I fell in love with the phrase “non-governmental corporate diplomacy” when I was seventeen. I was a pretentious teenager. But I knew it was exactly what I wanted to do- work with one company around the world, helping invest in communities and people and changing lives permanently for the better.

Today was an incredible day in that respect; we heard from different groups of people who operate in that space, the intersection of government and business in a developing country. It was so inspiring to hear from the team at Better Factories Cambodia about how promoting or hiring women supervisors can improve productivity in garment factories by 22%, according to a study done by Tufts.

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For me, this reaffirmed that I made the right choice to pursue an MBA. It will equip me with the credential to move in to management and pursue corporate policies that benefit society and improve the company’s bottom line.

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We also heard from young Cambodian entrepreneurs working out of TEKHUB at the Asia Foundation about their startups and their hopes for Cambodia’s future. It is really incredible what can happen when non-profit missions and private donors align with government to sponsor innovation.

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After another delicious lunch, we visited the Garment Manufacturer’s Association of Cambodia. What stuck with me the most was hearing about why automation won’t work in Cambodia and other developing countries: it isn’t a lack of capital or a lack of will power, it’s simply that energy is not reliable enough to run manufacturing machines 24/7, or even consistently 8 hours a day. People, humans, are not replacable.

That’s exactly what I wanted to accomplish with my MBA and my future career. I’m excited to empower individuals to do amazing work and push with new technological advances. It’s going to be incredible to see how the world moves forward and what kind of jobs the future has!