Asian Studies Alumni Spotlight – Daryl Louie

Interested in what you can do with a degree in Asian Studies? In our Alumni Spotlight Interview Series, we ask our alumni about their career paths, how they became interested in Asian Studies and for any advice they would give to current students. This interview features Daryl Louie (BA 2010) who found that majoring in Asian Studies and joining the Kappa Sigma fraternity gave him a strong grounding in volunteering, holding executive roles, and taking on new challenges. All of which gave him the confidence and network to create his own business straight out of university. Daryl is the co-founder and CEO of AntiSocial Media Solutions digital marketing.

Tell us a little about yourself, your background and how you became interested in Asian languages and cultures?

My name is Daryl Louie, I own and operate a Digital Marketing Agency, home based in Vancouver B.C. with offices in Toronto, New York, Salt Lake City, and Los Angeles. I became interested in Asian Languages and cultures through my family’s background, as well as its contributions towards Vancouver’s Asian community.

What choices did you make at UBC that contributed to your career success / journey?

Choosing Asian Studies as my major allowed for me to learn applicable knowledge about my own history which kept me interested throughout my student journey; you have to learn about topics you’re passionate about to get the full scholastic effect. Full transparency, the biggest contribution to my current success was joining my fraternity, Kappa Sigma. While at the fraternity I volunteered my time towards being on the executive every single year since I joined which allowed me to develop critical skill-sets in running an organization, motivating members to contribute and be dedicated to a unified goal, pursue my passion in creating content. Most importantly, I was creating a network of individuals from different backgrounds and interests which has paid off tenfold in my current day position, opening doors in a minute that would normally take months if not years to open.

What was your first job after graduation and what other jobs did you have before your current position?

My first job after graduation was being a server in Cactus Club. I interned for Cactus Club’s head office working in media creation as well as student recruitment. After that I worked at the head office of a Distribution Company as their Digital Marketing Director, then started AntiSocial Media Solutions.

Is your current career path as you originally intended? What challenges did you face in launching your career?

No, it wasn’t, but I did know that I didn’t want to work for someone else out of University. I faced many challenges launching AntiSocial, it was a new business in a new industry that didn’t have a rule book, a path to follow, or a guaranteed income. Almost every project I took on was a risk, tied to my personal bank account. That risk however, created a win-at-all-costs mindset where failure wasn’t an option. This allowed me to perform under pressure, get creative with problem solving, and also fully own my successes and failures.

What makes you proud about your current job? How does it relate to your degree?

I’m proud of the team I’ve built, and how we’ve become an industry leader – mirrored by other agencies that are starting up. The skill-sets I’ve learned in my major at UBC with regards to making me successful in my current role are: dedication of time towards a task/goal over a few years, thoroughly researching a problem or question before trying to answer it.

What advice would you give to students and alumni interested in breaking into your industry?

My advice would be to DO first and ask questions later, jump at opportunities to volunteer work vs only doing paid opportunities. Having a few built up examples of your work, projects you’ve contributed to, ideas you’ve pursued to completion – is ALWAYS more valuable on a resume, job application, than general skills you’ve developed and can speak to.

How has learning an Asian language helped you succeed in your professional/personal endeavors?

In ordering food at Chinese restaurants.

In what ways did your goals or plans change during your studies or once you had started your career?

My goals changed once I started my career because when starting your own business you need to be fluid in how your business survives, grows, and gets ahead.

How has the recent pandemic changed the way you are currently working (if it indeed has)?

We’ve had to roll out full work form home policies – see here – and it has worked better than expected.