Education, Faith, and Career Journey: RE:NEW Career Panel Highlights

Elizabeth Hughes 

With the pandemic greatly affecting recent career trends, RE:NEW and Presence Possibilities teamed up on 11/05/2021, with the First Evangelical Community Church, to give youth and young adults the opportunity to hear from Christian working professionals about their experiences in the workplace and respond to many questions about new career opportunities. The speakers shared about their lives and faith in this current career climate. 

Though the event was mostly attended by high school students, some working-age attendees also came to hear from the speakers and ask questions themselves. Throughout the event, the youth and young adults stayed attentive to what the speakers had to say and asked many questions during the Q&A session. The event was also RE:NEW’s first time using a hybrid format where attendees could choose to join the discussion in person or via Zoom. 

The speaker panel included Paul Auyeung who is a Project Manager for a successful eCommerce agency, IT Manager for Taco Bell Ed Lu, Queenie Ho who is an Art Director and Co-Business Owner of a bridal dress and photography studio, Youth Pastor Jeff Chan and Senior Engineer Peter Poon at LinkedIn. Presence Quotient®’s Dr. Agnes Ip led the panel discussion.

Education and Career

From the speakers, we learned that the path of good grades, high test scores, and a stellar university education does not always lead to success. 

Ed Lu mentioned that job interviewers are always looking for work experience in a potential new worker’s portfolio. And Paul Auyeung mentioned that his bosses at his former Disney job and his current company didn’t finish their Masters degrees like he did. Peter Poon also talked about an apprentice program offered by LinkedIn and many other high tech companies that hire people without a degree in computer science in order to mentor them and prepare them for a career in the tech world. Queenie Ho also pointed out that God used her different educational and work experiences to lay the foundation needed for her to run her own bridal dress and photography studio with her husband. 

Faith and Career

Each speaker shared how God worked to lead them in their career journey. They also encouraged attendees to live out their faith no matter what. 

Pastor Jeff Chan encouraged those listening to find where their own personal passion meets a need in the world to know how God would want to use their vocational skills. Peter Poon mentioned that working at LinkedIn had its difficulties as a Christian since many of his coworkers held very liberal views and did not hold the Bible in high regard as he did. Through praying, however, Peter witnessed God working by pointing out to him the different Christian coworkers there and encouraging them all to start a Bible study and be a light at their workplace. Ed Lu emphasized that no matter what job you hold, we are always Christians first and we need to maintain that identity whether we are at church on Sunday or at work during the week. Our call is to be a witness for Christ to influence, inspire and share the truth of Christ with others. 

The night was full of practical wisdom and many answered questions to help guide and direct the youth and young adults in the changing career situation we are experiencing today. Many left better equipped with much-needed wisdom and encouragement, a deeper understanding of how career and faith can work together, and real life/practical tips necessary to help navigate one’s career journey. Because of the wealth of information from the event, more detailed and helpful highlights from the evening will be shared on RE:NEW’s website and social media in the near future.