Shen Jinyan (Jean)

Shen Jinyan (Jean)

Mainland China

Thunderbird University

Master of Business Administration

Class of 2009


I am a person who thrives on challenges, responsibilities and opportunities. Global Sources, in conjunction with The Hinrich Foundation, has continued to give me opportunities to grow, to learn and to return.

As part of its corporate social responsibility, Global Sources has partnered with The Hinrich Foundation in supporting journalism scholars at Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) by accepting interns and graduates into the Company. I was one of the lucky scholars.

In 2003, while completing a bachelor’s degree in international journalism at Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, I was given the opportunity to study at HKBU through The Hinrich Foundation Global Trade scholarship. Adapting to the cosmopolitan environment in Hong Kong, and having classmates and peers from different places, I started to realize the diversity of cultures I was becoming a part of. Studying at HKBU taught me how to see things in different perspectives and how to relate to people of different personalities.

After graduating from HKBU, I joined Global Sources as Market Analyst in 2005. I was trained in Shenzhen for six months and was relocated to our Qingdao office where I worked full time for one and a half years.

After working for two years at Global Sources, I felt that I would like to take on more challenging tasks which require more responsibilities. However, I knew I had to be better equipped, so I decided to pursue an MBA degree. In 2007, I applied for Thunderbird and was granted a scholarship offered by the Thunderbird Alumni Fund for Asian Students and The Hinrich Scholarships.

Since the program I was taking at Thunderbird is focused on international management, students came from a larger variety of foreign countries, including Canada, Mexico, Peru, India, The Philippines, Thailand, Russia, Japan, South Korea, Turkey and Malaysia.

My experiences in the U.S. had a huge impact on my life, particularly after seeing how everyone is treated equally despite differences in race and culture. Respect is the key. Respect is a two-way street: if you treat people with spite, do not expect them to thank you in return. If you can put your feet into other people’s shoes, anything that is alien to your own culture will become easy to understand. That is the way I learned how get along with individuals. It works very well. I became more receptive to different ideas and values by other people. As I learned to appreciate other cultures I had the opportunity of experiencing, the more I learned to appreciate my own culture as well.

HKBU and Thunderbird proved to be good training grounds for me to learn about diversity, a lesson I can put to use in organizations like Global Sources which facilitates trade among countries. Today, I am back to have a better understanding of our global buyer community.

Upon returning to Global Sources as a management trainee, I had a rotation in Singapore for six months where I engaged in projects aiming to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of Global Sources Online; therefore, generating sales leads among suppliers and buyers. Under the supervision of Deputy COO Peter Zapf, I learned how we identify actions to take, how we prioritize those actions, and how we measure the results.

Currently I lead the Private Sourcing Events team to help international top retailers to find the right suppliers and arrange meetings between buyers and suppliers. It’s a big responsibility and it’s challenging, but I enjoy it. Whenever I hear buyers say they find our events very useful for them to find good vendors and suppliers say they are happy to find new business opportunities, I feel proud that our team was able to help with the global trade.

To sum up, the opportunity that The Hinrich Foundation and Global Sources offers has had a huge impact on myself and, in a broader perspective, business communities. The partnership between Hinrich Foundation and Global Sources has given me and other scholars the opportunity to learn in such a diverse environment and use that knowledge to help communities thrive in the global business environment. I am grateful for what I have and I’m glad that now I have the opportunity to give what I can in return.