We are excited to bring you an update from two of our alumni from Malaysia. Sher Rynn Khoo attended the University of Wyoming and Naomi Ng attended Western Washington University during the 2016-2017 Global UGRAD Program.
Sher Rynn recently gave a TEDx talk at her alma mater about the value of self-investment, and how continuous investment of time, effort, mindfulness and even money for diverse exposure will bear unimaginable fruit. Her preparation leading up to the talk required her to dive deep into soul-searching mode and it became so apparent to her how much of her thoughts, personality, and values were shaped by and derived from her Global UGRAD experience.
Upon returning home from Wyoming, Sher Rynn’s grades in law school improved drastically and she graduated as one of the top students of her class. She also represented her university in various moot court competitions internationally in Oxford, Singapore, Brisbane, and Rotterdam.
Having taken classes on Constitutional Law and the First Amendments rights at the University of Wyoming, she developed a keen interest in constitutional rights in Myanmar which at the time, and until today, suffers from military oppression and violation of human rights on many fronts. Since returning from the United States, she has spent each summer break in Myanmar as a volunteer teacher at the Peace Law Academy in rural Mandalay, where she taught English and conduct classes on constitutional law, human rights law, politics and governance.
Her law professor at the University of Wyoming gave her great confidence in writing. She wrote publicly for the first time while she was still in Wyoming, advocating for transparency in political finance in Malaysia which was published in several local newspapers. With her hands-on experience in Myanmar, Sher Rynn subsequently participated in and won second-prize in the Red-Cross International Humanitarian Law Writers competition for her essay on efficacy of international humanitarian law in the isolated Myanmar.
Sher Rynn is now a practicing lawyer in one of the top law firms in Malaysia. Just before she started her practice, her last trip to Myanmar to volunteer, which was scheduled for 6 weeks, was cut short to a mere 24 hours because of a civil war that broke out as soon as she landed. With the recent military coup in Myanmar, she is even more eager than before to contribute, in any way she can, to ease the situation in Myanmar and contribute to the development and nation building of the country. Her Global UGRAD experience had instilled in her great passion and grit to work on what she believes in.
Sher Rynn Khoo, Malaysia, Global UGRAD 2016 – 2017, University of Wyoming
Hello, everyone! Apa khabar (“How are you?” in Malay)? Global UGRAD was four years ago for me, which went by in a blink of an eye. To bring you up to speed, I’ve since graduated with a Bachelor of Economics and got a job in L’Oréal Malaysia as a digital marketer in the Luxury division. The experience of being a Global UGRAD has truly been a rewarding one as it brought important life skills which continue to contribute to my successes today, and of course, lifelong friendships which became part of my support system.
The e-Commerce and digital sphere is extremely fast paced and fluid – resilience and agility are non-negotiables – both skills, I believe, were honed when moving abroad for the exchange program through adapting to the new environment, meeting new people, and facing new challenges. It gave me a headstart in adapting to constant changes in my day-to-day job. 2020 was a challenging year, but with that also came opportunities. A highlight was launching the first Conversational Commerce platform for the Luxury division to carry out our first ever Virtual Beauty Festival, the success of which was featured in Forbes.
On to a more heartfelt note, one of the greatest gifts Global UGRAD gave me was my group of friends which come from various backgrounds and nationalities (two of which are Global UGRADs too! Shoutout to Vicky Gonzalez from Paraguay & Airat Gabdrakhmanov from Russia!). These people have always been “there” virtually through the thick and thin throughout the past four years and I cannot thank God and Global UGRAD enough for their existence in my life. It has become my goal to visit each of them whenever I get the chance to travel, and I’m looking forward to the #sidehustle projects we have in the future.
I run a travel blog and YouTube channel on the side as my creative outlet, where I write and talk about travel-related topics. Shameless plug, but I also have playlist of Global UGRAD videos to help aspiring scholars with their application and expectations. Global UGRAD in its core stands for what I believe in and value – the mutual understanding between nations – something the world could use more of. And for that, I hope this program will continue to inspire young adults to make a difference in the world.
Naomi Ng, Malaysia, Global UGRAD 2016-2017, Western Washington University