Episode 81: Self-determination was his Catalyst which Led him to Embrace his own Process of Success on his Own Terms Despite the Internal Struggle

Guest: Dennis Huynh

Dennis’s story is rooted in being raised in a sheltered Asian household, while feeling immense pressure to perform academically. Dennis articulates that as a child growing up, he had difficulty understanding others, and experienced a great deal of confusion over emotions he experienced. Dennis describes feeling caged in from parents whom he felt were overprotective, in addition to his siblings. His path was defined by focusing on academics and he was discouraged to take time to cultivate friendships, participate in extracurricular activities and engage in daily socialization. He highlights a moment in his final year of high school where his grades slipped by a few percentage points, and this resulted in feeling disowned by his family. Dennis expressed feeling loneliness, not having any privacy, no healthy space to take risks and even make mistakes and was not given permission to make many of his daily decisions. It was ingrained into him that he had to meet a certain set of standards, and if he couldn’t, this left him feeling like the black sheep of the family, feeling invisible. Dennis mentioned that he found his circumstances depressing at times, and even in an uncaged environment once he reached university, it was quite overwhelming to navigate socializing, taking risks, and doing what brought him pleasure, because for so long life was dictated to him. His key message to the listeners is that: be kind to yourself, take things slowly and go at your own pace; work on self-improvement and beat your previous self, enjoy the process; it’s not impossible to take your first step, it gets easier and becomes more manageable; failure is a first step in learning, so go experiment and improve.


Guest Bio: Dennis is a data scientist and intrapreneur by day and an entrepreneur by night. He works to bring value and, consequently, happiness to those around him, driven by his mission to help others. He constantly tackles personal gain versus greater good – a fight against his upbringing, and ultimately believes in collaboration, not competition.

Dennis is only 24 years old. A recent graduate from university for computer engineering and entrepreneurship. As a co-founder of Expresume, he aims to help those seeking employment, especially young adults, articulate themselves to potential employers. Dennis is here to talk about his journey to today – navigating expectations, perfection, and what it means to be successful – and how it has, is, and will be impacting him.

Passionate about:  Inspired by the work of Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA)

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