Global Professional Training: East and Southeast Asia Symposium Continues to Spark Enthusiasm
- Feb 9, 2023
- Alex Briseño
More than 125 people gathered at The University of Texas at Austin for Texas Global’s ninth annual Global Professional Training: East and Southeast Asia Symposium (GPT East and Southeast Asia) on January 21 in the William C. Powers, Jr. Student Activity Center.
As the latest installment of the GPT East and Southeast Asia series, the one-day symposium equipped participants with resources for seeking an international career through workshops, an information fair and interactive panel discussions with expert speakers covering Asia’s geopolitical and socioeconomic trends.
“It is absolutely eye-opening to see how much potential there is in the global market of careers,” student participant Ivy Fan said. “As a biology major, I will definitely look into minors and special programs where I can utilize more global perspectives and intercultural skills.”
The symposium also featured breakout sessions and a keynote address by Dr. Eun Kim, founder and president of CEO International, a local consulting firm focused on global leadership coaching and cross-cultural management.
Texas Global focused the goals of the symposium to help students access:
A stronger cultural and historical knowledge of East and Southeast Asia and its current affairs
An understanding of communication and professional skills necessary to succeed in new cultural settings
Knowledge of and strategies for identifying emerging industries and professional opportunities across the region
A network of peers, professionals and academics with interests and experiences in the region
Dr. Brandon Jones, director for Student Learning, Development and Engagement for University Housing and Dining, led a breakout session titled, “Developing Your Intercultural Competencies with the Longhorns for a Culturally Competent Campus,” which stood out as one of the many highlights from the symposium.
“The attitude and atmosphere Dr. Jones created was incredibly comfortable and fun,” sophomore Lilliana Rivera said. “He allowed me to find comfort in my curiosity of people different from me culturally and linguistically.”
For civil engineering major Japa Parikh, the symposium served as an invaluable learning experience at such an early stage in a college career as a first-year student.
"GPT was definitely a learning experience, and I’m glad I was exposed to the program as a freshman," Parikh said. "It not only showcased the resources available on campus but also how those can aid in career and professional development. The speakers and student attendees were key in changing my perspective on East and Southeast Asia.”
In celebration of Lunar New Year, officially scheduled the next day, guests were treated to a performance by the Texas Southern Sea Dragon and Lion Dance Crew, which was founded in 2022 with the goal of preserving and spreading the art of traditional dragon and lion dance across Austin.
Texas Global also had the pleasure of hosting a special session with faculty and students from Hiroshima University, who were on campus for the Global Innovation Lab’s (GIL) Austin Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Enrichment Experience.
“I loved getting to talk to the visitors from Hiroshima University and learning about entrepreneurship in Japan,” senior Sabrina Chuan said.
This additional week-long GIL program aims to expose visitors to the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Austin through a variety of site visits to relevant organizations along with trainings, workshops and cultural excursions.
Through partnerships with governments, universities and industries, Texas Global’s GIL trains and supports entrepreneurs in their communities to overcome local challenges, create jobs and drive sustainable economic development.
GPT East and Southeast Asia, which was established in 2010, augments the in-person symposium with student-led intercultural programming throughout the year.
During International Education Week (IEW) last November, Texas Global also hosted the cultural celebration “A Night in East and Southeast Asia,” with support from University Housing and Dining and the Kendra Scott Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute (KS WELI).
The event featured a performance by the ATX Korean Dance Crew and inspiring stories related to the region told by students and keynote speaker Lesley Robinson, founding director of KS WELI.
GPT East and Southeast Asia continues to help students develop marketable professional skills while exploring relevant career, course and program options. In following up the IEW celebration and recent symposium, four GPT Student Ambassadors will continue to create supplementary programming throughout the Spring 2023 semester.
“Before this event, I looked at the differences and distance between Asia and the U.S. as barriers and obstacles. However, after the conference, I now recognize them as opportunities … these challenges can be solved with creative entrepreneurship and global leaders,” Fan said.
Texas Global is grateful to the sponsors of Global Professional Training for their generous support in making the program possible.