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developing global trade leaders
through trade career development

Saw Jeimie Hla

Yangon, Myanmar

Vietnamese-German University

MSc in Global Production Engineering & Management

Work & internships

Employer: Tsang Yih Myanmar

Awards & citations

Hinrich – Tsang Yih Global Trade Leader Scholarship (2017)

Previous university & major(s)

Myanmar Institute of Theology – Bachelor of Arts in Religious studies (2012)

Scholar status

New scholar – Class of 2017

Read my story here

My first thought when I learned I was awarded this scholarship

It was unbelievable! I was so surprised that I had to check the email again and again. I am not an engineer, and my brother would often tell me, “This scholarship might prefer engineering graduates.’’ When I learned I was awarded the scholarship, I felt so happy!

Why I’m interested in trade

I have been impressed by one of my uncles from church. He is a trader and has a good business. He always encourages me to go into trading.

What this scholarship opportunity means to me

Dreams do come true. This is a second chance for me to get an engineering degree; I missed the first one 12 years ago. I attended university but was unable to finish because of financial difficulties. Because of the Hinrich Foundation’s Global Production Engineering and Management (GPEM) scholarship at Vietnamese-German University, my lifelong dream of attending an engineering university is moving forward.

The international experiences I’m most looking forward to

I am very excited to be on the GPEM program. I am looking forward to developing links within industries and gaining knowledge necessary in these fields and immersing myself in the cultural diversity of my school.

What I’ll bring to my dorm to remind me of home and why

Before I moved into my dorm, I printed out a bunch of pictures of me with my family. Whenever I feel homesick, I look at these pictures. Also, certain scents remind me of home. Imperial Leather soap has that effect on me, so I have it in my dorm.

My favorite hobbies and other interests

My hobby is singing even if I don’t know how to sing well.

I am also interested in cars. I would often talk about cars so much that my family began thinking I was an automobile expert.

My proudest achievement so far in life

I had the chance to help my father in supporting our family, especially when my siblings started attending university. I sent two sisters and one brother to school. I fully supported them and was very happy when they received their degree. I am proud of them.

I am also proud of receiving the Hinrich Foundation – Tsang Yih scholarship. It is an enormous opportunity and responsibility.

The largest obstacle I’ve overcome so far in life

We lost everything we owned in a fire at our township. We had to share everything – toilets, bathroom, sleeping quarters, food, water and other things – with 5,000 other families who were also affected by the fire. We were depressed; my mom and sister cried every night; my father and I felt sorry.

This made me realize that our biggest enemy does not come from outside. For me, it was myself, the internal conflict within me after the tragedy.

But my mentor taught me: “This is not your fault. You can’t hold on to the old and expect to receive the new. The past is over and done with. Quit dwelling on it. Quit reliving it. Keep moving forward.”.

My future goals and aspirations

A good tree can lodge 10,000 birds. I must be like a good tree for my family, friends and workmates, and society.

I do not aspire to just make a living; I want to make a difference.

How I plan to give back and help others

I want to share what I learn with others. I see many young people confused over how to progress in life. They are hardworking but never get anywhere. Year after year, they are in the same place because they lack education.

Personal statement

“If you want to see further, go higher.” I believe nothing is impossible in this world as long as you are determined to make it possible.

Story about Saw Jeimie Hla

My family often struggled financially, with my father being the only breadwinner. When my father lost his job once, I had to quit my engineering studies to find a job and help my family. I experienced working two to three jobs getting paid a minimum wage which, at that time, was not enough for us to live. We couldn’t even afford to rent an apartment.

I thought quitting college would be the end of my education. But I told myself I would never give up until I’m somebody someday.

Life is full of sacrifices, but I’m willing to make sacrifices.

Despite financial hardship, I persevered and finished my studies. I’m proud of myself for staying strong and challenging this cruel world.