Going to a school with an alumni network of more than half a million strong, I knew that no matter how far I traveled, there will always be a Buckeye there with me. This fact was reaffirmed when I got to speak in front of a group of more than 20 Buckeyes in Hong Kong.
This summer, I traveled to Hong Kong as part of the Fisher Summer Global Internship Program. Not only has this program acted as a catalyst to kick start my professional career, but it has also acted as the highlight of my college experience. When you first come to college, you always hear people encouraging you to go abroad, no matter what the experience is for. When I first entered college, I didn’t think I would ever have the opportunity to fulfill the advice of those people. But luckily, through the generosity of the Buckeye community, I got to experience this once in a life time opportunity.
Throughout my time here in Hong Kong, I’ve experience many first, from climbing a mountain in a thunderstorm, to swimming next to oxen on the beach, to squid fishing, to being stuck in typhoon. But none of these experiences, to me, were as freighting or rewarding as the opportunity to speak in front of the Dean of Fisher College of Business. When I first heard that I was selected to prepare a speech for Dean Makhija, all my peers and the OSU alumni network in Hong Kong, I felt a wave of nervousness and fear wash over me. What would I say to these people? Were any of my experiences here really that exciting for them to hear about? But, all these emotions were eased and the questioned answered as soon as I started speaking.
I remember looking around the room and seeing nothing but encouraging smiles and nods from those around me. From every lame joke I made, to every fact I listed, the crowd that surrounded me never failed to laugh or show excitement for what I had to say to them. I realized at that moment that the Buckeye community that I am apart of is one that is always going to be supportive, caring and responsive to whatever I do.
These individuals that I spoke in front of wanted nothing but to give back to me and to help me achieve whatever goals I aspired for. The best thing about my speech, was not delivering it to the crowd, but the conversations after that came from it. Each individual that I spoke with would offer me business cards and information about their company after I expressed interest in them. They all showed genuine curiosity about my experiences and all wanted to know more about how they could help create more life changing experiences for me. These individuals to me define what it means to be a Buckeye.
Being a Buckeye means that you will always have people that will give you support when you need it, help you up when you’re down, ease your fears when you have them and encourage you every step of the way. But, most importantly, being a Buckeye means that no matter where you are in the world, so long as you yell “OH”, you will get back an “IO”.