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Before I applied for the scholarship with the Hinrich Foundation, I’d been working in the last several years in Cambodia, ranging from small enterprise to one of the largest media institutions, Cambodian News Channel television. But, this is the first ever experience for me to engage into a global working environment like the Hinrich Foundation.

With the work-integrated learning program, I was able to speed up my work pace to beat tough deadlines, and interact with co-employees from different cultural backgrounds, mostly from Southeast Asian countries, China and India.

Being a sales coordinator for Cambodia export assistance program during my internship, I was able to find new customers. I considered this as a success of our team and the HF program because we only had few orders from the previous buyers.

This experience helps me realize to engage in lifelong learning and career  in export trade. 

Michael Keefe, Alex Boome, Ramzan, Sophorn Huy, Leanghort Sok and Sophal Bun pose for posterity during the Hinrich Foundation team visit to the Carlington footwear factory in Nov. 2016.

Achievements

Working under the Export Assistance Program Cambodia (EAPC), I was able to do the following:

  • EAPC Facebook page: I posted more contents, including two blogs a month, and created better layout of the page, making it able to reach over 1,000 followers.
  • EAPC Youtube channel: A popular video produced by EAPC titled “An artisan in Cambodia surpasses bad karma” hit 1,600 views on Youtube channel. We shared the link to our Facebook page, reaching out more people to know about the foundation’s programs.

Hong Kong Bazaar management: Because of my experience in managing several bazaars last year while studying in Hong Kong,  I have been remotely leading bazaar project from  Cambodia.  I coordinated with some of our Hong Kong scholars to set up the booth and sell products in the event. We dealt closely together to make sure that they were able to handle the bazaar. I drafted them a project brief, and marketing-related materials such as press releases, and instructed them what to do before, during and after the event.

  • Global trade leader: I directly handle the online sales channel of Global Sources on social media and keep them up-to-date. For a year, I was able to work on content marketing and video production, which required me  to come up with creative concepts.

Overcoming challenges 

While managing the bazaar far from Hong Kong,  I found it challenging to instruct the volunteering scholars and let them understand the work process, as we had some misunderstandings due to language barriers.  The entire communication was also time-consuming, as we were based in different countries. At first, I could not tolerate the tasks, but  later I saw some of my improvements. This internship had offered me an opportunity to work in a global environment. I gained deeper understanding of  cultures.

When I was young, I used to dream to get on the plane any day. Then the Hinrich Foundation made my dream come true through the scholarship program, pursuing a master’s degree in Hong Kong, and traveling within Southeast Asia for an annual meeting.

After a year contributing in the foundation’s export assistance program,  I became aware that I am now interested in trade. Every morning, the first thing I have to do is to surf on internet to read business news in order to share on EAPC Facebook page.

The Export Assistance Program Cambodia works with pre-screened fair trade suppliers throughout Cambodia. Hardworking disadvantaged people make the products. This helps them overcome challenges arising from polio, landmine accidents, deafness and other disabilities. Through this work, I was able to practice my journalism skills and have a sense of social contribution.

Leanghort Sok is the host of the information session of the adidas – Hinrich scholarships held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in May 2016.

About the Author – Leanghort Sok (Vephea)

Leanghort Sok (Vephea) is a Hinrich Global Trade Leader Scholar. He got a full scholarship for Master of Arts in International Journalism Studies at Hong Kong Baptist University in 2015. He is currently a Sales Coordinator for Export Assistance Program Cambodia, undertaking a one year extended internship as part of the Work Integrated Learning program of the Hinrich Foundation. His internship will help better prepare him for a trade-related career in Cambodia after graduation. Formerly a News Reporter for Cambodian News Channel (CNC TV), Leanghort also worked as a staff member at the Cambodian Mekong Bank.