Venture in East Asia happened over two weeks ago but people still come up to me and tell me they enjoyed it very much. Quite a success, I’d say.
In the end, we heard talks from four guest speakers: Dr Zhang from the School of East Asian Studies, Joanna Lavan from Connect China, Gregory Sutch from Intralink who was accompanied by Hannah Jackson from Intralink as well, and Chenglu Li, our International Students Enterprise Intern.
Dr Zhang gave a detailed account of China’s economy, drawing students’ attention to socio-economic developments which create new areas of growth to explore in the near future. His analysis provided an excellent background for Joanna and Greg to draw on in their talks. Joanna talked about the process of setting up a company in Shanghai as company regulations had relaxed recently. Finally, Greg talked about Japan and whether there is reason to be optimistic about its economic development under PM Abe’s administration (there is!).
During the Q&A, students were keen to ask questions about Joanna’s, Greg’s and Hannah’s experiences in China and Japan, and how best to take advantage of all the opportunities available in East Asia. Finally, Chenglu gave an insightful talk about budding social entrepreneurship in China. Because we have gone way past the end time at that point (there were so many questions at the Q&A!) I gave a very brief introduction to opportunities available in Singapore, Mongolia and Thailand.
Networking facilitated by wine and sushi continued after the talks were finished and we had an excellent atmosphere created by students’ genuine interest in finding out employment and entrepreneurship tips and experiences from the guest speakers. I’m pretty sure I heard a couple job offers being given out as well!
All in all, feedback was very positive. I’m really glad about this because, believe me, it was not easy to organise. I learnt so much in the course of developing this event and if it helped just one person, I consider my job successfully accomplished. There is no better feeling that knowing that I helped some of my department’s distressed soon-to-be graduates (including myself).