This article was originally featured by the Faculty of Forestry’s Asian Forest Research Centre. To access the original article, click here.

In the award-winning book “The Faraway Nearby”, Rebecca Solnit reminds us that we’re all made of stories, and to love someone is to tell yourself their stories.

“What’s your story? It’s all in the telling. Stories are compasses and architecture; we navigate by them, we build our sanctuaries and our prisons out of them, and to be without a story is to be lost in the vastness of a world that spreads in all directions like arctic tundra or sea ice.” (Solnit 3)

Our next featured Alumnus, Annie Wang, too shares this love for stories.

“I like to travel and talk to different people because I like to know their stories”, says Annie

Indeed. From Beijing to Vancouver, from Manitoba to Shanghai, Annie Wang has traveled extensively throughout her academic and professional career. In 2013, having spent her first two years of undergrad at the Beijing Forestry University, Annie transferred in her third year to UBC under our 2+2 Program. Here she would continue pursuing her degree in Wood Products Processing. While completing her studies, in 2016, she scored a co-op term with Loewen at Manitoba. In 2017, she graduated from UBC and immediately got hired by Canfor to be their Global Account Coordinator.

Then came a huge opportunity –

In 2019, Annie was offered the opportunity to temporarily relocate to Shanghai, where she would help implement a new computer system for the company. She happily accepted the offer and her co-workers praised her for her positive energy and can-do attitude. In May 2020, she returned to Vancouver and continued her role as an Account Executive.

“The task of learning to be free requires learning to hear them, to question them, to pause and hear silence, to name them, and then to become the storyteller” (Solnit 4)

I see Annie assuming the role of a storyteller in many different ways. Throughout her studies, she seized on the different opportunities that came her way. At one time a research assistant at a professor’s lab; At another, a client-relationship broker at a consulting firm; Still another, a host leader at UBC’s Career Centre. Even now, as a full-time employee at Canfor, she continued volunteering for the Pacific Blue Cross, raising money for local charities. Each of these experiences is itself a story waiting to be told, and Annie chooses to tell them through her impact on the lives around her.

I think this quote perfectly sums up my impression of Annie:

“Those looking for a story will be beguiled by the slumberous pleasures of the story. Those touched by the hand of passion will sit up with moist eyes to watch the dawn arrive” – Muhammad Baksh

I really admire Annie’s sense of adventure and her openness to new opportunities, as she continues to search for and narrates her own story!

Author/Editor: Tiffany Ma
Photos: Annie Wang