liv remes hustvedt '79
Major: Asian Studies; Biology
Career field: International Trade
Job title: Business Owner
Employer: Liv Concepts, Inc.; Mercuries Asia, Ltd.
In two to three sentences, please describe what your current position entails.
My business designs and manufactures decorative garden and seaonal products in China and sells to national retailers in the U.S.
What has been your career path to date?
I worked in corporate management postions in related fields for more than 20 years, 16 of those years were spent living and working in Taiwan and Hong Kong. I started my own business about 5 years ago.
Which country(ies) has your work taken you to?
Taiwan, Hong Kong
How did your interest in working internationally develop?
While at St. Olaf I participated in the Term in the Far East, a program that spent time in Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong and the University of Chiang Mai in Thailand. When I returned from that experience I was certain that I would pursue a career that involved Asia. But my interest probably started earlier than that, I spent a year in Norway and Iceland when I was 11 years old with my family during my Father's sabattical year. I went to Norwegian schools and was smitten with the international experience.
Which parts of your St. Olaf education best prepared you to work internationally?
The term in the Far East; Chinese Language study; Norwegian language; Asian studies Courses and Asian Art; and having a liberal arts education with an emphasis on critical thinking skills and writing.
What is the most difficult or challenging aspect about working internationally?
Leading multicultural teams. Expectations and work place practices differ greatly depending on employees' cultural backgrounds. And since distances are great, one often has to rely on email and "SKYPE" calls to get the job done.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of working internationally?
Experiencing first hand the dramatic changes that have taken place in Asia over the past 25 years and feeling a part of that. Using my Chinese language ability as a competitive edge in my industry.
What does being a “global citizen” mean to you?
Drawing from a much broader, richer landscape than my own backyard for forming views and analyzing situations. Having more tools to draw on for implementing "best practices" in business or life in general. Understanding more than one perspective because of one's own global experiences and the relationships I have with people who are from a different background entirely. Understanding that my actions have implications for
What advice would you offer current students interested in working internationally?
Learn a foreign language; Participate in a semester abroad; Be willing to relocate and take an opportunity that will offer you experience and the possibility for advancement.
Liv Remes Hustvedt Livrh@mercasia.com.tw 507-645-5439