Ten British students from the Generation UK Nottingham-Ningbo Summer School, have been gaining work experience in a Chinese business through a product design internship in Ningbo.
The five day internship, which was with the company Oulin Kitchen Utensils, was part of a new three week summer school jointly organised by Generation UK - China and the University of Nottingham Ningbo China.
The aim of the internship was to provide students with an understanding of Chinese business and industry. In addition to students from The University of Nottingham, other students involved in the programme came from Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial College and King’s College London, as well as a further ten local students from Nottingham’s Ningbo campus.
Generation UK – China, which is run by British Council, aims to help students from the UK boost their employability, enhance their long-term job prospects and develop a global mindset through study and work experience opportunities in China.
During their five day internship with Oulin, a leading Chinese kitchen utensil brand, the students visited different company departments, including the marketing department, international department and design department.
The students were also grouped into several small teams in order to work on a project focusing either on a UK promotion plan for Oulin, or new innovation ideas for existing products. At the end of the week, each group submitted a proposal and presented their project to an audience of Oulin executives.
Seeing China in a different way
One of the students who took part in the programme at Outlin, called Caitlin, said: “This internship has allowed me to see China in a different way. I have been able to see how a company operates, to talk to staff and learn more about Chinese business culture. It has been a really interesting internship.”
Shaosong Hu, Director of Product Design at Oulin, was very impressed by the students’ presentations, he said: “Although five days is a very short time period, the students provided us with first-hand experience from the perspective of UK customers, their creative ideas and designs impressed us a lot.”
Explaining why Oulin was chosen to provide the internship, Sarina Liu, Development Manager at the University of Nottingham Ningbo China and organiser of the week’s activities, commented: “As one of China’s most active areas of private enterprise, Ningbo’s economic transformation is highly representative of China’s move from ‘Made in China’ to ‘Created in China’. Oulin has been at the forefront of this transformation. We hope the British students, coming to China for the first time can feel the fusion of Chinese and Western business cultures within this vibrant business and cultural environment.”
Understanding Chinese business culture
Professor Chris Rudd, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for External Engagement at The University of Nottingham, was very pleased with the success of the internship, he commented: “This internship not only gave students the chance to gain professional experience in the context of China and its business culture, but it also provided Oulin with the opportunity to learn more about UK customers.
“The University of Nottingham Ningbo China is a pioneer for China-UK relations and successful programmes such as the Generation UK - Nottingham Ningbo Summer School are an excellent way to help students gain knowledge of Chinese business practices and culture, improve their employability and ultimately create new links between China and the UK.”
For further information about the programme visit Generation UK - China or visit Oulin Kitchen Utensils for more details about the company.
More information is available from Nick King, Marketing Projects Manager, University of Nottingham on +44(0)115 82 32184, or Wendy Ren, University of Nottingham Ningbo China, +86 (0) 574 8818 1294.
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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham has 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with campuses in China and Malaysia modelled on a headquarters that is among the most attractive in Britain’ (Times Good University Guide 2014). It is also the most popular university in the UK among graduate employers, one of the world’s greenest universities, and winner of the Times Higher Education Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development’. It is ranked in the World’s Top 75 universities by the QS World University Rankings.
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