Education big business for former Gympie man
RESPECTED business mind and Gympie boy Jason Lawrence took a well-deserved break from his hectic international business schedule last week to visit family in his home town.
The former Gympie High student has spent much of the past 18 years living overseas and working in business and education.
His international adventures started with a one-year trip to Korea to teach English.
In 1996, 25-year-old Jason, armed with a degree in human resource management, set off for a year-and-a-half working as an English teacher in Korea.
Even when boarding the plane for his first international working trip, as many of his friends were doing at the time, Jason didn't expect to call the country home.
"There was never a plan to stay in Korea," Jason said about his intentions during his first visit to the country, which saw him spend time sleeping on the floor of a martial arts studio.
In 2004, almost a decade after his Korean teaching experience, Jason, who'd taken time to earn a Masters of International Business from Deacon University in Melbourne, was asked to return to Korea for a role with a British business intelligence company and called the country home for more than seven years.
A six-year stint with prominent Korean business college KAIST, which ended last year, saw Jason work alongside some of the world's brightest business minds with the college's international marketing office and as a professor.
Now based in Hong Kong to work with the internationally recognised Graduate Management Admission Council, Jason spends weeks at a time travelling between countries including New Zealand, the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan and Australia.
He spends much of his time expanding business education globally by meeting with university deans and representatives to discuss the growing Graduate Management Admission Test, which identifies top-performing graduate management students who are looking to further their studies in the field.
When he has time, often a rarity, he's able to visit partner Daisy Jung, who's based in Korea.
While Jason is now part of the world's business education elite, according to his mother, former Gympie deputy mayor Julia Lawrence, he's still a country boy at heart.