FedEx weans youth from unhealthy mindset
ASK STUDENTS what they want to be when they grow up and you can expect most of them to say that they want to work for good companies so they can have a hefty paycheck every month.
FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. and the world’s largest express transportation company, wants to change this traditional mindset through its support for the FedEx Express/Junior Achievement International Trade Challenge.
FedEx hopes that by getting the youth to appreciate and apply the fundamentals of entrepreneurship and international trade from industry experts, more Filipino students will aspire to put up businesses of their own, transforming them from mere employees to big-time employers.
Now on its third year in the Philippines, the FedEx/JA ITC program—conducted jointly by FedEx Express and Junior Achievement (JA) Philippines—aims to educate and inspire youth in Asia Pacific countries to help them understand how entrepreneurship can improve their lives and the communities they live in.
Rhicke Jennings, FedEx Express managing director for the Philippines and Indonesia says: “FedEx recognizes the potential of our youth in bringing about positive change in our society. By supporting the FedEx/Junior Achievement International Trade Challenge, we are providing our youth access to opportunities and we are helping them realize their potential as future business leaders.”
This year, the program kicked off last June 27 with an international trade seminar at the University of Santo Tomas, where 180 high school students learned about how world trade works, the way products are distributed, the need for promotion and sales, as well as the needed traits to make it in the world of business.
Volunteer FedEx employees shared their time and expertise with students, acting as mentors throughout the program to help them better understand international trade and enhance their presentation skills.
After the seminar, the students were tasked to develop international market entry proposals in teams of two, applying the knowledge and skills they learned during the one-day training. The idea is for them to think of a product that will find a global market. Eight teams were shortlisted and will present their product plans in the local trade competition this month.
The top three winning teams will then get the chance to compete in the regional finals to be held on Aug. 23-26 in Thailand. The Philippine teams will compete with those from Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Korea and Thailand.
Last year, teams from the Philippines competed in the FedEx/JA ITC regional competition in Singapore. Students Germaine Kaw and Sharmaine Yap from St. Jude Catholic School in Manila won third place with their market entry strategy for a vuvuzela MP4 music player.
Jennings says that support for the FedEx/JA ITC program demonstrates the company’s commitment to educate and inspire young people to become next-generation entrepreneurs “and drive the region’s economic growth.”
“For FedEx, corporate social responsibility programs, such as the FedEx/JA International Trade Challenge program, is about fulfilling the company’s responsibilities in a wide range of fields, including community involvement, the environment and corporate governance. History has shown that the single-minded pursuit of immediate short-term profit is not a business model that can be sustained in the long term. CSR strengthens ties with customers who want like-minded companies in their supply chain,” Jennings says.
He adds that the program helps not just students, but also FedEx itself.
“On a micro scale, there are business opportunities directly attributable to our efforts in CSR. On a macro scale, acting responsibly helps us in a larger sense engage communities’ active support of our business—it gives us a societal license to operate,” Jennings says. “Employees will work more efficiently in, customers will buy more from, and suppliers and partners will work more readily with, a company that they believe is ethical and makes a positive contribution to society.”
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.