Looking back and looking ahead
It has been a busy yet meaningful semester for all Hinrich Foundation scholars in Hong Kong.
My fellow scholars and I have had several opportunities to get together during this period. Currently, there are 12 of us, enrolled in five different programs, studying in three different universities – Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
On two consecutive Saturdays in March, scholars participated in the Open Trade Asia Negotiation Simulation (OTANS), an event organized by the Hinrich Foundation, the Hong Kong-America Center and the Asia Society Hong Kong Center. During the month, we also visited a printed circuit board factory in Shenzhen, Guangdong province.
In April, we assisted the Foundation in two trade shows, namely Global Sources Gift & Home and Global Sources Fashion. Together with the Foundation’s export consultants and other team members, we introduced international buyers to the Foundation’s Export Assistance Program and promoted the products of the program’s beneficiaries in Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, the Philippines and Vietnam.
These and other opportunities provided by the Foundation have not only made my student life colorful, but has also given me a better idea about careers in international trade.
Now, the semester is coming to an end and the time for us to walk different paths is getting nearer. Some will be busy completing their thesis. Some will go back to their home countries to start their undertaking with the Foundation’s partner companies, and others will go to companies in Hong Kong or Shenzhen, Guangdong province.
On April 26, my fellow scholars and I were given another precious chance to gather, this time with the respected founder of the Foundation, Mr. Merle Hinrich, and some of the Foundation’s alumni and team members. After assisting the Hinrich Foundation team set up for the Global Sources Fashion show, the Foundation’s team members and I went to the The Park Lane Hong Kong at 310 Gloucester Road in Causeway Bay to congratulate Mr. Hinrich for receiving the Beta Gamma Sigma Chapter Honoree Award from the Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) Chapter of the Beta Gamma Sigma Society (BGS) at its 7th induction ceremony, an award honoring his significant accomplishments in both business and the community.
Hosted by the Alumni Leadership Committee of the Hinrich Foundation Alumni Association, the event felt so much like a family gathering when people started chatting, sharing their plans and sometimes cracking jokes, with the spectacular skyline view of Hong Kong at night in the background.
On this occasion, I was reminded that I am part of the Hinrich Foundation scholars and alumni network, which has over 100 members from 10 different countries.
Mr. Hinrich, a successful entrepreneur and a man with big heart who has been working to promote sustainable trade, imparted words of wisdom during the event to take learning as a life-long journey, to be passionate about what you are doing and to pay back and contribute to the society.
In an email sent to us after the event, he said, “Through your lifelong leadership and education, I look forward to your contribution in advancing sustainable global trade in your work and community.”
Time flies and soon I will be returning to Vietnam to start my two-year undertaking with the Hinrich Foundation. I know that in the Foundation, there would be plenty of opportunities to continue upgrading my skills and knowledge and to further develop my career.
About the author – Do Ha Thu