Life lessons in our search for scholars at PUP
My first time working as an intern for the Hinrich Foundation in June 2016 gave me the chance to assist the Export Trade Assistance (ETA) team on various projects. The ETA program of the foundation supports small and medium-sized exporters (SMEs) in emerging economies across Asia. The ultimate goal is to create jobs for local communities.
During factory visits with the team, I was able to meet workers, ask questions and learn about their background in life. It gave me insights into a world I had not seen before.
I was given a chance to work with the team for Trade Scholarships and Careers, which offers study and job opportunities to people who are passionate about global trade.
While the factory visits allowed me to explore how the production process takes place, the programs on scholarships and careers allowed me to do research. It also gave me the chance to be more comfortable in expressing my thoughts and communicating with others. Compared to the first time I joined the foundation, I felt more confident knowing how it is like learning about international trade. It also made me realize how I want to help other scholars.
For the first Hinrich Foundation scholarship offered in partnership with a Filipino company, I had to recruit students. On June 27, 2017, I visited the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) with Alex Ward, the Hinrich Foundation’s program manager for education partnerships, and Mary Ann Docuyanan, program coordinator. Our mission was to share more about the work of the Hinrich Foundation and invite third-year business administration students to apply for the scholarship.
The team partnered with Nathania Aritao, who heads The Paper Project, and Cindy Soliman, who leads PUP’s Human Resource Development Management department. As I listened to them discuss the scholarship opportunity, I could not help but be inspired by their exchange of ideas.
Our team split up into two groups in order to best share the opportunity with the students. Mr. Ward, Ms. Aritao and Ms. Soliman presented in front of eight different classes of 30 to 50 students, while Ms. Mary Ann and I manned the information booth, where we shared the opportunity with interested students who were passing by. It was really great to see how much interest there was in our unique opportunity!
I was amazed by their interest because I myself am a scholar, so I understand the importance of being able to finish my studies through the help of others. The visit to PUP was an opportunity for me to encourage other Filipino students using my own experience as an example. Many students seemed surprised when they learned I was a scholar, but seeing their eagerness to apply for the scholarship with the Hinrich Foundation made me happy to be there that day.
I also had the chance to chat with Ms. Aritao during the session. When I visited her factory in Laguna, I saw how workers really loved what they were doing. Seeing that made me admire her company and hope that I could work with her one day.
Having experienced all those things, I am grateful to be part of the Hinrich Foundation’s search for scholars at PUP. Not only did it boost my confidence, but also reminded me of my own blessings and experiences as a scholar.
About the author – Donnielyn Gamutan