come across. The benefits of immersing ourselves in the outdoors is truly evident. One of the primary factors comes down to decision making. As we situate ourselves in foreign and natural environments such as those outdoors, we are forced to adapt. The more often we immerse yourself in unpredictable scenarios, the better we become at decision making in all walks of life. 

Shifting the focus specifically to your trip in Antarctica, what were some of the most significant challenges and perhaps lessons you learnt along this expedition. What can the youth take away from these lessons? 

It’s not everyday you come across someone who has spent 2 weeks on the most uninhabitable continent on the planet. While Mr Foakes refers to it as being a genuinely enjoyable journey, the more important question he likes to ask is how we place our next step after the experience. What can we take from the experience and use it to make the world a better place? In Mr Foakes case, it was advocating the sustainable aspect of the trip to international schools back in South East Asia. This message applies universally, as we immerse ourselves in experiences, we should always think about how we can harness what we have learnt to help others improve and contribute to a good cause. 

If you could leave the youth with one piece of advice, what would it be?

Mr Foakes left us with a message that revolved around the importance of immersing ourselves in a variety of experiences. As opposed to regretting or pondering what the experience would have been like, we should instead simply ‘get on with it’. Whether we enjoyed the experience or not, we will nevertheless leave informed and able to move onto the next stage of our lives with a broader perspective. Either way, Mr Foakes described it as being a ‘win-win’ scenario. 

If you think you might, then you should

Martin Foakes

Solving the Rubik’s Cube – Khayla Black

Expert in startups, investments and mentorship; Thomas Walsh Insights With Experts

Welcome back to Insights with Experts!  We are kicking off season 3 with exciting new updates to the podcast. In today's episode, our CEO, Shyam is joined by a co host, Noah Tracey!   In this episode, Shyam and Noah are joined by Thomas Walsh, and expert in investments, startups and mentoring.    Socials!  Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/insights.with.experts/ Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/insights-with-experts/   TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@insights.with.experts Twitter: https://twitter.com/iwexperts 
  1. Expert in startups, investments and mentorship; Thomas Walsh
  2. Piece Of Advice For New STARTUP Founders! Ken Mocabee
  3. Do you think it's luck?
  4. Are you crazy enough to fail? Leeor Groen – Blockchain Valley Ventures
  5. Emre Buyukkilic on how Gen Z is influencing the future!

Who?

Khayla black is a 3rd year student at NYU Shanghai studying Biology. Picking up on her childhood interest in science and biology, Khalya went on to join the International Youth Neuroscience Association( IYNA). Over the years, she has risen through the ranks to her current position where she is CEO of the IYNA. Through this interview, we will learn about her journey and how the youth can leverage her lessons for their future.

Quick Summary

What inspired you to pursue biology and particularly take on your role at the International Youth Neuroscience Association?

Khayla’s passion for biology had been evident since she was merely six years old. She was particularly interested in the composition of the human body and how it functioned. As Khayla approached college wanting to study neuroscience and become a doctor, however as she exposed herself to the research aspects of science, she saw an opportunity to situated herself on the ‘front line’ and took it. In university, what became apparent for Khayla was that there was a lot more to the human body than she originally perceived, this deterred her from taking neuroscience and instead set her on a bath to pursue biology as she felt it was a lot more widely encompassing. However, through the International Youth Neuroscience Association, she was able to continue channel her interests in Neuroscience. The association ended up being a huge benefit for Khayla, to such an extent where she felt as though she wanted to ‘give back’ what she had learnt. This led her to take on roles in the IYNA with a higher level of responsibility. In each of these roles, she found herself continuously learning and growing her skillset, eventually leading to the role of CEO. 

In making the transition from high school to university, what are some of the biggest challenges you came across? How do you think students can mitigate these challenges?

  1. One of the biggest factors that separates high school from universities is the amount of opportunities on offer. The environment university creates is one that allows each student to individualise themselves and pursue whatever the niche is they are trying to pursue. What this prevents is the ability for students to continuously compare themselves to the students next to them, an issue much more prevalent in school settings. 
  2. Another big distinction that comes with the jump to university is the amount of stress put on a student. With the amount of opportunities available, it’s very easy for students to overvalue their priorities. This leads to a situation in which the stress created from things such as missing an assignment are inflated. This is why it’s important to evaluate situations as they are and realise what is truly important and what isn’t. 

Why do you think it is important that students immerse themselves in experiences outside of their academic courses? Can you think of a few times that this has benefited you? 

As put by Khayla, we all start university with a mixed up Rubik’s Cube, we can often think of the end goal as finishing university with a Rubik’s Cube that has been fully solved. However, It’s important to acknowledge that each of the sides of this Rubik’s Cube play a major role in your university journey. For example, one may represent academics, while the other internships or extra-curricular and even sleep and well being. Therefore, we are not going to get a full Rubik’s cube complete by just focusing on one side. This not only represents the multifaceted nature of being a well-rounded student, but also conveys the fact that focusing on one particular area is not only unhelpful, but the wrong approach. Immersing ourselves in a variety of experiences gives us a more holistic approach to the problem we will face in our everyday lives. 

If you could leave the youth with one piece of advice, what would it be?

Khayla expressed the opinion that we should always strive to explore and push ourselves above our safe boundaries. An example can be seen in engaging with people that see the world from a completely different lens ours. This not only creates more-open minded and empathetic people, not also transforms the way in which we navigate throughout the world.

“The first part of learning is knowing what you don’t know and knowing what’s out there to explore.”

Khayla Black