This week, we had an inspiring conversation with Cullen Lee, the winner of the Born to Sell competition from Rapid7, about how he strives to be the happiest bit of stardust in the universe.
The Born to Sell competition challenge applicants to create a 1-2 minute sales pitch or commercial for their favorite product or service..
For Cullen’s $2,000 winning scholarship submission, he created a video selling BiC pens.
The competition was created by Rapid7, a cybersecurity company that provides analytics solutions for security and Information Technologies (IT) operations.
Tuan: Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
Cullen: Hi, my name is Cullen Lee and I am a junior at Boston College. I am from Boston, Massachusetts. I currently attend Boston College majoring in economics and minoring in Philosophy. My hobbies include, playing basketball and golf, cooking (Subscribe to Cullenary Arts on Youtube), investing/following the markets, exploring new places.
Tuan: What feeling(s) did you have when you found out you were the winner of the Born to Sell Competition?
Cullen: I was almost brought to tears when I was informed that I was the winner of the challenge. Whether it be a small board game or a multi-million dollar lottery, It feels really good to win anything. I felt empowered. I felt motivated. I wanted to do more with my new found talent and passion for making these types of videos. I felt born to sell.
“Whether it be a small board game or a multi-million dollar lottery, It feels really good to win anything."
Tuan: What inspired you for your submission?
Cullen: I make youtube videos during my free time as a passion. I wanted to see if I could share this with someone else.
Tuan: What do you think makes your submission stand out? Can you share what went through your mind as you worked on the submission?
Cullen: When I look at any challenge, I always like to analyze what people before me have tried to do with similar challenges. After studying previous submissions, I wanted to do something no one would dare to do. I wanted to do something out of the ordinary. I wanted to take risks. I wanted to take something as simple as a pen and really make the audience think of how important a pen is in our daily lives.
Tuan: What did you learn throughout the submission process — about yourself, your inspiration, the community or the industry?
Cullen: I was in a class talking about astronomy the day before I started working on my video. In class we basically talked about how we are bits of stardust compared to the infinite scale of the universe. As sad of a reality as it is, I decided to use this as motivation to become the most happy and interesting bit of stardust in this universe. I was immediately inspired to make the video and many more.
Tuan: Why do you think it is important to have alternative scholarships like action-based scholarships in your community?
Cullen: It was recently discovered that the SAT catered towards a specific audience with a certain level of privilege. I believe the traditional essay-based scholarships also narrow and catered toward a specific audience with a certain level of privilege. ScholarJet accentuates the character of an individual with ease rather than their writing style which may or may not have been aided by the help of a different academic system. ScholarJet help the phrase “actions speak louder than words” come to life.
Tuan: With your hard work, talents and skills how are you looking to create a better future?
Cullen: I have a growing list of organizations and nonprofits that I would like to immediately give back to as I attain my resources. I am going to apply my ability to think creatively to find solutions to create a sustainable future.
Tuan: What are two pieces of advice you have for future students who are looking to participate in an action-based scholarship?
Cullen: TWO WORDS. TAKE RISKS
Tuan: If you could have lunch with any person in this world, who would it be and why?
Cullen: I met someone at a college club event. We had a brief interaction but we talked about our love for food. I want to really get to know her through a nice meal, preferably prepared by Cullenary Arts.