Student Spotlight: TEDx with The TechTwins

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Andrew and Mark Ansell, AKA TheTechTwins, are former UCEAP, and current UC Berkeley students.  The twins spent their Spring 2018 semester studying abroad at the historic Trinity College Dublin in Ireland.  A surprise came to me as I was looking through our submissions for the Spring 2018 MySnaps Photo Competition and stumbled across the twins’ submissions for the category “something you’ve never done before going abroad”.  I scrolled down to find the two of them standing on a stage displaying the famous red TEDx logo – WHAT??!

Photo curtesy of Mark and Andrew Ansell

Mark’s caption for the photo read, “My brother and I were selected as the sole student speakers for the TEDxTrinityCollegeDublin event in March 2018 and delivered our talk earlier in March.  First ever TED Talk!”  WOW!  I later learned that Andrew and Mark had been given the unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity as UCEAP exchange students to deliver their TEDx talk, entitled “Homeless to Silicon Valley: A Life Without Fear“, at Trinity College Dublin.

The Tech Twins were chosen by Trinity to share their experience on the TEDx stage at Trinity in Dublin, Ireland.  Their talk describes how the events they’ve experienced in life thus far have brought them to develop and employ fearless mindsets in their daily lives.  The twins are real living proof that refusing to let fear stand in the way of your dreams and aspirations can, no matter the circumstances, bring you success and achievement in your endeavours.  Mark and Andrew’s talk is truly an inspiration to all – fearlessness and dedication are two priceless characteristics that The TechTwins encourage everyone to adopt and implement in their lives, daily.  Watch the full video below.

In this talk, Mark and Andrew outline their own Five Principles that they have instilled in their lives, leading them to the successful lives they have today.  These Five Principles are summarised below:

  1. Create an Inspiring Vision
    • E.g. Clearly define your own goals and aspirations
  2. Cultivate Your Mind
    • Control your inner world, e.g. your thoughts, feelings, beliefs; and surround yourself with positive people and experiences
    • E.g. STUDY ABROAD!!
  3. Create Your Own Luck
    • Don’t wait for opportunities to come to you – create your own opportunities!
    • “You are more powerful than probabilities.” -Mark Ansell
  4. Serve Others
    • Mark and Andrew highlight the importance of their exclusively service-orientated extracurricular activities standing out to huge corporations, such as Microsoft and Apple, as well as scholarship donors
    • They created The Momentum Speaker Series at the UC Berkeley College of Engineering, aimed at assisting students in gaining advice and motivation in career searches from their peers
    • Andrew and Mark also created a YouTube channel, The TechTwins, providing advice to those interested in working in the tech industry
  5. Respectful Persistence
    • “With nothing to lose, we had everything to gain.” -Mark Ansell
    • Remaining persistent when it comes to reaching your goals is essential

The twins end their talk with some inspirational advice: no matter the circumstances, it is essential to never allow fear to get in the way of your goals, your life, or anything else for that matter.  “Imagine what could happen if all of us refused to allow fear to influence our decisions. … We want to ask you, what could your life look like?” -Andrew Ansell.

My advice to UC students and current, former, or future UCEAP students: don’t take advice from me, take it from The TechTwins!  As double-majors in Mechanical Engineering and Business Administration at UC Berkeley (the first EVER to double-major in these two degrees, I might add), Andrew and Mark have certainly figured out how to successfully and simultaneously achieve many of their goals and aspirations.  Not only are they excelling in their studies, but they, between the two of them, have interned at Apple, Tesla, Apple (again), and Microsoft.  The twins even created an informative video on studying abroad, touching on aspects of Dublin, the abroad experience, and, of course, Trinity College Dublin itself.  You can access the rest of their fun and informational videos on their YouTube channel, TheTechTwins.

I think it’s safe to say that we can expect GREAT THINGS from The Tech Twins, Mark and Andrew Ansell!  To read more about Mark and Andrew’s experiences, read this interview with Trinity and this interview with ThinkBusiness.