Third Culture Kid: Turning your story into a startup
Written by Jedidiah San Juan Silud, Masters in International Business student at Hult’s London campus.
A little about me
Yo yo! I’m Jay. I’m a third culture kid – someone who has lived somewhere else, for longer than I have in my parents’ passport countries. I was born in Manila, grew up in Guang Zhou and Beijing, lived in Hong Kong to study fashion design, and moved to London to complete my BA in Fashion Marketing and Management. Now I’m at Hult completing my Masters degree in International Business, specializing in Marketing.
I have founded two startups; Third Culture Kid and LINQE (a tech startup that I was endorsed the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneurship Visa for), a side clothing business WORDVOMIT, and right now I’m doing an internship at ENKI where I have been offered a full-time role post-graduation. I also made it on to the Dean’s list this semester! (Whoop whoop-this made mom and dad really happy!)
“It wasn’t until my leadership skills course with David James that I truly understood the connection between marketing and emotion.”
Not your typical “business student”
I had done some of my own business through “closet sales” on Facebook back in high school, but other than that before coming to Hult my experience in business was quite limited. I had some general knowledge on marketing products and building a brand, but it wasn’t until my leadership skills course with David James that I truly understood the connection between marketing and emotion. I learned that the best brands have an emotional connection with their audience, and they don’t do it in a manipulative way, they do it by sharing a common purpose with their consumers. When I understood this, I realized I could turn Third Culture Kid into something more than just an idea; I could build a brand around it. A brand that had a purpose.
[Tweet “Build an emotional connection w/ your #brand through a shared purpose w/ your consumers.”]
The birth of ‘TCK’
When I moved to London, I couldn’t find a place online actively dedicated to third culture kids, so I created one. I began collecting stories from my third culture kid friends around the world to share on a blog. While collecting stories, I realized so many third culture kids don’t just want to share their stories, they want to connect with other third culture kids and create awareness of who a “Third Culture Kid” (TCK) really is. The process of a third culture kid re-adapting to a new environment – which in many cases is their original home – can be extremely challenging.
It is difficult to find other “third culture kids” because we are not commonly talked about – people are usually defined by where their parents are from, where they are born, and where they grew up. Even though not many people know about us, we’re not so usual, I found several others at Hult, and we all agreed it would be good to raise awareness of this generation of kids that live beyond national boundaries. So, I built a team and together we made a website for TCK’s to share their stories not only with each other but with likeminded people who may also find similarities with TCK’s, breaking down the inherent communication barriers.
“In my experience of building teams and working with people of different ethnicities at Hult, I found that it is much easier to build a productive team based off of work ethic, drive, purpose, personality and most importantly the ability to work with people from other cultures.”
Getting ‘TCK’ off the ground
Setting up Third Culture Kid was much easier than you’d think it would be. It just took some time. The paperwork to register your business is not difficult. Building a team is a little trickier, but if you know the right people, it’s not so hard. In my experience of building teams and working with people of different ethnicities at Hult, I found that it is much easier to build a productive team based off of work ethic, drive, purpose, personality and most importantly the ability to work with people from other cultures.
“One of the most important things you learn at Hult is to be open to culture.”
TCK is meant to show Third Culture Kids around the world that even if they feel alone, they’re not. Our goal is to let more TCKs find each other and help people discover stories from TCKs and enable them to connect through the common narrative. One of the most important things you learn at Hult is to be open to culture. I think this is a very powerful skill to have because it allows you to not only understand people from all over the world but to be open to their ideas allowing you to create a bigger thinking space for yourself as a person. Being open to different cultures really helps you grow.
Watch the video from Third Culture Kid website featuring Hult students from around the world. Submit your story through this link and be published on the TCK website.
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Jedidiah San Juan Silud or “Jay” is a Master in International Business student at the Hult London campus. She spent most of her life in different countries, which exposed her to a spectrum of culture: Philippines, China, Hong Kong, and United Kingdom. She’s interested in making a shift in the world through entrepreneurship.