Xavier Tan was an alumnus of the Network For Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) programme in 2015, and a youth volunteer with Halogen. His encounter with NFTE sowed the seeds for his entrepreneurship journey, inspiring him to kickstart his own venture.
Hi, I’m Xavier! I’m a 25-year-old entrepreneur currently running a Fashion Graduate Programme Company and Advertising Firm in London! My first encounter with Halogen was back in 2015 where I was a student of the NFTE Programme, and subsequently went to New York City for the NFTE Global Showcase in New York. In 2016, I became a youth volunteer with Halogen, during which I helped to run the NFTE programme up till 2017. Since then we have also run various collaborations to raise funds for the organisation such as the Invenio Totebag Project and You.th Campaign.
Tell us about the highlight of your NFTE journey!
The highlight of my NFTE experience will be the 10 day BizCamp [Business Camp] that I went through with Halogen. When I first joined the programme, I was a lost 15-year-old with no direction or aim toward anything in my life.
The NFTE programme proved to be a turning point in my life. Through the series of opportunities I underwent during the programme, such as the chance to visit corporate offices, build business plans and train my presentation skills, I found the motivation to achieve more in my life. On top of that, the NFTE Showcase in New York was an eye-opening experience for me, where we got to witness so much more talent across the globe that underwent the NFTE programme too.
How has your perspective changed since?
Before entering the NFTE programme, my concept of entrepreneurship was predominantly focused on the financial aspects of running a business, and was monetary driven. While that remains a key part of running a business, through the NFTE programme, I discovered that entrepreneurship is beyond just monetary value, but more about how we can improve or help a certain aspect of other people’s lives. Through this value that has been instilled in me during NFTE, we are more intentional with our decision making in the company that helps us to create more impactful moments for the people that we are helping.
What was one of the most impactful lessons you’ve learnt from your NFTE journey? How did this change the way you lead your life in the present?
One of the most impactful lessons I have learned through my NFTE journey would be the “perspective of seeing your self-worth”. Throughout my journey in NFTE, there have always been a lot of uplifting moments, from trainers that believe in you, to corporate partners who advise you and cheer you on, and judges who encourage you. The activities I encountered during the NFTE programme are heavily focused on self-development, which I appreciated deeply. After the programme, I discovered a brand-new perspective of myself which has helped me to gain confidence, and continues to spur me to carry on whenever I feel inadequate or demotivated.
What were some of your most memorable moments with Halogen and how has it shaped your approach to life?
The most memorable moments I’ve had with Halogen was coming back to join the team as a facilitator for the NFTE programme. It was one of the most life-changing experiences I’ve been through. I remember being excited to wake up everyday, and head to the school that we are training at, together with a group of Halogen trainers who share the same goals and vision for the youths that we are teaching. Seeing the students’ growth during the programme was one of the most satisfying experiences I have ever encountered, and the adrenaline that allowed us to push through two months of back-to-back training with five different schools was truly amazing!
Being with Halogen over the past eight years has definitely impressed upon me the spirit of “never try, never know”. My experiences with Halogen have instilled in me the importance of always trying first, before jumping to conclusions. This mindset has opened many doors of opportunity for me, and enabled me to adopt a different approach to life.