SIAT TechTeams Leaders 2017

(From left to right) Derian Chow, Kim Van, Michelle Swolfs, Cora Fu, and Justin Ho.
August 21, 2017

"My TechTeams Leader was helpful and eased my transition into university. I want to continue doing the same for the incoming students."

- Cora Fu, TechTeams Leader

TechTeams is a SIAT Advising initiative in charge of assisting incoming students transition into university life at SFU. This upcoming September marks a new year of TechTeams including new TechTeams Leaders and a whole new experience contrary to previous years. SIAT has had the opportunity to reach out to these lovely Leaders for the inside scoop on what incoming students can look forward to.

Meet the TechTeams 2017 Team!

In your own words, what is TechTeams?

Derian Chow: TechTeams is a collaborative effort between SIAT Advising and fellow IAT students to serve as a resource striving to help new students transition and prepare for the exciting new life of post secondary.

Justin Ho: TechTeams is a friendly environment to meet new friends and learn from your peers. It is also about promoting team spirit as a school.

Cora Fu: TechTeams is an opportunity for incoming IAT students to connect with current students (the TechTeam Leaders) who will help with guide these incoming students through their first year in SIAT. It’s a space for students to communicate and learn more about the SIAT program and university life from a student perspective.


Why should incoming students attend TechTeams?

CF: There’s a lot about SIAT that students can learn about. TechTeams provides a sense of guidance from the student perspective and allows a space for incoming students to ask questions that go beyond academic matter. It’s also a great place to meet new friends in team building activities.

Michelle Swolfs: Incoming IAT students will receive a lot of benefits from seeing the program to the end. They will get more one-on-one time with Naomi Loo – the New Student Advisor, and get to learn about all the things SIAT can offer. On top of that, there’s free food!


What compelled you to be a TechTeam Leader?

Kim Van: While going to TechTeams during my first year, I really enjoyed it and learned a lot. From this, I was inspired to be a part of this activity. I thought this would be a great new experience and I would be able to meet a lot of new people.

CF: I had a great time while attending TechTeams during my first year. I built closer bonds with my friends and learn more about SIAT in general. My TechTeams Leader was helpful and eased my transition into university. I want to continue doing the same for the incoming students.


What are you looking forward to during your time as a Leader?

KV: FOOD, FUN, FRIENDS! I’m looking forward to the snacks that are provided, the fun that will be happening each week, meeting new people and the experience of everything!

JH: I am looking forward to meeting new IAT students and watching their progress from a freshman in university to an informed community member of SIAT.


Do you have anything prepared or planned for the incoming students for them to look forward to?

MS: All five of us are busy brainstorming many ideas for the upcoming fall. Students will learn a lot from current IAT students in different concentrations and co-op positions!

DC: Welcome Day! Anything else is a spoiler.



What is one thing you wish you had known before coming to SFU?

JH: The resources that SFU has for new students such as TechTeams. It would’ve helped me get through my first year a lot better.

KV: Help is everywhere. There are resources everywhere; provided online, paper or in person. The school can help you with nearly everything you need help with. The only thing you need to do is put some effort into saying you need help by looking and asking.


Any other advice for incoming students?

MS: Complete your readings and try to review more than you are probably used to. In a lot of classes, there are usually small quizzes or assessments that you can ace if you review regularly. These small assessments add up, and you will thank yourself in the long run!

KV: Step out of your comfort zone in meeting new people. Join clubs, volunteer, and participate in school events. Even if you don’t have a lot of time outside of school or can’t decide what to do but still want to make friends. Every lecture or lab you go to, sit by someone, and introduce yourself (even ask to add on a social network). Because very likely, since it is their first semester, they want to meet new people too!

Is there anything cool or interesting that people may not know about you?

JH: I’ve flown a glider and sailed a boat before learning how to drive.

CF: I like sharks.

MS: I’ve been experimenting with learning to making short films for about 3 years now.

DC: I’m slightly Deuteranopic (Green weak).

KV: I used to be part of a juggling club. I wasn’t the best but I used to be able to juggle bowling pins, volley balls and basket balls. Currently, I can (but not well) juggle hackysacks and fruits. I was the only one who could spin plates but I’m not sure if I can still do that.

You can keep updated and connect with TechTeams through their Facebook page at:

Any advising questions can be directed to Naomi Loo at:

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