Hiya! My name is Deya. I graduated from Jacobs in 2016 with a Bachelor’s in Global Economics and Management.
In August of 2013, my dad, my sister and I flew over 9000 km to get me to Bremen from Taipei. So it’s been almost exactly 10 years since my dad and sister dropped me off on campus; I remember standing on Campus Green thinking, “They’re never coming back for me. For the first time, nobody’s picking me up and taking me home. I’m here on my own.” Still makes me cry LOL
I was very anxious that I would regret my decision. I thought it would be terrifying and lonely to move halfway across the world at 18 – it was extremely uncharacteristic of me. I actually didn’t unpack my suitcases for a month at Jacobs because I wasn’t sure if I wanted to stay.
But immediately after my dad and sister drove off, I made a commitment to try to talk to everyone I came across – and those people I talked to carried me through the next 3 years.
Jacobs changed my life. It was the first place I was fully my own “adult” person. It is where I met my fiancé, it gave me friends that I still hang out with to this day, it gave me the opportunity and privilege to try out different career paths to find what was right for me.
I’m grateful that it is where I ended up.
Flash forward to graduating in 2016: I had zero clue what to do straight out of Jacobs if I’m totally honest. I had no real purpose, no singular lifelong passion to pursue, so I decided to start a 6-month internship at one of the big 4 consulting companies in an attempt to see something, anything.
And I’m sure like many others, I was raised to follow a very step-by-step path:
- study really hard,
- get straight A’s,
- score well on the SATs,
- get into a good college,
- do a few prestigious internships,
- get an entry level job and
- climb the corporate ladder.
When I got to step 5, I hit pause – for the first time in my life.
That internship was honestly the first time I ever confronted the concept of: “Is this what the next 40 years will look like?”
This brief glance into my corporate future forced me to re-evaluate a lot of things about my life and what I actually wanted. So out of pure desperation for an alternative (ANY alternative), I began freelancing online in the evenings for $10/hr.
I thought, “If I can just make the same amount of money while working when I want and from where I want… I’d be the happiest person alive.”
And I’ll be honest: never in a million years did I think I would be freelancing full-time or even end up owning my own business. My risk tolerance is 0, so it seemed bizarre to me and everyone who knew me.
I offered absolutely everything as a freelancer when I first started because I had no clue what I was doing. I offered voice overs, admin work, design, copywriting, editing, translations, and other miscellaneous things.
After a few rocky months, I officially surpassed my minimum wage internship role, and I deemed that ‘safe enough’ to attempt freelancing full-time (if we kept expenses super low and continued shopping at Lidl).
All of that evennnnnnnntually led me to find my dream career – I became a freelance Digital Business Manager. It was the one that finally stuck. 🙂
So since I started freelancing full-time in 2017, I have gotten to slow travel, I’ve gotten to work with the coolest 6-7 figure entrepreneurs helping them build their online businesses – and coolest of all, I’ve gotten to spend months at a time with my family in Taiwan.
After around 4-5 years of freelancing full-time as a business manager and helping all my clients build their dream businesses, I decided to venture into my scariest decision yet: to build my own solo business for the first time.
Following a few months of chaos, tech issues, creating 1000’s of slides, crying, frantic googling, and validating the product, somehow it became a real business.
So since 2020, my pride and joy has been that business. I am currently the founder at Digital Business Manager Bootcamp. DBM was the elusive “dream career” that I didn’t know I was looking for – the career that changed everything for me, so I figured it could potentially be the “dream career” for a few others.
At DBM Bootcamp™, we train women in skills like project, team and operations management – specifically for small digital businesses. Since 2020, we’ve welcomed hundreds of students into our signature course, and it has been a surreal privilege to work with them.
Looking back, all the little steps make sense. Jacobs makes sense. The internship makes sense. The freelancing for $10/hr makes sense.
But back in 2016, I felt 100% clueless. In 2017, I still felt clueless. In 2018, I still had 0 clue what I was doing.
So I guess if I were to pull some sort of takeaway out of all of this, it’d be: the path to where you’re meant to be is not a meticulously planned out “Step 1, Step 2, Step 3” straight path. It’s chaotic and messy and feels like “What is happening?” most of the time.
This quote by Martin Luther King Jr. got me through a lot of murky waters: “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” If you just keep taking steps in the right direction and course correct when you’re off track, you’ll eventually wind up where you’re meant to.
Want to get to know Deya better? Get in touch with her via her LinkedIn or try out her amazing DBM Bootcamp™ yourself!
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