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Academic Crossroads with Frank Chen

Academic Crossroads with Frank Chen

Update: 2023-05-01


85 - Attending university can change your life. Sometimes, in ways you don’t expect. For Frank Chen, coming to Canada from his native China to study at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) was a way to get into a stable career, while also making his parents proud. To satisfy both desires, Frank chose to study accounting and he was successful in his studies. 

During one of his co-op terms, however, Frank came to the realization that he wasn’t passionate about accounting. When he shared this knowledge with a colleague who was also from the co-op program at UTSC, Frank was informed he wasn’t the only one who felt that way. The more they conversed, the more they realized that a lack of love for accounting wasn't the only thing they had in common. Both of them were interested in entrepreneurship and it didn’t take long for Frank and his colleague to decide they were going to start their own company. 

That is how Frank, a university student, became the co-founder of Sumer, a grocery delivery service in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. From the challenges of running a startup as a university student, to the difficult decision to shut it down in 2022, Frank and I talk through what he learned from his Sumer experience and how he is applying those lessons today.

More importantly, Frank and I discuss how accepting that he lacked passion for what he chose to study taught him a lesson that has influenced every decision he’s made since then.

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Academic Crossroads with Frank Chen

Academic Crossroads with Frank Chen

Jonathan Collaton