For me, the quickest way to learn is by talking to people. It's always lovely to see supportive members at our event every month, and even more exciting to see newcomers! ORIENTED members are all Western-educated, energetic, and dynamic, not to mention how diverse their backgrounds are. Find out for yourself by joining our events!"
Jim Leu, ORIENTED Shanghai
Director of Marketing and Information Technology, Wolters Kluwer China
In early 2002, I moved from San Francisco to Shanghai knowing barely anyone and trying to launch a brand new business - Talk English - which has since then been acquired by New Dynamic Institute. I benefited greatly from being an ORIENTED organizer. Starting my own company, it's really important to have a strong network to plug into. When I first came out to Shanghai, I didn't have a network, just a few friends whom I knew out here. It was really through being a Shanghai Happy Hour Organizer that I was able to grow this network. Our radio show partners, marketing partners, and many of our crew members were all introduced to me at the ORIENTED Happy Hours.
On a personal PR side, I was interviewed in many expat magazines - City Weekend, that's Shanghai, Oriental Express - and actually even made the cover of Shanghai Talk because of ORIENTED's influence.
Lastly, I've made some incredible friends via the ORIENTED Happy Hours. Many of the co-organizers I worked with are still my close friends, and this organizer network extends throughout the world. In fact, I've seen two marriages develop amongst our co-organizers - imagine that! (not between organizers but through meeting ORIENTED members at Happy Hours =)
However, the real strength in ORIENTED is the GLOBAL network. I stress global because that is exactly what differentiates ORIENTED from other networking organizations. You get people who travel to Asia or people from Asia travelling to other cities around the world and want to instantly plug into a new city. ORIENTED is the solution.
I can't tell you how many job introductions, business opportunities, and many lasting friendships developed as a result of our Happy Hours. I am truly honored to be a part of its development. It's been more than five years since we started the first Happy Hour event and though I am no longer actively involved in the day to day operations with ORIENTED, I still like to attend the events and remain an advisor to the founder, Christine Hsu. Her vision was to connect people with an interest in Asia together, and she's done it!"
Christina Jeloschek, ORIENTED Singapore
Senior Consultant, Talent Search at Talent2
"I joined the ORIENTED networking events in Beijing in 2006 when I took a sabbatical to study Mandarin. I have tried several networking events in Beijing before but never really liked any of those. They were either too 'stiff' or people were too busy handing out business cards instead of having a nice chat. ORIENTED was different from the start - a good mix of people from Asian and Western backgrounds, highly diverse in experiences, and the one thing that struck me most is that people had fun and were interested in talking to new acquaintances. I am moving to Singapore later this year and I cannot wait to join the ORIENTED networks there!" Christina subsequently became the Head Organizer of ORIENTED Singapore.
Eyee Hsu, ORIENTED Beijing & ORIENTED Tokyo
Program Host, China Central Television (CCTV)
AGENDA Magazine Article: "The people I met through ORIENTED have not only had a direct impact on my career, but many have also become great friends that are some of my closest in Beijing... The woman who eventually led me to CCTV was actually someone I met at an ORIENTED Happy Hour. She was hosting a show called "Dialogue" and CCTV was interested in developing a new show with her as the host. "Up Close" was born, and she invited me to write for the show. She left CCTV about a year later, and one of the producers asked if I was interested in hosting the next show. The very next day, I was up on stage, and the rest is history..."
Earlier testimonial: "After over two years of involvement with ORIENTED, I am often asked why I continue to organize events. To me, it's clear and simple. ORIENTED members are dynamic, intelligent and energetic. Through the ORIENTED network, I have met both business contacts and some of my closest friends. It's this diverse group that keeps me going - it's my way of giving back. Come to an event and see for yourself! Businesspeople, entrepreneurs, academics, scientists/engineers, diplomats, journalists, artists, philanthropists... you name it! All can be found at ORIENTED. If you are looking to break out of your niche, and learn about what other people are doing in YOUR city - this is a great organization to be a part of."
Tracey Lam, ORIENTED Portland
Owner, Sparrow Travel
Formerly news producer for KATU-TV in Portland
"Why I do it? I do it for the PEOPLE and the COMMUNITY."
"I believe that growing a business starts with building strong relationships with people who are equally passionate about succeeding - not just in business, but in life and in the community. ORIENTED provides a consistent avenue to do just that through its monthly Happy Hours.
Throughout the four years that I've been part of ORIENTED Portland, I've met many wonderful people with whom I've built strong relationships. I appreciate the fact that the monthly Happy Hours are casual, fun and non-intimidating, making the events perfect for all types of networker.
I'm also proud to be part of the ORIENTED Portland Team to receive the Exemplary Community Volunteer Award from the Asian Reporter Foundation."
Kirin Tuei, ORIENTED Taipei & ORIENTED SF Bay Area
International Trade, Import & Export Business
This video interview features several ORIENTED organizers and members, including Kirin Tuei, Head Organizer of ORIENTED Taipei and former Head Organizer of in the San Francisco Bay Area.
When Kirin first joined in 2007, he said, "I just recently got involved with ORIENTED... and I love it. I love it! You find a variety of professions in the Silicon Valley area which is great. That's what I like about it... I'm able to bridge the experience I have... coming from a medical/pharmaceutical background, with a lot of IT and engineering people around this area. It makes me a well-rounded person learning (about people from) all different walks of life."
Sue Tsai, ORIENTED SF Bay Area
Real Estate Professional & Entrepreneur
In that same video above is also Sue Tsai, former Head Organizer of the San Francisco Bay Area, who wrote the following in her organizer profile:
"An entrepreneur at heart, Sue saw something very special in ORIENTED the very first time she attended a happy hour in Palo Alto. She loves the idea of creating an international space for various people to meet, to exchange cultures, and to promote their businesses while having great fun chatting and drinking. She believes that the best business models are those that can identify with people's needs and make it easy for people to get them. There is definitely a need for a space like ORIENTED, and Sue is very excited to be a part of it."
Lauren Kwan, ORIENTED Dialogue & Exchange
Director, Burson Marsteller in Hong Kong
(previously Senior Associate, Shanghai Office)
"Being involved with ORIENTED has been a fun and interesting experience. Since I am new to Shanghai, the industry panels I am helping to coordinate give me something interesting to do, a way to shape something from ground up, and an excuse to go network with lots of people."
Evelyne Tseng, ORIENTED London & ORIENTED Taipei
Law Student, United Kingdom
Formerly Researcher, Pamir Law Group
"The ability to name the undergraduate college I attended (and pronounce it correctly) within two minutes of talking to me - that's the magic of ORIENTED. I first checked out an ORIENTED Happy Hour the second week of my arrival in Taipei. From that, not only have I secured a great job but also an amazing group of friends..."
"... ORIENTED brings together people from all corners of the world with whom you might have walked past one day but never got a chance to meet. It helps you realize the importance of staying connected on a global level. It is my goal in the future to drop by all the Happy Hours at each location - and then start some more in others!"
Wei Min Tan, ORIENTED New York
Vice President, Citigroup - Citicards Cross Sell
"Before joining ORIENTED, I had an objective of meeting a couple new people per month. After being involved with ORIENTED, I got to know so many people that the goal is now to keep in touch!"
Angela Wu, ORIENTED Dialogue & Exchange
News Anchor, Dragon TV
"Volunteering for ORIENTED's first "Dialogue & Exchange" event, I met a nice gentleman from DragonTV. We chatted and exchanged cards as any good Shanghai-networker might, and I told him I was looking for - a media job with writing potential. I've now been working at DragonTV as a news anchor and copy editor for almost a year.
In the midst of Shanghai's networking din, I truly believe there is someone looking for your interests and talents at ORIENTED events: that's why they've come too! I'll see you there, I'm a volunteer for life!"
Abi Kirk-Walker, ORIENTED Taipei
International Manager, HBSC Hong Kong
"It has been an absolute pleasure to be involved with ORIENTED. It has been the lifeblood of my social life here in Taipei and I will be forever grateful for the fabulous people I have met as a result, yourself and my fellow organisers to say the very least. I will definitely be attending in Hong Kong this month to see how things are going there and I know they are looking for organisers so you never know. If I ever end up somewhere which does not benefit from the presence of ORIENTED, I will let you know."
Cathleen Chang, ORIENTED Beijing
TV Host, China Central Television (CCTV)
"I've been going to the ORIENTED Happy Hours for two years now, first year as an organizer and now just a regular attendee, and I can honestly say that its the only social networking event I've found in Beijing that has maintained a constant level of professionalism. It's been consistent in its format and constantly attracts quality people. I've enjoyed everyone I've met and have made great contacts."
Rena Abe, ORIENTED Tokyo
Hudson Global Resources
"At the (Tokyo) happy hour event, I have met many people who work and live in Tokyo, just like myself. It was exciting to get to know them as I was usually too busy with my work to meet new people. I would definitely recommend the event, especially for busy professionals."
Berta Liao, ORIENTED Taipei
College Counselor, Hsinchu International School
"This really works...I don't think of myself as a "networker," someone who goes to professional events to shake hands and hand out business cards right and left, but my current position is a direct result of going to a ORIENTED happy hour.
You could say I met my former boss at a bar...or at a professional networking event -- they're both true! The happy hours are a relaxed environment to meet some really interesting and fun people, and meanwhile even develop a career!
Mimi Chan, ORIENTED New York
Information Technology Specialist
"... Throughout my time spent whether as an organizer or member, I have gained invaluable networking contacts and learned from other member's life / career experiences. ORIENTED fosters a comfortable networking environment that encourages others to express their views and help promote the vision & achieve the goals of the organization."
We have a lot more organizer testimonials in the queue. Stay tuned for more personal stories, including one from the founder of ORIENTED, Christine Hsu.