Minds We Meet—Halen Deng

The Voice Magazine recently had a chance to chat with Halen Deng (she/her), a Bachelor of Commerce student, with a major in Business Technology Management, living in Calgary, Alberta.  She mentioned, “This program allows me to merge my interests in business with the constantly evolving field of technology.  In my future career, I am open to various positions in business and technology-related fields.”

Halen let us know that while she currently lives in—and grew up in Calgary, she was born in China, where she attended elementary school.  She acknowledged, “Calgary, located in the heart of Southern Alberta, both acknowledges and pays tribute to the traditional territories of the peoples of Treaty 7, which include the Blackfoot Confederacy (comprised of the Siksika, the Piikani, and the Kainai First Nations), the Tsuut’ina First Nation, and the Stoney Nakoda (including Chiniki, Bearspaw, and Goodstoney First Nations).  The City of Calgary is also home to the Métis Nation of Alberta (Districts 5 and 6).”

Halen had some great tips for fellow AU learners.  “Understanding how the course content translates to real-world applications is my primary motivation for studying.  Like many AU students, I juggle studies, work, and family responsibilities.  To manage these effectively, I rely on a digital planner with separate to-do lists for each area.  This approach enables me to focus on my studies during dedicated study times.”

She also had some advice for new students and/or prospective students.  “Don’t be shy!  Try to connect with other AU students.  Although AU is an online university, there are plenty of networking opportunities both online and in person for students to connect.  If you need any help, whether it’s study-related, career-related, mental health-related, or financial-related, make sure you reach out to AU ASAP!”

When this busy student is not studying, she told us “I like to listen to music, record music, enjoy outdoor activities and local events, and edit videos.”

Halen credits her grandfather had the greatest influence on her desire to learn “when [she] was a child.”  She continued, “Despite facing the hardship of a lack of financial support, he worked hard to complete his post-secondary education.”

As for her experience with online learning so far?  “I appreciate the flexibility of online learning, which allows me to complete my course studies at my own pace.  However, I believe there could be more interactions in the course, both among students and between students and the course coordinator.”

Halen’s most memorable AU course so far has been ADMN 233: Writing in Organizations.  She stated, “It’s a fun and interactive course where you interact with AI playing different roles.  You receive responses from the AI based on your messages.  The course teaches you to write in various formats and create infographics.”

If she were the new president of AU, her first project would to be to “enforce a rule mandating that faculties provide students with networking opportunities both within and between faculties.”

The Voice Magazine asked Halen which famous person, past or present, she would like to have lunch with, and why and she chose inventor Nikola Tesla.  “I’m curious to ask him about his thoughts on Tesla Inc. being named after him, and whether he prefers the 21st century over the 20th century.  I know Tesla had a very healthy diet, so I would prepare a home-cooked meal with fresh fruits, vegetables, and proteins.  I would invite him for lunch and ask for his opinion on whether my cooking is both healthy and delicious,” she explained.

Halen also shared her most valuable lesson learned in life with readers.  “You’ll never know if you’ll succeed unless you try.”  And her proudest moment?  “Maintaining emotional control in challenging situations is a source of great pride for me.  No matter the circumstance, I can calm myself down and adopt a positive self-talk approach.   Reminding myself to persevere and give my best effort fosters a sense of resilience that allows me to navigate difficulties.”

As a final note, she added, “I hope I can connect with more AU students from Calgary.  I hope there is a group available for AU students in Calgary.”  Best of luck, Halen!

At times, in an online learning environment, it can feel like you are all alone, but across the nation and around the globe, students just like you are also pursuing their Athabasca University (AU) studies!  Each week, The Voice Magazine will be bringing you some of these stories.  If you would like to be featured next, do not hesitate to get in touch!