Students' consultancy service praised by renowned corporations

Audrey Chung

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Final-year Marketing (MKT) students at City University of Hong Kong (CityU) were honoured at a presentation ceremony on 12 January for the high quality of their consultancy projects developed for several renowned corporations.


Participating companies included the CASH Group; Bank of Communications Co., Ltd, Hong Kong Branch; Wilson Communications Limited; Grand Power Technology Limited; FXCM ASIA Limited; United Asia (UA) Finance Limited; and Clipsal Hong Kong Limited. These companies proposed consultancy topics that challenged the students to turn knowledge gleaned in the classroom into practical application.


CityU students’ creativity and professionalism are highly regarded by corporations in Hong Kong. This demonstrates CityU’s success in fostering talented people for the marketing industry.


136 students taking the course “Advanced Marketing Seminar” in MKT formed 21 teams to provide consultancy services for the seven participating corporations from

September to November last year.


Four teams worked on the CASH Group projects. Mr Daryl Lai, Director of the CASH Group, said: “All the research groups have demonstrated outstanding performances in comprehensive market research and detailed problem analysis and given us creative and thoughtful recommendations. The high quality of work is undoubtedly due to their intelligence and positive attitude to work. We thank them for their relentless effort, dedication and persistence.”


Four teams worked with the Bank of Communications Co., Ltd, Hong Kong Branch, making proposals for business development in Kowloon East. Mr Victor Lee, Senior Manager in the Retail Banking Department, said he appreciated the conscientiousness of the CityU students and their comprehensive research. “The students’ recommendations are very creative and feasible,” Mr Lee said. “They are able to identify and suggest ways to tackle key issues. Their analytical skills have far exceeded expectations.”


Four teams worked on projects for Wilson Communications Limited, one of the top handset specialist stores in Hong Kong. Mr Frankie Tang, Managing Director of Wilson, having judged the students’ evaluation of Wilson's service from before-sales to after-sales, said: “We gained remarkable insights into marketing from the students’ final reports. During progress meetings, I was struck by the students’ mature attitude,” he said.


For Grand Power Technology, a large-scale company producing computer accessories, students were involved in three research projects: identifying successful ways to introduce the Continuous Inking System to schools in Hong Kong; increasing the market share of Ink Cartridge, the ink used in printers; and launching FortiClient, a new Internet security software offered in a single platform aimed at the Hong Kong primary and secondary school market.


The projects for FXCM ASIA Limited were to identify where people are trading and why, and to identify how people make trading decisions. Ms Ornit Niv, Managing Director of FXCM ASIA, noted the students’ passion for the projects and their ability to adapt to and cope with unforeseen events. Ms Niv said: “Students have demonstrated a high level of efficiency. It is impressive that they can finish the whole job with such great quality in two months, including conducting the research, carrying out comprehensive analysis and making inspiring recommendations,” she said.


Another two teams gave consultancy services to UA Finance Limited about the unsecured personal loan market and the development of “i-Money” in the Internet loan market. Mr Li Kwong-yan, General Manager of UA Finance, said the students were both meticulous and creative in their work. “They can identify key issues precisely, a critical factor for us to maintain market leadership. Better still, the students recommended a comprehensive promotional campaign. Their creativity, commitment and desire to work to such a high standard are attributes that are in big demand in the workplace these days,” Mr Li said.    


For Clipsal Hong Kong Limited, one team was responsible for analyzing the effectiveness of the distribution channels for switches, one of the company’s products, while the other studied the behaviour of end-consumers, contractors and interior designers when purchasing electrical accessories. Ms Fiona Kwok, Marketing Specialist at Clipsal Hong Kong, applauded the students’ eagerness to take up challenges and their ability to work under pressure. “Marketing electrical accessories is not an easy task, especially when our target customers are experienced and demanding. The students’ analysis and proposals have been so well prepared that we can draw remarkable insights from them,” Ms Kwok said.


Introduced by MKT in 1995, the consultancy service project has provided services for over 60 corporations, including TCL Retail (HK) Limited; Ming Pao Magazines Limited; Lee Kum Kee; The Dairy Farm Group; and Wellcome Supermarket.


CityU guests officiating at the ceremony included Professor Richard Ho, Dean of Undergraduate Education; Professor Lilian Vrijmoed, Dean of Student Learning; Mr Joseph Chan, Director of Student Development Services, Professor Zhou Nan, Head of MKT; and Mr Alex Tham, Programme Leader of the Bachelor of Business Administration in MKT.


Witnessing students’ enthusiastic participation in the project, Mr Tham said: “Our teaching philosophy is to let our students learn through real experience. This project provides invaluable opportunities for students to gain practical experience in the real-

business world. It also enhances closer collaboration between the University and the business sector.”


Student Representative, Ms Gigi Cheng Nga-chi, said that the Student Consultancy Project was a challenging and memorable experience. “From the project, we have not only applied academic knowledge that we learnt in the past two years, but we have also enhanced our communication, interpersonal and problem solving skills. We have improved our professionalism and learnt how to handle stress. Our vision is broader and we can unleash our full potential. I believe these attributes are the key to success for our future.”



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