media release

Human geography student engages the world

May 27, 2014

Gordon Ching (Burnaby resident), 604.518.1228 (cell),
Note: Ching leaves for Netherlands 7 p.m. Pacific time, May 28, +31 10 443 4383 (o), but best first contact by email
Carol Thorbes, PAMR, 778.782.3035,


Video: Gordon Ching's youtube story

Gordon Ching credits his rise from directionless 2010 Simon Fraser University undergrad to 2014 global vice-president of digital marketing for the world’s largest youth-run organization at age 21 to two things. They are his choice of studies and his discovery of an organization.

Scoring 100 per cent on his Human Geography Advanced Placement exam in Grade 12 inspired him to major in the discipline when he enrolled in a Faculty of Environment undergrad degree program four years ago.

A year later Ching discovered that getting involved in AIESEC’s SFU chapter could help him put his growing theoretical understanding of human geography into real world practice.

The social science is at the juncture of many disciplines. It is fundamental to critically understanding world commerce, resource management, regional development and planning, urban design, travel and exploration. Scientists in human geography investigate the relationship between human societies and the environment, and the organization and distribution of human activities in their spatial environment.

Many academics, professionals and policy makers argue that a grasp of human geography is essential to effectively leading today’s complex world out of globally threatening conundrums such as climate change and poverty.

AIESEC is a French acronym for the name of a not-for-profit global network of 100,000 students in 124 countries who gain leadership training through internship opportunities involving international partners.

AIESEC is comparable to a global business with units across different functional areas and hierarchies. These students can hone their hard (i.e., teamwork, public speaking) and soft skills (i.e., sales, budgeting), build an extensive global network and gain a world perspective.

In English, AIESEC’s full name translates into International Association of Students in Economic and Commercial Sciences.

In joining AIESEC, Ching discovered that he is as passionate about leadership as he is about applying human geography to solving global conundrums.  That passion has driven his meteoric rise to a position at AIESEC International.

“Rarely does a 21-year-old who hasn’t even graduated become the second-ever chief digital officer and global vice-president of digital marketing of one of the world’s largest organizations,” says Ching. He moves shortly to Rotterdam, Netherlands to take up his new salaried position for a year.

In this position, he will manage AIESEC’s online ecosystem. From global brand positioning to social media campaigns, Ching will engage the world in appreciating AIESEC’s commitment to youth leadership.  

“I want to give people a seamless experience when interacting with AIESEC across all communication platforms,” says Ching. “AIESEC’s digital strategy will capitalize on increasingly smarter and responsive technologies’ abilities to personalize clients’ experiences.”


As AIESEC Canada’s national vice-president, marketing and communications, prior to his new appointment, Ching ran 15 conferences globally, including the Canada Youth to Business Forum. It brought together 350 young AIESEC leaders from 30 Canadian universities and national business leaders to address Canadian economic competitiveness.

The second generation Canadian of Hong Kong descent also led AIESEC’s Canadian Youth Voice Survey. It revealed that many of today’s youth are more interested in landing jobs that come with learning and development opportunities than those with security and flexible hours.

Ching expects to graduate in 2016 rather than this year because two years as a full-time salaried AIESEC employee has slowed down his degree completion. But Ching knows he’ll come out ahead eventually in his drive to be an effective world leader.

Simon Fraser University is consistently ranked among Canada's top comprehensive universities and is one of the top 50 universities in the world under 50 years old. With campuses in Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey, B.C., SFU engages actively with the community in its research and teaching, delivers almost 150 programs to more than 30,000 students, and has more than 125,000 alumni in 130 countries.


Simon Fraser University: Engaging Students. Engaging Research. Engaging Communities.

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