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For four days, the Hinrich Foundation gathered for the annual regional team training. This year’s retreat was held in Blue Water Maribago Resort in Cebu, the Philippines’ Queen City of the South! From May 23 to 26 the team worked together to strengthen team dynamics, and plan ahead to help better achieve the foundation’s yearly goals.

Joining the foundation’s annual team training was an excellent opportunity for me. I got to know and understand the organization better, as well as the people within it.

Official HF Team Training 2018 Banner. Held at Blue Water, Maribago Beach Resort, Mactan, Cebu Philippines on 23-26 July 2018.

On the first day, the whole team gathered for dinner near the beach. Meeting team members from Vietnam, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Laos, Cambodia and the US changed my perception about my potential career and life ahead. I saw how they respected and treated each other well even though they were from different countries and had different cultures and beliefs.

That night, I also had the privilege of talking with the directors of the foundation, as well as my co-global trade leaders. Speaking one on one with leaders within the team and hearing the stories from other scholars in the program boosted my morale and made me appreciate being part of the team as a Global Trade Leader.

Alex Boome leads and discusses the HF annual team training achievements and objectives.

The second day started with a discussion on the achievements for the first half of the year. After this, the team talked about the goals & objectives for the second half. Here, I presented a marketing proposal in front of my colleagues, which made me feel both excited and nervous at the same time. I thought I might forget some important points, but with the help of my mentor, Alex Ward, I delivered the presentation successfully.

The whole Hinrich Foundation team pose for a group photo before the Factory Visit.

The last two days were spent on team discussions and factory visits to clothing manufacturer Yuenthai Philippines Inc and furniture manufacturer Cebu-fil Veneer. Seeing the intricate processes both impressed and overwhelmed me, and also allowed me to realize how the success of a company relies on each of the individual factory workers. They are the ones responsible in handling everything from the raw materials to finished goods. Seeing the workers in the factory firsthand increased my respect for the job because they work extremely hard despite receiving only the minimum wage. Another thing I realized was that technology had a downside to it – while it enabled factories to produce quickly and efficiently, it meant people sometimes would lose their jobs to an automated procedure – which would inevitably affect a country’s trade and economy.

Visitors from Anthill Fabric Gallery and Yuenthai Philippines Inc. pose with the Hinrich Foundation team after the buffet dinner.

This team training made me realize that openness and communication is important. It makes tasks and objectives clearly delivered to everyone. Another one is believing in everyone’s capability boosts drive to work more efficiently. These key points contribute to the growth and success of the foundation and the people within it as well.

Lycah Baylon (1st row left most) tours some of the HF team members around the must-see historical places of Mactan, Cebu Philippines.

After four days in Cebu, I found myself appreciating trade and being part of the foundation. Joining the team training has made my goals clear and motivated me to work harder moving forward.

About the author – Jerica Marl M. Europeo

Jerica Europeo became one of the Hinrich Foundation’s Global Trade Leaders in 2017. She is currently finishing her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration major in Marketing Management at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, at the same time, Jerica does her internship at the HF Manila office. Her goal is to nurture her profession to contribute to the Hinrich Foundation’s future growth as well as helping less fortunate people by adapting the organization’s values.