One White Face

Hilary Corna

I have to give Hilary Corna, the author of “One White Face”, a pat on the back.  Or perhaps I’d bow to her.  Or shake her hand.  It would really depend where in the world we would be – as this book documents her work and travels around Asia.  Regardless, she deserves a nod for her her first book.

“One White Face” tells her story about graduating from college, at the age of twenty-two, and flying to Singapore on a hope and a dream.  Corna went with the goal of landing a job, despite having no business contacts or work experience. She gave herself two months to find a gig or return home.

That’s gutsy.  Reminds me that, if we’re paying attention, we will often learn a lot from the young people around us.

Corna’s book details how she lands a job at Toyota, navigates life as an expat, makes plenty of mistakes, finds her place, travels extensively and in a very frank manner, addresses the challenges of dating in Singapore. She writes about why she needed to take this leap of faith on the other side of the world, despite her family and the man everyone expects her to marry not understanding it fully. She must follow her dream to work in Asia.  It is something that she cannot suppress or deny;  she must follow her bliss.

The beauty of Corna’s writing is that it is incredible honest – innocently and refreshingly so.  Her book contains the kind of candor that you find in a diary. Think “Bridget Jones” meets Guy Kawasaki.  It is the kind of authenticity that is more common of a blooming “twenty-something” – and that is what makes this read unique.  Most students will find her style relatable and it will inspire them to pick up and take a chance.  For me, that is the biggest take away from this read:  You have to take the leap and hope for the net.

Corna does a very good job of describing the pace of her work and the relationships that she forms with her bosses and co-workers.  She attempts to explain Kaizen, the Japanese philosophy of ongoing improvement in the workplace. (For me, the main focus as a reader was less about Kaizen and more about her journey as a young expat.)

Columbus, Ohio was wise enough to have Corna participate in the TEDx event.  I encourage you to take a few minutes to listen in to the words of Hilary Corna.  Her message – DARE – is one we all need to hear, regardless of age. If you like this video, then I’d encourage you to read “One White Face.”  It is worth noting that Corna is on a book tour at US universities through the spring – and based on my conversation with her by phone, would be well worth checking out.  More information is available at her website, One White Face.  If you’d like to buy the book, click here and be sure to get a 25% discount using this coupon code: P554X5B4



    • Missy Gluckmann says:

      Thanks Julie! I think back to my life at 22. Grad school. I wasn't writing a book or jet setting abroad with an adventure to have! (Although I did go abroad to Switzerland at 23…it was endlessly planned. Painfully so!) I applaud her for her "gumption" ! Enjoy.

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