Tania Vander Meulen, Virgor Leather Marketing Manager discussing export marketing with Hinrich Foundation’s Hoa Ta.
I was a reporter at Viet Nam News, the national daily English newspaper before I got the Hinrich Foundation Global Trade Scholarship.
I received that good news after I moved to Ho Chi Minh City from the capital city of Hanoi to escape away from the same old life since I was born, getting away from the cuddle of my parents and explored a new life for the adventurous me.
I was jumping up and down on my bed cheering up myself in a jealous eye from my roommate who just got rejected from the Chevening (Scholarship from British The Foreign and Commonwealth Office).
At that time, starting a new life in HCM City was already a big step for me. A year living in Hong Kong, one of the most dynamic and developed places in the world was way further my expectation. In addition, I got BA as my first major so the journalism study is a great way to help me get to know my job in a systematic way.
Some people said that Hong Kong was not a good destination to pursue higher education but you would never know if you don’t try. I had a chance to meet many great journalists, Pulitzer winners and successful businessmen all over the world that Hong Kong Baptist University invited in different workshops and talks. Especially, I met Simon Murray, the big man from Vodafone Group PLC, Hutchison Whampoa, Deutsche Bank, whose talks gave me lots of courage to get on my own way of life.
I’m very grateful to the grant from Hinrich Scholarships. It made my life in some ways.
I came back to work for the same newspaper after the graduation. Covering social news gave me many opportunities to work with local NGO and go in field trips to poorest areas of the country.
I soon found myself an interest to work as an aid worker to make a change in living for other people. While I was about to search for a job, which give me a chance to go out and help people directly, Khiem Vu of the Hinrich Foundation was so generous again providing online marketing skills for small exporters in Bali and doing sourcing reports on small handicraft companies.
I have a great chance to visit Bali, the so-called paradise on earth and doing a job that I want to do. I was not very happy at first when I start the job to see those people I’m trying to help are not in an urgent condition like the charity defined in my mind. Alex Boome once cleared up my mind by saying that there are many ways to do charity.
Other organizations eye on providing food and help poor people with their basic needs but Hinrich Foundation focuses on providing techniques and skills to improve the living standard. The more I meet and talk with suppliers in Bali, the better I know that there are still many things need to do as most of them are not equipped with professional skills of doing business.
Global Source, our partner in development, is a well-organized company, which has a huge network of suppliers and buyers all over the world. Getting the Indonesian suppliers into the network is a big chance for companies to learn how to present their products to catch business opportunities during one of the most difficult time of the global economy.
One of the ways to help people get out of the poverty is to help them find a job and get a stable income source, only by which, the sustainable development is guaranteed.
I’m happy I’m doing this job.