Marketing students praised as “rising stars”

Eliza Lee

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Students from the Department of Marketing at City University of Hong Kong (CityU) received accolades for their quality marketing research and proposals compiled for local and multi-national corporations at the Student Marketing Consultancy Project Award Presentation Ceremony, held on 30 May.

Fourteen teams formed from 111 Year 3 Marketing students offered consultancy services for seven business corporations between January and April this year. They conducted research according to the needs of the corporations, including new product promotion and market development, competition strategies, brand image rejuvenation, consumer behaviour and marketing strategy design. In addition to conventional research methods such as focus groups, questionnaire surveys and field studies, they also posed as customers and attended workshops to collect extensive market data.

Corporations participating in the project were California Red Limited, eBay International Hong Kong Limited, KOSÉ (Hong Kong) Limited, VF Asia Limited - Kipling, Otsuka Pharmaceuticals (H.K.) Ltd., Sun Hung Kei Financial and South China Morning Post Publishers Limited. Representatives of the corporations commended the students' effective application of theory, comprehensive market analysis, creative proposals and strong sense of market sensitivity. They said the performance of the students was on a par with professional consultation companies and praised the students as the "future stars of the business sector".

Honourable guests officiating at the award presentation ceremony included Professor David Tong Shuk-yin, Deputy President of CityU; Mr Arthur Chan Man, Chairman of Departmental Advisory Committee in the Department of Marketing; Professor Zhou Nan, Head of the Department of Marketing; and the corporate representatives. They all expressed the opinion that the Student Marketing Consultancy Project Awards reflected the educational philosophy of CityU that placed an equal emphasis on theory and practice.

In his welcoming speech, Professor Tong said students had gained practical knowledge from their exposure to the realities of the commercial world. "Make good use of your knowledge and always remember to contribut back to the community," Professor Tong said.

Professor Zhou thanked the corporations for their support of the project, which provided opportunities for students to apply their knowledge. He appreciated the students' application and their creative ideas and believed the experience gained from the project would provide long-term benefits to the students. Borrowing from a popular adage he attributed to Confucian philosopher Meng Zi, Professor Zhou reminded students: "No pain, no gain."

Mr Alex Tham Koy-siong, Teaching Fellow at the Department of Marketing and the supervising teacher actively promoting the project since 1995, said the project received the support of many corporations, which could help foster strong ties between the University and business sector.

Also, through their participation in this project, students could obtain valuable experience by meeting the corporate representatives and gaining an understanding of the market needs.

“The project has provided me with the opportunity to meet clients and discuss marketing strategies in order to win their support and persuade them to accept our proposals,” said Samuel Tse Ping-hin, one of the award-winning students. His teammate, Jenny Tam Ching-ni, said, “The project demonstrated that we were not bookworms but competent individuals with practical experience that would be a great asset to our future career.”

Wekin Choi Wing-kin, another student participating in the project, said, “Although it was a student project, the demands of corporations were very high and the reports we delivered matched those by professional consultation companies.” Students who participated in the project all felt it had enabled them to understand the importance of teamwork and time management.

The Department of Marketing also presented the Outstanding Active Learning Award during the ceremony, which encouraged students to learn outside the classroom. Two Year 3 students won the top honour this year, with 84 students receiving the Active Learning Award.

Wilson Wong Wai-kin, chairman of the organising committee for the ceremony, received both the Student Marketing Consultancy Project Award and Outstanding Active Learning Award. Speaking at the ceremony, he said he was very lucky and proud to be a Marketing student, since he had benefited from the ample opportunities provided by the Department. “Participating in different projects enhances our awareness of current affairs and expands our way of thinking,” Wilson said.


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