Lily is a second year undergraduate student and the General Manager of FreshSight, a student-led consultancy service. She is giving a talk at the upcoming University of Edinburgh TEDx event
What inspired you to become a part of FreshSight?
Getting involved with FreshSight was a bit serendipitous. When I first came to Edinburgh I met up with an acquaintance from home and she mentioned FreshSight over coffee. I looked into it and was inspired by the idea of working with local charities so I applied. Definitely one of my better decisions, I’ve met some of my best friends and worked with some great organisations in the community.
How difficult is it to balance running a business with being a student?
Finding the balance between running a business and being a student can definitely be a bit challenging. I find it easy to get immersed in doing FreshSight work because I really enjoy it. I’ve needed to hone my time management skills so I have four days a week where I allow myself to work on FreshSight and the other days I make sure to focus on my other responsibilities.
What are you planning on talking about in your upcoming TEDTalk?
My upcoming TEDx talk is about opening the dialogue on mental illness. It’s the sort of topic that affects us all yet isn’t exactly the first thing to come up in conversation. I find that there is a stigma that persists around mental illness and it can make it easy for those suffering to feel isolated. I guess that I hope by sharing my own experiences pretty frankly I can encourage other people to share their stories and find acceptance and healing. The whole thing has been quite cathartic for me.
What are your plans for the future?
I think it is hard to say what my exact plans are. I have a series of goals I want to achieve, but that isn’t an employment plan really. Wildlife conservation is something I’m passionate about so I would love to do field research for a time. A bit further down the line I could see myself working for an environmental consultancy. I’m quite open to the future though, who knows.
What’s your favourite Edinburgh coffee-shop?
My favourite coffee shop in Edinburgh would have to be Machina Espresso on Brougham St. Delicious coffee and there are always so many cute dogs there!