Western International

Douglas Keddy

Department: Research Western
Position: Research Communications Manager

Leave for Change Mandate

Brand and Marketing Advisor
Hanoi, Vietnam: North Thanh Long Economic-Technical College
September 2014

What motivated you to apply for Leave for Change?

I am motivated by, and passionate about, learning about the world in which we live, and about contributing to it in a meaningful manner whenever possible. I believe it is my responsibility to make a difference where I can, and to share my skills where they are needed – both at home and abroad. I see Leave for Change as an opportunity to more thoroughly engage in a meaningful international development effort that benefits the community partner, the University and me personally – which is, of course, the best form of partnership.

What do you hope to share with your host?

My skillset includes various aspects of communications and marketing, and I hope to share some of my ideas and experiences – and learn from theirs – to help North Thanh Long Economic-Technical College expand its reputation.

In preparing for you mandate, what has surprised you?

I have been most surprised by tentative nature of the mandate I have been given in the sense I have been advised to not prepare much in advance – my role will likely be different from the one that was advertised. In many ways, this has actually eased some of my preparation.

What do you think you will gain personally from this experience?

Effectuating change – whether at home, or abroad – begins with small, meaningful connections at a personal level, which is why a program like Leave for Change is so attractive to me. I am strongly motivated to become a better person each day than I was the last, and to “be the change I want to see in the world.” Growing as an individual while concomitantly providing tools to help others develop is central to my core values. My experiences have made me believe the world can become a much better place if people become actively engaged in learning about, and improving, it.

What do you hope to bring back to Western from your experience?

Professionally, I benefit enormously from learning new ways of communicating, understanding the needs of different audiences and connecting with people with diverse perspectives and backgrounds. Participating in Leave for Change will help me continue to develop skills that make me a better employee for Western, particularly as it expands its internationalization agenda.

What do you think your biggest challenge will be?

Language will likely be my greatest challenge – and remembering to corral my energy and temper my speech to allow for ease of translation.