Carli’s Story

How one media production graduate balanced creative pursuits to launch a career truly her own.

Carli Yim is well-versed in time management. She is a children’s book author, a volleyball coach and Product Manager, Business Solutions Marketing at Telus. The media production alumna credits her time as a student athlete on the women’s varsity volleyball team for learning how to strike a school-life balance.

While studying at Ryerson, Carli wove her interest in working with children into her assignments. During a brainstorming session for a class project, a phrase popped into Carli’s mind, which she held onto for seven years. While she initially envisioned developing it into a children’s animated series to help them learn to take better care of their belongings, she was unsure how to bring the story to life.

Using her media production classes as inspiration and her electives as a resource in publishing, Carli decided to take the creative leap and turn the idea into a book, and My Fluffy Bunny was released in 2018. “I thought back to when I was in school anything flies – any idea you have you throw up and stick up on the wall. Any creative juice that you have you squeeze it out and see what comes of it. I figured out how to do it, ” she explains.

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Carli credits the hands-on nature of her classes with helping to foster her creative side. “I wasn’t really confined to the classroom. I got to go out explore – learn through trial and error, and I think that was a huge part of allowing me to think beyond the textbook.”

The ability to balance her interests developed throughout her time on the women’s varsity volleyball team. A typical week for Carli would entail five days of practice, traveling for games against other universities on the weekends and personalized workouts in between. With a rigorous sports schedule and assignments, Carli had to ensure she was on top of both and maintained a healthy balance. To do so, she looked at each task with a refined focus and as a priority to complete. “I was required to be at practice, I was required to be at games, I was required to be a good teammate, I was required to lead when necessary,” she says. “I had to do these things over and over again, I had to balance my schedule over and over again.”

Transitioning from a student athlete to a graduate has been a learning curve for Carli, but she’s found ways to stay connected to the sport. She currently coaches the Toronto 12U Girls Program for the Leaside Volleyball Team and as a varsity alumna shows her continuous support by attending Ryerson practices and staying up-to-date with current team members. Looking back at her time at Ryerson and on the team, Carli says the best part of her experience was finding and belonging to a unique sisterhood. The sisterhood became an automatic support system for Carli – she valued building stronger friendships based on shared experiences and desires of excelling both in the classroom and on the court.

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“No one understands a student athlete better than a student athlete who has to go through and balance school with practice, with games and with the mental ability to really understand ‘ok I have to focus on my schoolwork and now I have to focus on my practice and translate that into games,’” she describes.

Carli’s student athlete motto of balance has shaped her work ethic and helped develop several useful skills, assisting in her career now as a product manager and in life after graduating. “Working, coaching, having to write a children’s book and doing marketing on the side, and working with a not-for-profit, those are the things that one bring me joy, and two I’m able to balance because of what I’ve learned along the way.”

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