Why I started GradSimple

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Member spotlight Image featuring Tyler Yip, founder of GradSimple.

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Hey there, I’m Tyler, the founder of GradSimple. This isn’t a place for those who’ve got life all figured out. GradSimple is for the wanderers, the wonderers, and the restless souls still piecing together their place in the world. If you’re content with your path and see no need for change or exploration, GradSimple might not be the right fit for you. We’re all about embracing the journey of self-discovery, with its inherent twists and turns.

I made my way to rainy Vancouver back in 2017, thinking business school at the University of British Columbia would help me chart my course. Instead, I found myself questioning everything, from my major to my very aspirations.

A Little About Myself 

Truth be told, I was a bit of a mess—uncertain, searching, and far from having it all together.

Why business school? It seemed like a practical choice, the straightforward path to success. Yet, my peers were fixated on corporate ladders and financial markets, while I grappled with finding my own dreams.

1st Year

My initial year was a whirlwind, adapting to new cultural dynamics, academic pressures, and bouts of isolation and depression, all while yearning for that perfect “college experience.”

2nd Year

Reality struck in my second year. I was living on autopilot, fearful of becoming just another faceless cog in the corporate wheel. Despite UBC’s expansive community, I felt more isolated than ever, a sentiment I kept to myself until I couldn’t anymore.

It took a meltdown and some heart-to-heart conversations with my partner and friends to discover the power of vulnerability. That was a turning point, helping me realize I wasn’t alone in my struggles.

Deciding On Finance

Choosing a major felt like picking a destiny. Finance? It was the popular choice, the “safe” bet. Yet, deep down, I knew it wasn’t me. That decision taught me the importance of following one’s own path.

3rd Year

Finance felt lackluster, confirming my suspicion that it wasn’t the right fit. However, it was being involved in the First Aid Student Team (FAST) of all things that brought unexpected clarity and joy, teaching me about the strength of community and the power of genuine connections.

Pandemic Challenges  

Then came 2020, a year of chaos that scoffed at plans and certainty. As internships vanished, I was forced to be creative. I turned my bedroom into my lab, experimenting with entrepreneurial ventures from selling dog beds to women’s clothing to K-pop merch.

4th Year  

During my final year of University, I focused on developing my networking skills. As a massive introvert, creating meaningful connections was always an area of difficulty for me. Through many painful rounds of coffee chats, cold outreaches, and networking events, I made an impression on an influential early member of a well funded, Boston-based startup. They connected me with their CEO, and I was offered a part-time position in customer service and sales that would convert to full-time upon graduation.

First Full-Time Job

After graduating, I took a leap of faith, turning down a full-time offer with the startup and quitting altogether—without a backup plan (ill-advised, I know). I realized my passion lies in helping others, but not in the capacity of a support rep. This clarity led me to a Vancouver-based startup where, within just three weeks, I secured a position in operations that resonated more with my aspirations at the time.

Post-Graduation  

The subsequent years have been a rollercoaster of highs and lows. From dabbling with self-employment to working as an account manager, it’s been a continuous path of self-discovery.

And the truth is, I’m still finding my way. But I’ve learned I’m not alone, and neither are you.

Why GradSimple? 

GradSimple emerged from these experiences. We’re a community for those writing their unfolding stories, offering a space to explore, connect, and grow. Whether you need career guidance, a listening ear, or just a place to figure things out, we’re here for you.

Life can be tough, but it’s a whole lot easier with friends. Let’s make it a little less lonely and a lot more fulfilling.

Join us at GradSimple. Share your story, find your people, and let’s welcome the uncertainty of life with open arms. I’m excited to meet you and see where this path leads us.

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The human who runs the ship. Occasional writer, occasional web developer. Yes, this is the guy who hired a raccoon (if you know, you know).

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