Internship Showcase – Fall 2019
On Tuesday, November 26, 2019, a meaningful exchange took place as four business professionals discussed the current expat job climate in China by sharing personal anecdotes and giving TBC students advice on how to be successful in the Chinese job market. ChinaContact Program Coordinator, Veronika Kotova, initiated the discussion by highlighting TBC’s role and speaking about the purpose of the showcase.
As moderator, Secretary-General and Initiator of the UIBE Alumni Association, Christopher Oniya, emphasized the ideas and thoughts shared by each panelist, adding his own take on what it means to successfully integrate in the Chinese work culture. The event began with the panel discussion followed by a networking hour, during which TBC students had the chance to interact with the speakers and other professionals present. Each student was accompanied by a poster detailing their internship experience during their time as a student in Beijing.
Many crucial ideas and different China experiences were shared by each panelist. Oniya began the discussion by outlining the key points of how to acquire skills, maintain them, and use them to gradually become more successful in your career. His opening was followed by a brief introduction from the three panelists – Maggie Fu, Client Relations Management Leader at Beijing United Family Hospital, James Full, Director of International Relations at Youchange China Social Entrepreneur Foundation, and James Lalonde, entrepreneur, author, and Co-Founder of Yodo1.
The discussion revolved around the challenges and cultural aspects that the panelists had to overcome to continue being successful in their careers in China. All panelists agreed on the importance of learning Mandarin and how communication can transform and create a career. Lalonde emphasized that nationality does not play a big role in foreigners getting hired, but rather their skills and ability to communicate effectively. Full confirmed the importance of language and communication, by recounting his difficulty and persistence in learning Mandarin after coming to China from Australia. Fu suggested that in addition to perfecting your Mandarin skills and speaking English, being/becoming more creative will allow young professionals to do well in China. Oniya closed the panel discussion by asking the panelists to reflect on how they have differentiated themselves as professionals to become successful. A combination of knowledge was shared, as the panelists advised young professionals to continue learning in the huge market in China, embrace the challenges, focus on communication, and to do what they need to do, to get where they want to be.
The event presented the opportunity for each attending guest and student, to not only network and make connections, but to also learn from others’ professional experiences and reflect on their own start, and what can be improved upon, to become more successful and achieve professional goals going forward.