Mainland internship proves its value

Shuyee Chen

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With China’s fast growing economy and it’s increasingly close ties with Hong Kong, CityU has been actively offering mainland internship opportunities to prepare students for their future career. This summer, 70 students took part in the summer internship programme organized by the Student Development Services’(SDS) Career Centre and gained valuable experience working in Shanghai and Beijing. They went to Shanghai on 24 May for a week’s training, and then embarked on their seven to eight-week internship, either in Shanghai or Beijing.

  “Beijing and Shanghai are the most important cultural and business hubs in the country,” said Ms Cherry Lum, SDS’s Senior Counsellor and a coordinator of the programme.  “We want to provide our students with valuable experience and exposure.”

 

The students were accepted by employers according to their majors and interests. The 22 companies that participated in this year’s programme included private enterprises, state-owned enterprises and multi-national companies. They covered a wide variety of businesses, such as public relations, information technology, telecommunications, quantity surveying, real estate, banking and tourism. The students were assigned to take up tasks in such areas as marketing, customer services, accounting, computer programming, logistics and human resources. 

 “It was a very special experience to work in the human resources office of a mainland company. I learn first hand how a mainland employer judges interviewees, and the dos and don’ts when applying for a job in China,” said Law Ho Yan, a year- two student majoring in human resource management. While working for BEA Systems (China) Ltd., one of the world's leading application infrastructure software companies,  she was asked to conduct an interview session for 22 postgraduate applicants.

 As for Wong Wing Chuen, a year-two marketing major, he chose to work as a salesperson at Beijing Gongmei Group Co., Ltd, a state-operated arts and crafts department store. “My major is marketing. I want to learn about the biggest market in the world – China," said Wong. "And to be a salesperson can help me better understand the consumption habits of the people on mainland.” While working there, he sold a traditional paper-cut work for a record RMB$5,000.

 

Chow Kai Ngan, a year-two English major, worked in the customer service department at the Xiwa Education. Always interested in advertising, she managed to convince her employer to let her help in its promotion activities. After she reviewed and helped improve the company’s website, she also designed a promotional leaflet to be used for a special campaign in Shanxi province.

 

Most of the students finished their work in late July. Two students, however, were invited to stay longer. Lee Miu Chi, a year-two student from the Department of Information Systems, was hired by Noumena Innovations Ltd., a private enterprise specializing in designing cell-phone games. Apart from proving her ability in programme desing, she also showed strong interest in the business side. “The company offered me the chance to work for another two to three weeks to help them develop a business proposal for some of their products. I was so pleased to have this opportunity,” said Lee.

 Lee Hoi Yin, a year-two social work major, was assigned to work for Beijing Gongmei Group Co., Ltd. Because of her part-time involvement in helping the mentally retarded people while working for the group, she was hired to work for a non-profit making organization after the internship was over.

 SDS’s Career Centre started the Mainland Internship Programme in 2000, and this was its sixth internship programme. “The employers’ positive response to the students’ performance is our biggest reward,” said Ms Lum. “This year, what makes us so proud is that our students take the initiative to prove themselves and manage to win the trust of their employers to give them more challenging roles.” Apart from Ms Lum, Mr Rock Tam and Mr Raysen Cheung, both SDS Senior Counsellors, were also coordinators of the programme.

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