Rover of the Month: Karen Tse

Welcome to our third segment of Rover of the Month! Our next Rover is our two-time vice president, Karen Tse.

Interviewed by: Sandra Lee

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1. How did you feel when you were asked to be vice president again?
I feel extremely honored to be selected as the vice president again this year. I am looking forward to help move the Crew forward, and keep all Rovers engaged and excited this year! Being the vice president of such a big crew is definitely a great opportunity for me in terms of building my leadership and management skills.

2. What other executive roles have you taken in the Rover Crew?
In 2013-2014, I was the vice president of the Rover Crew and at that time. I was solely in charge of taking up the role as the project manager for the International Service Project to Mexico.

In 2014-2015, I had the opportunity to be the New Rovers Department Head, and made sure that my department successfully transitioned new rovers into fully engaged members of our Rover Crew.

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3. What did you learn as vice president two years ago that will help you this year?

Two years ago, when I was the vice president, I took on the role of the project manager for the International Service Project to Mexico. Most of the decisions I made at that time were not communicated to the team properly before I executed and therefore it led a lot of confusion and negative feedback.  For example, Dylan sent me an email after our footdrill practise one night and expressed his frustration as he did not understand why we had to practise dance when footdrills were still inadequate at that time.  This was scary, but I managed to explain to him the reasoning behind our choices and directions and actually Dylan became much more supportive and helpful after I communicated with him.

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4. How will you know if you are successful as a vice-president this year?

Eli’s vision this year is about engagement. It’s the “E” kind of year, a year for excitement and engagement, and I strongly support that!  I want to see all of the Rovers actively participating in our Rover Crew.

Engagement is a hard thing to quantify and measure.  This year, we decided to focus on 4 key behaviours:  

a. Attendance at our monthly conferences

b. Meeting our fundraising targets

c. Bringing friends into the crew

d. Staying engaged by participating in a project or department.

As well, this year I am mainly responsible for the success of 3 departments – Human Resources, Care, and Fundraising. I support these departments by making sure that the team members understand what’s expected of them and ensure that everyone on the team has a clear vision of how to achieve their targets. Most importantly, we have to have fun and have a positive experience achieving our goals together.

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5. Do you play a specific part in your team with Eli and Dylan?
We are considered the Ultimate Trio because of our complimenting personalities. Eli is very detail oriented, organized, and friendly. Dylan is more directive and assertive, but also friendly. For myself, I’m very bubbly, hyper, and happy most of the time, and prefer to be surrounded with people and to help others! This helps us conquer all the challenges we face and allows us to be one successful executive team.


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6. What kind of leader does this job demand?

I think to be a successful vice president, you will have to have at least these two attributes:

a. You have to be focused and task oriented.

As vice president, we have a long grocery list of responsibilities; responsibilities that are exclusive to the executive team as well as the departments we look after.

b. You have to be a people-person.

A good leader cares about the people who choose to follow. The Rovers know that if they need my help, I will try my best to do my part because they know that I genuinely care about them. Building strong relationships with Rovers is an integral part of a solid foundation as a leader.

 

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7. What is your sweet spot?

I would consider myself very target driven with a strong passion to help others. This had led me to where I am today, ranked as one of top 3 financial service representatives at TD Canada Trust. I ensure that all my clients’ financial needs are well taken care of and have a good experience banking with us. This applies in the Crew as well. I want the best for all my mentees and fellow Rovers in this crew by giving them the opportunities to contribute to this crew and at the same time, to learn, grow, and develop along the way!

8. Do you have any advice for others who might be considering such an important role?

At the October conference, I shared a quote for everyone at our monthly conference:

“Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking what’s in it for me.”

I am who I am today largely because of the time and energy I have put into this crew. I have to ensure that our Crew can operate successfully and that Rovers can have a positive experience here. I challenge you to take on roles and opportunities not because of some imagined benefit, but rather, to help others around you and move our Crew forward!

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9. What are 3 things that the Rover crew doesn’t know about you?

a. I joined Scouting when I was 6 years old as a Cub Scout.
b. I have never travelled to anywhere outside of Vancouver, so I’m very excited to attend the Annual General Meeting (AGM) in November!
c. I am in love with Winnie the Pooh! Let’s wrap up with a quote from Walt Disney:

“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them”.

This crew is owned by us Rovers. As long as we believe and PERSIST, we can drive this crew to where we see it and where we want it to be!

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Mostafa Nejati

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