Haley Meng, a graduate of Northeastern University’s 2011 batch with degrees in international affairs and East Asian studies, is a member of Northeastern’s Young Global Leaders program, which comprises more than 100 recent graduates who advise university leadership and help to strengthen Northeastern’s network of international alumni. When Meng reached Hong Kong after her graduation, she found herself completely out of place as she didn’t know anyone there. But today, seven years later, she finds herself mingling into the cultures of Hong Kong, peaking in her professional career with PricewaterhouseCoopers, the international professional services firm and also teaches swing dancing in her free time.
This rapid upliftment has been credited by her to the West and East Club or the WE Club, as it is popularly known, which is a club founded by herself. It is an online platform aimed at connecting people from different cultures in Hong Kong. The idea behind her creation was born out of Meng’s observation of people lacking a streamlined platform to find workshops, shows etc. to meet people of similar interests. “Hong Kong is a place of cultural silos,” Meng says. “We wanted to create a platform where people could engage with Hong Kong, whether at a tea ceremony or at yoga.” WE Club was co-founded with business partner Candy Tang in 2015 and is managed today by 20 staffers and boasts a membership of 10,000 people.
It curates the weekly events, panel discussions, food tastings, street art tours, etc. Meng believes that this model can be exported to other cities and thinks about expanding the Club. She credits her development to the women professors, Northeastern University and her mentors in Hong Kong. The first two taught her beyond the classroom and the latter, she says, gave her the right guidance and asked the right questions.