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Student Sharing on Global Work Attachment Programme 2018/19 – Shanghai & Taipei

In recent years, the Greater China area has been under rapid development and therefore a desirable environment for career pursuits. In view of this, the Global Work Attachment Programme (GWAP) organised by the Career and Leadership Centre offers students practical internship opportunities in cities such as Shanghai and Taipei, so that they can gain exposure to and have a better grasp of the area and different industries to get well-prepared for their future career.

Keep Abreast of the Times   – Sharing by Sung Ming-Han, BA Digital Television and Broadcasting Year 3 Student (Shanghai)

I was born in Taipei and study in Hong Kong. And now, I had my internship experience in Shanghai. I consider my experience in 3 important cities of Greater China really valuable because their cultures, practices and social environments are actually different from each other.

As a planning intern in an international advertising agency, my major duty was to research market trends and consumer behaviour in specific markets and provide insights. I also attended meetings about marketing strategies such as promotion on e-commerce sites and plans for marketing campaigns.

Since the e-commerce development in Mainland China is fast, most of our projects were heavily focused on advertising and promotion on Chinese e-commerce sites such as Tmall (天貓), Taobao (淘寶) and Jingdong (京東). The world of advertising is always changing, so we need to keep our knowledge updated. Some information released 2 years ago might be already outdated.

After my internship in Shanghai, I could better understand the development of e-commerce in Mainland China. How rapidly the Chinese e-commerce market is growing really impresses me. Currently, the scale of e-commerce in China is the biggest around the world and the way consumers interact with brands has changed drastically. A single click or comment can affect what information consumers receive and influence their brand preferences. Therefore, it is a critical task for advertising agencies to have full knowledge of e-commerce trends and people’s online behaviour, which is challenging yet interesting to me.

Furthermore, I attained an understanding of various industries as I took part in projects for companies like smartphone, diaper and even industrial adhesive brands. After partnering with many clients, I gained knowledge of their needs and the trends of their industries. I also learned how advertising agencies assist clients to meet their business goals in a creative and strategic way.

This internship was my first working experience - a challenging but inspiring journey, allowing me to immerse in the highly-unpredictable Chinese advertising market. It also motivated me to think of working for advertising agencies in Mainland China. I’m glad that CityU has given me professional training so that I could get used to the competitive working environment. This experience is not the end, but the beginning. In my final year of study, I’ll keep working on preparing myself to enter the media industry in terms of professionalism and mental toughness.

Be a Flexible Communicator   – Sharing by Wong Sze Yan, BA Linguistics and Language Applications Year 3 Student (Taipei)

Working as an intern in publishing industry in Taipei, I was responsible for public relations (PR) works, editing and basic administrative tasks including to contact customers by phone in Mandarin. I also assisted in organising an event for children and a storytelling event. These duties seemed to be easy but they were not indeed.

PR was much more complicated and challenging than I used to imagine. Before I came to work, I had no experience in such area. After attending different sharing sessions organised by my company, I have learnt that keeping close contact with your partners and customers is extremely vital. For example, for colleagues who are responsible for public relations, they might need to remember the bloggers’ or celebrities’ birthday and anniversary dates to establish a closer relationship.

During weeks of internship, apart from improving my oral and written Chinese skills, I have learnt how to approach and communicate with celebrities, authors and children, especially those in Taiwan. It is important to use the appropriate language when talking to them. For instance, authors who write children’s books tend to have a gentle personality. They are usually humorous and easygoing which allows the use of informal language while interacting. Nonetheless, formal language is necessary when meeting celebrities and professionals such as teachers and scholars. The way to interact with Taiwanese children was also the other skill I have acquired, which they tend to listen to those who speak fast and have a higher pitch.

This internship experience gave me exposure to the Taiwanese publishing industry, particularly in the PR and marketing sectors. It enabled me to have a better understanding of marketing communications and PR, encouraging me to pursue my dream of engaging in event planning or PR sector. I have also realised that I have to enhance my interpersonal skill and language capability to effectively communicate with overseas customers. Apart from focusing on my study in linguistics, I am motivated to immerse in the PR field to broaden my horizon.