June 13

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The Beginning

So this is my first blog post EVER!  As many of you already know, I am leaving for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on July 8th as part of GlaxoSmithKline’s PULSE Volunteer Partnership Program.  PULSE is a skills-based volunteer initiative, with a focus on contributing professional skills to solve healthcare problems, both at home and abroad.  I will be working with the non-governmental, international relief organization, Stop Hunger Now (SHN) for a six month assignment as their Sales and Marketing Director.  Stop Hunger Now ‘s vision is very straightforward, a world without hunger.  It’s mission is to end hunger in our lifetime by providing food and life saving aid to the world’s most vulnerable, and creating a global commitment to mobilize the necessary resources.

In October 2012, SHN opened an affiliate office in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and hired an Executive Director, Mr. Tiki Keh.  For the past few months, Tiki’s main goal for this program has been to establish a self-funded meal packaging program.  SHN’s meal packaging program is a volunteer-based program that coordinates the streamlined packaging of highly nutritious, dehydrated meals comprised of rice, soy, vegetables, flavoring and 21 essential vitamins and minerals.  The meals are easily transported to crisis-burdened areas or supplied to school feeding programs around the world.  School feeding programs promote education, encourage children to attend school, improve the health and nutrition of students, address gender inequalities, spur economic growth, combat child labor, and create a platform for tackling global issues.  Since it’s inception SHN has delivered food aid and disaster relief supplies in the form of food, medicines, medical supplies, medical equipment, clothing and blankets to thousands of disaster victims and other hungry, vulnerable people in 75 countries.

I feel so blessed and grateful to become a member of this growing organization!  I feel a little guilty actually.  I will be working abroad for six months helping others, but I feel at the same time I will be getting so much out of this international experience for myself.  I hope to improve professionally of course, my presentation skills, flexible thinking, gain international marketing experience, as well as many other business development areas.  Also though, I want to grow and learn personally from this privileged assignment.  Southeast Asia is a long way from home (other side of the world actually), so I know working with people from different cultures and backgrounds will only help make me a more well-rounded individual, as well as a better employee for GSK.

So everyone, I want to thank you for starting to follow my blog as I embark on this life-changing adventure in Malaysia.  Until next time, stay tuned!