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By Josephine Chiang

In late January and early February of 2012, I was fortunate to have met several women from the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women Program. These women were selected for fellowship to spend two weeks in business training courses at our campus, coordinated by the Thunderbird for Good office.

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Left to right: Thunderbird for Good Director Kellie Kreiser, Thunderbird for Good Program Manager Amy Scerra, Ling Ling, and former Thunderbird President Angel Cabrera

I reached out to the Indonesian women after our TEM Lab project began, and was lucky enough to meet up with Ling Ling. A young, smart, and gregarious Chinese-Indonesian, Ling operates her own home goods business. In collaborating with other companies in the home decoration industry, they’ve targeted hotels and interior designers to develop their brands and products.

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sample product

While catching up to hear about her latest success, Alex and I also took the time to explain our TEM Lab. During our conversation, Ling realized our project would benefit by connecting with the American Embassy’s Entrepreneurship Program Manager Sara Bailey. (Sara helped nine Indonesian female entrepreneurs obtain visas in order to attend the 10,000 Women Fellowship at Thunderbird, and still regularly kept in touch with the fellows.) We were incredibly fortunate at this opportunity, and were able to connect with Sara soon thereafter to interview for our project. Her insight and input added much more depth and weight to our final report, and also led to invitations to two US Embassy events celebrating local entrepreneurs.

(Side note: While the Thunderbird network has been a topic of discussion on campus, it’s quite interesting to see it in action while in Indonesia. Ling first heard about Thunderbird and the 10,000 Women Initiative through a Thunderbird alum. In meeting with Sara we learned one of her superiors is Counselor for Economic Affairs James Carouso, the fourth highest-ranking American official in Indonesia and Thunderbird class of ’81. Small world!)

As our final week wrapped up, we wanted to thank Ling for her contribution to our project and met up for some soto ayam and kopi. Suddenly she surprised us with gifts! 

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Terima kasih! Thank you, Ling!