CityU marketing students provide award-winning consultancy services

Eliza Lee

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Nine outstanding City University of Hong Kong (CityU) teams received Student Marketing Consultancy Projects Awards today (9 January) for consultancy services provided as part of a professional marketing programme that replaced traditional final year projects.

 

More than 100 marketing students provided consultancy services for nine local and multinational corporations from June to August and September to November 2008. Applying their professional knowledge and creative ideas to conduct market research, the Year 3 students from CityU’s Department of Marketing earned commendations for their research and proposals. By compiling professional marketing reports, the participants developed skills that will stand them in good stead throughout their career.

 

The nine corporations participating in the scheme were General Mills Hong Kong, Swire Coca-Cola Hong Kong, Reckitt Benckiser, Circle K Convenience Stores (HK), Wilson Communications, LCX, iDS Hong Kong, Bank of Communications and GlaxoSmithKline. The corporate representatives praised students for their enthusiastic and serious attitude to work and thorough understanding of the needs of their respective companies. Their marketing proposals provided insightful analysis of the market situation and an abundance of creative ideas comparable to those expected from professional consultants.

 

Honourable guests officiating at the award ceremony included Chair Professor Matthew Lee Kwok-on, Associate Dean (Research and Postgraduate) of the College of Business; Mr Arthur Chan Man, Chairman of Departmental Advisory Committee in the Department of Marketing; Professor Zhou Nan, Head of the Department of Marketing; and numerous corporate representatives.

 

In his welcoming speech, Professor Lee said the project lived up to CityU’s goal of transforming students into professionals by encouraging students to learn through practical experience. “This project provides opportunities for students to apply their knowledge, sample a real commercial working environment and gain valuable experience, all of which is vital to their future careers,” said Professor Lee.

 

All students agreed they had benefited from the project, as they not only applied their knowledge but also improved their communication and interpersonal skills.

 

Mr Alex Tham Koy-siong, Teaching Fellow at the Department of Marketing, said actual practice was the best way of learning, since knowledge gleaned from a book alone cannot ensure success in an intensely competitive commercial world.

 

Daisy Lau Wing-sze, one of the winners, said, “We consolidated and utilised in our proposal the knowledge acquired over the past three years and we made presentations in front of scores of managers and other staff. This valuable experience has significantly bolstered my confidence. Our client was appreciative of the insightful ideas presented in our report, for example, the impact of customer

perceptions on corporate image.”

 

 

Besides vying for the award, students also acquired valuable experience not available in the classroom. During the project, Kate Tsang Yee-ki’s team suffered blows caused by the withdrawal of a member and a sudden change of research direction due to the new promotional strategies launched by her client’s competitor. In the face of manpower problems and an imminent deadline, her team was under pressure. But through a careful division of the workload and mutual trust and understanding, her team finally completed the project. “The improvement in team spirit and communication among our members was more important than any award. I understand that a positive attitude is the key to overcoming all difficulties. This will be a valuable experience benefiting my future job-hunting and career development,” said Kate.

 

Donald Sun Kai-hon, student representative and chairman of the committee for the award presentation ceremony, said, “This project has helped me prepare for my future career as it allowed me to enjoy an early experience of the business sector. Although the world is now facing a financial crisis, I believe ‘a person’s views on things determine his future’. After three years of university training, students of the Department of Marketing can definitely utilise their strengths in their future careers.”

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