Continuous Education: A Lifetime Goal
My Fulbright grant for the University of Hawaii was truly a life changing experience in lifelong learning.
As a young man, I was curious about life in USA and viewed my academic education not only as the best possible preparation for professional work, but also as a broad foundation for life in general, an even higher goal.
Therefore, after having completed my studies of industrial engineering at TU Graz, Austria, I applied for a scholarship for business administration at the University of Hawaii, with its unique location in the Pacific Rim. This was in 1987, the time when trade over the Pacific first surpassed the trade volume over the Atlantic Ocean.
In Honolulu, with a time difference of 12 hours from home, a Fulbright scholarship and a curiosity for the new, I enjoyed having the best professors in the world and being able to study a top MBA program in international business, as well as being part of a very international academic body, with fellow students turning into friends not only from the US but also from Japan, China and other Asian countries. Not to mention the fun I had with my new friends at the tropical beaches of Oahu, where I discovered sailing, which has been my private passion as a yacht master, ever since. Exposed to such new cultural diversity, I started to make continuous learning my lifetime goal.
With such a rich foundation and eager to learn more, I become a consultant at Accenture and later one of the youngest managing directors at Sony, conducting many challenging projects in the USA but also in Japan, China and South East Asia. Also today as CEO of my own high tech start up Ocean Maps, with its mission to survey the coastal areas of the world, I benefit from my commitment to continuous learning.
As lifelong learning has proved to be such an enhancement to my personal life, I feel it actually applies on a much broader scale. I think that proper and continuous education and learning is the solution to most if not all the problems, including poverty, discrimination, terrorism and global warming, the world faces today.
I am eager to share these value with my friends and colleagues, and thanks to my wife Conny, with our three sons Christoph, Niklas and Alex.
Thomas Nemetz was an Austrian Fulbright Student and studied business administration at the University of Hawaii in 1987–88.