Skip to content

Will the @RealTerryZhang Please Stand Up?

Say hello to Terry Zhang aka the @RealTerryZhang, Adecco Canada’s contender in the CEO for One Month contest where young students/professionals across the globe battle it out for the role of Adecco Group CEO for a month. Who is Terry Zhang you ask? Find out below!


1. So we see that your Twitter handle is @RealTerryZhang. Have you had a case of mistaken identity before? If so, how do we know you are the REAL Terry Zhang?

Although I’ve never experienced a case of mistaken identity, I have a friend from Vancouver, BC whose name is indeed Terry Zhang! On social media, we love to drop by each other’s profiles and leave comments to cause confusion for a good laugh. Terry (wow it feels weird saying your own name like that!) told me he wants to apply for next year’s CEO for 1 Month contest. We would cause a mass confusion if two Terry Zhangs win the contest back-to-back!

Regardless of if I am the real Terry Zhang or not, lots of Terry Zhangs out there are doing great things! I know a Terry Zhang from Toronto, ON who received a $80,000 scholarship after being named a 2014 Loran Scholar. So, a big shout-out goes out to all the Terry Zhangs out there for keeping it real!

2. If you could choose a personalized hashtag for yourself, what would you choose?

Now that I’m in a nationwide contest, I’d like to bring back #voteforterry from the
three elections and one by-election I’ve been through over the past year. My friends would even comment #voteforterry on my social media posts just for the comedy of it, so the #voteforterry hashtag became a running gag when I posted helpful or amusing things!

3. Do you have any words of wisdom for students looking to map out their future career path?

Say “yes” to everything! Whether it’s for social or academic events on campus, volunteering, conferences, competitions or anything else, being involved can build your social circles and develop your own personal growth. Through these actions, you will build soft-skills that you will carry with you throughout your lifetime.

Don’t be afraid to say “hi” to people you meet in university! I went to UBCO fresh out of high school and I barely knew a soul at the university, so I stepped out of my comfort zone to get to know as many people as I could. Three months and 1,200 new friends on Facebook later, it finally hit me when I realized that I’ve met so many interesting people and gained some meaningful experiences. I’m enlightened that I could evolve into a better person during these eight months. This growth will set a strong foundation for my own personal growth in the next few years of university, but also carry on after graduation when it comes time to start a career.

So don’t be scared! Remember that people enjoy having company but people are often shy and timid to make the first move, so be the one to break that barrier! Be a leader, early adopter, and trendsetter! You won’t regret saying “yes”.

4. What do you want to be when you grow up?

When I was a kid, I loved rolling up big snowballs whenever it was snowing. Time and time again, someone would always come along and help me push it to make it bigger. In the end, everyone went home happy. In that moment, I said to myself, “This is what I want to be like when I grow up!” Now physically speaking I did gain a few pounds over the years, but since my youth I’ve always been active in environments where I could surround myself with others and achieve things together to create a positive impact.

So at this point it’s not about WHAT I want to be, but rather HOW I want to be. I want to be in a role where I can bring out my existing personalities (generosity, extroverted nature, lightheartedness, integrity, and creativeness), and share that with my surrounding peers. Together we work as a team to become happier people while carrying out goals and rolling snowballs together. Thinking about how I want to act not only helps myself, but others as well by focusing on how we can lead together using our strengths.

In terms of my future career, I want to work in the private sector in the consulting engineering industry. There is no doubt in my mind that I will be successful in a position which requires me to work with others to improve infrastructure affecting thousands of lives. Down the line, I would love to grow into an executive role in the same company as I continue to develop and utilize my technical and soft skills.

5. If you could have dinner with any CEO who would it be and where would you take them?

I’d love to have dinner with John Chen, the CEO of BlackBerry. John worked his way up to executive roles in tech companies after studying Engineering and managed to turn around a failing database company when he became CEO of Sybase in 1997. Under his leadership, it sold for $5.8 billion a decade later.

Although stock prices rarely indicate the condition of a company, BlackBerry’s stock has doubled since John turned the company over in 2013, and that’s undervalued considering their strong asset values. So I’d love to have a conversation with him to see how he plans to reinvent Blackberry as a software company which provides security solutions for enterprise mobile management. I want to ask how John will handle the consumer market dominated by Apple and Android. Relating to the last question, I currently see John focusing on the markets they are striving in rather than competing in an industry they’re losing in. BlackBerry finds niche corporate and government markets who look for data security, and I want to see if he would follow the direction of Sybase.

I’d like to invite John Chen to a modest ocean-view bistro here in Nanaimo, BC. The Bistro at Westwood Lake overlooks the stunning view of the lake. Its excellent presentation with pacific island style food and beautiful ambiance gives the establishment a homey vibe; it will give John a great reason to love my hometown.

6. How did you learn about the CEO for One Month opportunity and what motivated you to apply?

I found the ad for the CEO for One Month challenge while I was scrolling through my Facebook News Feed. I filled out my profile and submitted a 60-second video thoroughly describing why I should be a candidate for the challenge. A week later, Katherine Stevens from Adecco USA’s lead attraction team invited me to a Hangouts video session. Bob and Rich, the CEO and CHRO of Adecco Group North America, then congratulated me and seven American finalists with the news!

I applied for the contest because I believe that I can be a great representative for Adecco to promote their vision of creating better work for young individuals, namely Generation Z. Personally, I’ve seen firsthand how my fellow peers in high school struggled to find part-time jobs in the summertimes, and even current university graduates who are struggling to find a career. I feel genuinely passionate about helping my generation to utilize their skills at their best, and I believe my soft skills help to make me a great fit for Adecco’s culture while promoting their goals to my peers. I can add a lot of value to the company by offering insight about the generation we help, and I can see myself rolling big snowballs with great individuals at Adecco!

7. If you could pack only one item in your lunch box for work every day, what would it be?

My face used to light up every time my Mom packed me pierogies for lunch, so those are to my go-to choice. Sometimes I would have them topped with shredded cheese, bacon bits, chives, spiked with sriracha sauce, then zapped it in the microwave. Or sometimes I eat them poutine-styled, drenched in gravy and cheese curds. Ooh my mouth is watering right now!

8. What would your CEO for One Month boot camp training montage song be and why?

“I Know There’s Gonna Be Good Times” by Jamie xx! It’s an electronic-pop song that came out a few weeks ago, and it features two vocal artists who dominate in their genre. They introduce an Afro-Caribbean dancehall beat with spatial steel drum synths and a hook sampled from a ‘70s soul band; I love the bridge between a new and old genre. Listening to this song sends chills down my spine, so this has got to be my summer track of 2015 to bring with me to Florida.

Check out Terry’s YouTube channel here for more insights into this Canadian candidate:

Go Terry, go! #voteforterry

p.s want to connect with Terry on LinkedIn? Click here to check out his profile.

%d bloggers like this: