Jeff Ku (Class of '94)I knew Jeff Ku when I attended WIC, but got to know him better while I attended the University of Calgary.
It was Clubs week, and I saw a familiar face recruiting club members for the Biological Students Association
.It was perfect: I joined the club, and formed a friendship with Jeff
introduced me to his
friends, and helped me adjust to university life.At the end of that first year, we even travelled to Hong Kong and Taiwan for a month!Jeff Ku was born April 26, 1976 in Calgary.He
in 1990, where he
stayed until he
graduated four years later, and immediately entered the University of Calgary
.He graduated in 1998 with a Bachelor's of Science in Zoology and a minor in Management.
While at U of C
own business selling CPU's and RAM.But it was at a computer show where he met and ultimately joined a foreign company that distributed main boards to Canada.This enterprise led to a job offer after graduation, where he worked in international sales overseas: in Taiwan!
"Taiwan was a completely different environment for me.I was completely away from family and friends over in Taiwan.My closest relatives lived in Hong Kong, which was an hour's flight away.I didn't speak the language (mandarin) and I couldn't read any Chinese, which made my stay a little harder than I had anticipated.The Taiwanese are very friendly to foreigners, so I was lucky to get help from people that I had met there," said Jeff
Shortly after settling into Taiwan, Jeff
learned that the company he
worked for could not sponsor him to get an Alien Resident Certificate.To do so, he
needed a degree in technology, not a science degree.He
solved the problem by committing an illegal act: taking on a part-time job teaching English.In Taiwan, a person could hold a job other then the one they used to apply for the certificate.However, this extra work helped him meet people, and finally gain residency.
While in Taiwan, Jeff
lived in a room at the back of his
company's warehouse.A typical day consisted of waking at 8am, working from 8:30am until he
left at 7pm on his
scooter to go and teach English, then return to the office at 10pm and work until 1am (as this was the time most of his
overseas clients worked).Overall, he
enjoyed working in Taiwan.
survived, unscathed.That night, he
returned to his
room with no power, thus no access to the Internet, and the phone lines were down.There was no way he
could let those in Canada know he
was safe.The following day, he
scooter around a dead town.No one was in the streets, but remained indoors with their family and friends.He found a Japanese department store, Sogo, which had power, and he went shopping!He
bought a flashlight, good cheese (something hard to find in Taiwan) and jeans.Days later, power was restored and the phones were working.When he
finally checked his
email, Jeff's account was full of emails with headings such as "Are you ok?""Are you there?""I hope you are not dead"Jeff
spent three years in Taiwan, before deciding to move to Toronto and return to school, this time for a Chartered Accounting designation.He
chose the University of Toronto's
Rotman School of Management program, where he
could get an MBA and obtain credits to write the Uniform Final Exam.He completed the program, passed the UFE in September 2003, and currently works at Deloitte as an auditor.
As for his
future plans, Jeff
is thinking of going into Forensic Accounting or Corporate Tax.