Student Spotlight: James Sun rises from Beijing to the Bay Area

James Sun, a student at Middlebury College, has been named one of Canada’s young leaders under 20. But if you asked him to tell his story, you’ll learn that he wasn’t always a top student.

“I used to be a video game addict. [I had] a C- average until Grade 8,” he told about.me. “Then, one of my friends inspired me and pulled me out from addiction. Ever since, I’ve always wanted to do the same for others, creating technology and non-profit initiatives that help others maximize human potential.”

James was born in Beijing, China, where he lived for nine years. He then immigrated to Toronto, Canada, where he lived for another nine years. Half of the year he was by himself as his parents took turns working in Calgary.

Through this experience, James learned “how to cook some really awesome dishes” and “manage his time effectively.” That is of course, when he wasn’t playing all those video games!

Now, James is focused on creating impact in the world. When asked what motivates him, he attributes it to his parents and his unique experience growing up. He’s currently a TEC intern, a program that True Ventures runs during the summer. Along with other high achieving college students, James works at a True Venture portfolio company in the San Francisco Bay Area.

“I cannot afford to waste this once-in-a-lifetime chance to take advantage of all the opportunities around me and make the lives of others better as well,” James said. “Both my mom and dad gave up a comfortable life in China in order to give me an opportunity to receive a great education in North America.”

His advice to other undergrads?

“If you see a problem or feel discomfort, don’t just blab about it and complain why it sucks,” James said. “Think about why it exists, what is the root cause, and figure out a solution. If it’s a problem that affects enough people, you might just have found the next big thing.”

This rising star practices what he preaches.

Learn how James uses about.me:

Q. How do you demonstrate your personality on the web?
Mainly through Facebook, sometimes I use Twitter. I’ve always wanted to start writing a blog, but never got around to it.

Q. What made you sign up for about.me?
I’m part of the True Ventures TEC Program, a fellowship program at a VC Firm, and it was a requirement that all of us had to sign up for it.🙂

Q. What’s your favorite feature?
Search function that allows me to find people who are associated to people, places, and companies.

Q. What is your advice for others on the platform?
Look at the “Who’s Viewed Your Profile” section and connect with people who are interesting, both those who have similar and dissimilar interests.

Q. What is your top three favorite profiles?
James chose inspirational entrepreneurs in the technology sector: Tony ConradBre Pettis, and Dan Martell. Check out their profiles below:

Tony ConradOur very own Tony Conrad

Bre PettisMakerBot CEO, Bre Pettis

jpegDan Martell, Co-founder of Flowtown