Interviews: Paul Korczyk.

Posted by: | January 27, 2009 | 2 Comments

The interviews continue! This one is chock full of hockey commentary, which I quite enjoyed, and give props to.

1.) If you had to choose one thing from your platform that you would work on, which would it be and why?
When players talk to eachother on the ice, everything breaks down, and you won’t be winning too many games. In the dressing room, if players just keep quiet in their stalls, they won’t have team spirit and won’t be bought in. I’m sure you see where I’m going with this. Communication.

The AMS needs to revitalize how it interacts and communicates with students. I will personally inform residences of what we’re doing, information in residence, if presented correctly, it can spread like wildfire. A more consistent and continuous online presence is important as well. Including, but not limited to media like Facebook, blogs, and presence on the New to UBC and FYI newsletter committees.

However, communication can’t stop there. I will make sure to work with the VP external to ensure we have strong communication with the Provincial Government, CASA, and our other local students’ associations. Preventing spiking tuition fees, improved child care, and a positive Olympic experience can only be achieved if we’re effectively getting our messages across to the BC Government and City of Vancouver council.

2.) How would you describe your leadership style?
A leader needs to know how each position works, and how to act accordingly to best benefit the team as a whole. When Mark Messier came to the Canucks during the ‘dark ages’, his ego couldn’t be controlled and it led to a negative presence. He was constantly at odds with teammates, and the locker room was in shambles because of it. It was the wrong way to lead the team, and the Canucks suffered because of it.

In contrast, my leadership is that of inclusion. Everyone brings valuable information to any team, and everyone has the potential for greatness. My leadership is based on drawing that greatness out of people, and not imposing my own beliefs or my ego on them. However, at the same time, when necessary, I’ll fight for my team, and take a game misconduct if needed.

3.) If you had to select another candidate, other than yourself, for your position, who would you select and why?
Steve Yzerman, as a write in ballot. Yzerman was one of the greatest hockey players of all time. He’s a born leader, both on and off the ice. His on-ice skill and leadership doesn’t need to be backed up, his tenure with the Red Wings brought them out of the cellar into years of league dominance.

4.) What experience have you had leading a team?
Think of me as Mats Sundin coming onto the Vancouver Canucks. I’ve got a great amount of leadership coming into the new job, but it’s coming from somewhere else. In a short amount of time, I’ll be a great benefit to the team, but it will take me a few games to learn the ropes. I’m a very quickly learner, and I easily adapt to change and adversity. I can deal with anything that is thrown at me. Like Sundin, I’ve led committees, like the Leafs’ powerplay, and I’ve been the Captain of a team, who is looked upon for decisions, as well as fighting for my teammates to referees and coaches.

5.) How are you different from the other candidates running for your position?
Many were shocked and angry when Mike Gillis was hired as the new General Manager of the Canucks. He had no previous experience in managing a national hockey league team, and he was thrust into the main role, making the hard decisions and leading a team of executives. His experience came from elsewhere, but has since proven that his lack of job specific experience did not hamper him one bit. He made some ‘bold moves’ and did a good job to ensure a competetive team ‘moving forward’, including eventually landing the biggest free agent of the offseason. His connections to the player agent world have been key in putting together some significant pieces of the puzzle.

Sound familiar? I have outside experience that will be extremely valuable. Right now, I’m working in a position that has me in constant contact with parts of campus I don’t believe the AMS has connected enough with. The VP students’ portfolio is diverse, and focuses on improving student life on campus, just like the AMS. I have dealt closely with many people involved with the portfolio’s many programs, and bridging them together with the AMS will end up being a great benefit to students. Increased presence at the SLC, LEAP workshops in the SUB, and more cross-involvement with orientations will be great for students as well as the AMS.

Working UBC Waste Management and Sustainability offices is another important step in the right direction. Compost bins with big AMS logos on them will go a long way in showing students what we’re doing for them.

6.) What would you say is the single most important issue concerning UBC students right now?
Education. Great teams always have those star players who can play multiple roles on the team. Think of the Detroit Red Wings, who have guys like Nik Lidstrom and Pavel Datsyuk. They play different positions, but they chip in all over the ice, and are great both on offence and defence. To win the Stanley Cup, you need a team where everyone is able to contribute on both ends of the rink. Similarly, to have a great University, you need professors that are stars in both teaching and research.

The university in recent years has been focusing too much on improving the researchers it’s bringing in. Unfortunately, great researchers don’t necessarily make the best instructors. The Carl Wieman teaching initiative has been great for the faculty of science, and the change in how the Wieman program science classes are being taught is remarkable. This needs to be funded and spread throughout the rest of the faculties. The LEAD program is a great step towards that goal, but moving forward, we need to make sure it keeps getting necessary funding and attention, and making sure UBC’s new strategic plan includes a vision focused on teaching just as much as it focuses on research.

7.) If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
Time to take a break from the cheesy hockey analogies. In a heartbeat, I’d go back to Poland for a bit. I miss my family. My cousins have slowly been getting facebook the last few months, and while it’s great being in touch a little more, it’s making me miss being there. I haven’t been back in three years now. I’ve missed two weddings through not being able to afford plane tickets, and it’s been killing me. One of my other cousins is getting married this summer, but it’s not looking much better for me being able to get out there, so if I could go anywhere in the world, it’d be Poland for Tomek’s wedding.


2 Comments so far

  1. Jimmy Yan on January 27, 2009 8:47 am

    Way to go Paul, love the hockey allusions!

  2. Bowinn on January 27, 2009 7:57 pm

    Wow…that’s a lot of hockey. I feel I must say that I’ve learned a lot about this sport…but wasn’t quite able to get to the part where he relates the allusion to the original question.

    It’s not you, Paul, it’s me. Short attention span…

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