Travelling and working around the world are two of the best ways to help grow your global mind-set, which is one of the reasons why last year we launched the Great Global Adventure game. The game offered graduates and students the chance to win a once-in-a-lifetime experience, including up-to a year’s worth of travel, two work experience placements and a community project.
At just over half-way through his journey, here’s what Will, our first winner, said when we asked him what he’d learnt from his experience so far:
One of the goals that I’ve set myself during my year as the AXA Great Global Adventurer is to really consider what it means to be a global citizen and to have a global mind-set. A mind-set which is inquisitive and respectful, and which allows you to experience things first-hand in order to make your own impression.
Growing up near London, a city of great cultural diversity, having strong family ties with Ghana and learning Russian from the age of 14, means that I have always thought of myself as not just European.
I feel very fortunate this year to be able to visit new countries, to discover new languages, cultures and to meet a whole range of different people. I have repeatedly found that if you have an open mind and meet new people with humility and a genuine interest in their lifestyle you will reap great rewards.
I have been treated with great kindness by strangers and they have left a lasting impression upon me. I will never forget the skill of the elderly gentleman who guided my bamboo raft down the Li River in China, or sharing stories with Namjilmaa, a Mongolian nomad over a cup of tea in her Ger Camp. It’s been a real privilege to have had the chance to witness their lives.
It’s also important to have a global mind-set when working. During my internship with AXA Investment Managers in Hong Kong I was overwhelmed by the kindness and diversity of the office. Everyone had different skills which fortified the team and brought a rich offering to the clients.
The AXA Investment Managers’ Executive Committee Members showed me that you must have a global mind-set in business. AXA is a global firm, serving over 100 million clients, in 59 different countries. All of the Executive Committee Members that I spoke to had all undertaken different positions within the AXA Group in various different geographies. Travel and a global mind-set is key here as you can build a global network, learn more about the firm and put your new found local knowledge into a global reach.