Who is Kam?
In 2015, I graduated from the University of Cambridge with a 1st Class Bachelors degree and a Masters degree in Engineering, following which I went to work as a management consultant in Central London.
Now, I'm a performance coach, motivational speaker and creator/author of the The Ultimate Guide To Exam Success online course and book!
...how did that happen?
It is entirely possible that you came to this page looking for my qualifications and experience (section 5). No need to trawl through my life story - just click on the relevant section and you'll jump straight to it!
Afraid and insecure
As a young man, I allowed my identity to become defined by my accomplishments. Getting good grades, winning tennis matches, receiving praise from my family and friends...I craved that validation to believe that I was a 'successful' human being.
Because I was afraid. Deeply afraid.
Afraid of failure. Afraid of disappointing others. Afraid of rejection. Afraid of being judged. Insecure about my physical appearance. Frustrated by my lack of popularity. Anxious about the future. The list goes on.
The truth is, we all have fears and insecurities. To some extent, mine would drive me to push harder and accomplish more (as they do for many of us)...and yet, they'd also exhaust me, limit me and paralyse me. When they were triggered, I had no control over them.
When they were triggered, they owned me.
I came to realise that my relationship with myself was not sustainable. Sure, I'd accomplish something and feel the satisfaction that came with it. But I was burning myself out. I was draining my mental and physical health. I was becoming volatile, and at times difficult to be around for my family and friends.
The truth is, I felt broken, and I didn't know how to fix myself.
Ironically, I compensated by letting the nurturing side of my character develop, taking solace in listening to my friends and supporting them through their problems…but still never resolving my own.
The path to 'owning myself'
I felt that I could never tell anyone about my internal battle. Social stigmas meant that I would be considered weak to talk about these things, and I felt weak enough as it was! Self-help books seemed too cliché, and besides, I was a bit too proud to admit to myself that I needed help.
But eventually, I reached a breaking point (for those interested, the events leading to this are explored further in my blogs and YouTube videos), following which I decided that enough was enough.
I decided that I was ready to make some changes.
And so, I said a giant "f**k you" to society!
I decided that my growth, my peace of mind, and my reality was far more important than what I felt society would judge me for. After all, when I woke up in the morning, the only reflection staring back in the mirror was myself; not my parents, not my friends, and not my teachers!
And I knew that I needed to see that reflection smile.
With time, patience and strength, I managed to take control of my fears and insecurities. I confronted them, I understood them, I soothed them, and I managed them.
I learnt to own them.
I learnt to own myself...
...until a new situation would come along and trigger existing fears or create new ones.
But as I soon realised, that simply can't be helped - just as life is dynamic and ever-changing, so too would I continuously evolve as a result of the new experiences I faced. But I realised it was my choice as to how I evolved! I could resist and fight growth, desperately clinging to the familiar past, the self-pity and 'injustices' of my life... or I could accept the new circumstances, adapt to them, and learn to own them.
And with each new situation that acted as a trigger, I realised that the self-awareness I'd cultivated was allowing me to regain control over my emotional state at a quicker rate every time. I could get to the source of the fear, understand how it impacted me, and most importantly, manage it to mitigate its harmful impact on myself and those around me.
I was able to reconfigure my mindset to allow me to perform at my 'best', whilst dealing effectively and proactively with my 'worst' in a sustainable way!
This culminated in receiving an offer to study Engineering at Cambridge University, which I met after defying the expectations of my teachers to attain an A* in Further Mathematics.
In Cambridge, after two challenging years of sub-optimal performance (2.ii's in both years), I managed to achieve a 1st class in my final year of undergraduate studies, and went on to receive a Masters in Engineering the subsequent year.
become a coach
I started doing performance coaching work at Cambridge University in 2013, working with A-level and university students to help them overcome stress in order to improve their performance and accomplish their goals.
I loved it.
It was far more fulfilling than academics (even more so than my sports!) - and my clients were achieving great results.
But despite that, I wasn't ready to pursue it as a career.
This wasn't surprising. An Engineering degree from Cambridge meant that I had a chance for a 'stable' future with a 'well-paying' job, exactly what I'd been brought up to believe was the most desired outcome from the educational process.
I spent months debating the matter, eventually deciding that the 'stable, well-paid' path aligned with my character at the time. Stability in this job market is not to be taken for granted, and I wanted to build the financial foundations for the family I one day wanted to support.
That, and I was also risk-averse, afraid of disappointing my family who had helped support me in reaching this point, and still felt the need to prove to myself that I could make it in the city.
My plan was to work for 10 years in what society deemed to be an 'intense' and 'elite' profession. After all, just as Cambridge had been the validation that I sought to prove that I'd succeeded academically, my job would be the validation that I'd succeeded professionally. (Yes, here were my insecurities and approval issues rearing their ugly head again!)
Once I had a stable, successful career, I'd start my own family. And then once I had the life experience and a healthy amount of money in the bank, I'd become a coach.
The plan started well.
I managed to get a highly-coveted job as a strategy consultant with a prestigious company. I approached it with no expectations - simply wanting to learn as much as I could and establish myself as a high-potential individual.
Cue a staggering learning curve...
On the positive side, it was challenging and intellectually-stimulating work, and I was surrounded by talented, driven and intelligent people. The culture seemed so different from that of the management consulting firms that my friends were working for, and I really felt like I was in an atmosphere that cultivated ideas, inspired ambition and promoted self-development.
On the negative side, the hours were heavy and the work was not fulfilling in the way that coaching had been - I began longing for those same deep interactions with other people, knowing that all the time and energy I was devoting to this job could be spent making a positive impact on the lives of others...
The longer I let the thought percolate in my mind, the more I realised that the doubts I once had about making my coaching dreams happen (the business strategy and marketing aspects in particular) were rapidly disappearing. The sheer amount of time and energy I was willing to dedicate to a cause that wasn't even mine ...imagine what would be possible if I redirected that same time and energy towards my coaching dreams!
I let my thoughts unwind for the next six weeks, planning and scheming despite the high demands of the job, and imagining the day I left the strategy consulting world and began living my dream for myself...
And then, I decided to stop imagining, and start doing.
And here we are.
as a coach
I learned a lot from school, university and work. But for some reason, the basic tools needed to begin owning myself (such as self-awareness, mindfulness etc.) were never covered.
This struck me as ironic, because these institutions all seek optimal performance from their people (in exams for schools and universities, and in jobs for companies) - and the aforementioned tools were exactly the kind of catalyst that could facilitate that!
So I'm here to do what these institutions neglect to do. I'm here to give you the tools to own your self.
And I'm starting with the people who feel the brunt of social, academic and professional pressures the most - students.
This generation of students faces challenges far different than any before them, largely due to the heavy influence of social media resulting in students having tremendously large networks at a very early age.
This can be very positive - social networks can be a great asset as this generation of students enter their professional careers.
But at this early age, without the tools to manage themselves, their social network can be a tremendous source of angst. The pressures from perceived scrutiny and judgement is huge. Social trends emerge one day, and die the next. Every move you make (or don't make) is subject to peer approval (or disapproval).
The end result is that, despite being more connected to others than ever before, we're more disconnected from ourselves as a consequence!
Over these few years, I've seen too many students fall victim to the same fears and insecurities I had, and remain stuck in these vicious cycles to the detriment of their health, wellbeing and performance. Worse still, it carries on into their professional lives, social lives and relationships, where they manifest in even more harmful ways.
But it doesn't have to be this way.
I want to show you that you can retake control of your own life. I want to show you that you are your only judge, not your network. I want to show you how you can optimise your mindset to overcome the limits that constrain you, wherever their source. And most importantly, I want to show you how to translate this into sustainable high-performance in every area of your life, whilst maintaining your health and wellbeing.
More than anything, however, it is my greatest wish to be the person that I needed to talk to all those years ago, but didn't feel worthy enough to even look for.
As a performance coach, I'm comfortable sharing the performance-related goals I've accomplished with you.
Let me clarify - this is not to impress or show-off - it is simply evidence of how I have been able to get the best performance out of myself...even whilst dealing with the worst of myself.
Achieved 13 A* in GCSEs
Achieved 4A* and 1A in A-Levels (Maths, Chemistry, Physics, Further Maths and Extended Project Qualification)
Accepted into the University of Cambridge to study Chemical Engineering (via Natural Sciences) at Churchill College
After 4 years, graduated from Cambridge with a 1st Class Bachelors degree (in Manufacturing Engineering) and a Masters with Merit (in the same discipline)
Management consultant specialising in strategy and due-diligence work at Roland Berger (full-time role)
Engineering consultant (quality and performance improvement) at GKN Aerospace and Perkins Engines (during Masters degree)
Technical process systems internship at Air Products & Chemicals Inc.
English teacher at Royal Camford School, Beijing, China
Part-time work as an assistant at a Kumon Maths & English centre during my GCSE and A-Level years
Personal Performance Coaching Diploma with Distinction (ICF-accredited) with The Coaching Academy
NLP Practitioner (ANLP-accredited) with The Coaching Academy
Sports & Recreation:
University of Cambridge Lawn Tennis Club, 2011-15, including captaincy of 2nd team (2014-15)
Trained with Hertfordshire Warriors Basketball Club, 2011-12
Conference speaker and Master of Ceremonies at the Kumon UK & Ireland Conference 2012
Volunteer at Doostan charity, an organisation that builds schools in third-world countries
Achievements, qualifications and work experience
There you are. Me in a (long) nutshell. I hope this serves to give you an idea of the person I am, the impact I wish to have on my clients, and why I believe I can achieve it.
If you'd like to get in touch, or are interested in learning more about the services I offer, click on the links below!
And don't forget to check out my blog here!