Over the summer, Your Bridge to China Ltd accommodated two Chinese students as part of the University of Sheffield Great Ambassador China Postgraduate Advantage Scheme. It was a very rewarding and positive experience, resulting in the students acquiring key business skills they can now take on into their career and beyond.
Tu Yueping, more commonly known as “Ping”, completed her Masters in Data Science whilst she worked part-time for Your Bridge to China. She was particularly strong at people skills; so I invited her along to several business networking events in Sheffield. She had no trouble in striking up conversations with strangers, telling them about Your Bridge to China. She even attended an event on her own, representing the business.
Her passion and enthusiasm really came across in the work she produced, and in interactions with others. I also trained Ping in the use of Insightly, which is a customer relationship management system used by the business. She collected data from different sources and inputted this into the system which allowed operations to run more smoothly.
Yuyang Yan, or Martin, brought his acute business skills to the table. He was assigned the task of making cold calls to manufacturing plants in Sheffield and the result was an impressive 8% hit rate. He was able to confidently deal with any rejections and was very comfortable in feeding back information to me. We worked together on improving and adapting the sales script as we progressed with acquiring new prospects.
In China, Yuyang spent 4 months working as a Marketing Management Trainee, making around 200 cold calls a day, which meant he was able to apply those skills to his role at Your Bridge to China.
Martin and I had many discussions about the cultural differences between the UK and China and although he said in his interview that he had no trouble adapting to British culture, some things he just couldn’t understand. For example, he asked me why so many men walk round with bunches of flowers!
Martin wrote three blogs in the time he was working at Your Bridge to China, providing insight into: his perception of events we went to; the work he completed; general cultural differences between the UK and China. All blogs have been published on LinkedIn for people to read, comment and share.
Your Bridge to China’s Partnership with the Postgraduate Advantage Scheme
I have known Ling, the Scheme’s coordinator, for around a year now, first meeting her at the China Ambassador Scheme Event at Sheffield University which was launched by Lord Livingston, the UK Minister for Trade and Investment. I think it is a great initiative allowing students to dip their toes in employment whilst studying. It provides them with key skills and experiences they can take on into their future employment.
I hope the postgraduate advantage scheme is rolled out into other universities across the country to allow other students and employers the opportunity to work together and benefit each other’s knowledge and experiences.
The scheme has really helped our business to grow and develop. The students brought in new ideas and suggestions and helped bring in more customers. They were especially useful in translating text and helping me and the team to understand more deeply the cultural differences to overcome when doing business with China.
I formed great relationships with both the students I worked with over the summer; culminating in a tasty Chinese meal at the China Red restaurant in Sheffield- a must visit if you haven’t already been!
Find out more about the scheme here.