When Ayr based engineering company, Glenammer Engineering were considering the Chinese market for their range of industrial sieves, they were keen to work with someone who could help them overcome some of the challenges when internationalising. Through ScotGrad's International Business Explorer programme, they connected with Shu Yang and she tells us about the placement and how it has developed into something more long-term.
Tell us a bit about you and your background?
I am a Chinese graduate from University of Glasgow with a bachelor and a master degree in marketing. Living in Scotland for two years made me want to stay in this terrific place longer. While my classmates started looking for job opportunities in London, I chose to search posts based on Scotland only.
How did you get involved on a ScotGrad placement?
After studying marketing for five years, I have very strong desire to put what I had learnt into practice. Struggling from two months’ job hunting, I realised not just marketing knowledge but bilingual skill is also my advantage. Luckily I found my current employer’s post on ScotGrad website, from where, Glenammer Engineering was looking for a marketing person who speaks fluent Mandarin to help them open Chinese market. It was an amazing tailor-made placement for me and I got hired as a part time Asian market researcher from the three months after interview. Hard working got a very good result, which was a great offer for another one-year employment with my current company through ScotGrad again, this time on a graduate placement.
Describe the initial project were you working on?
My responsibilities were getting Asian market research done, looking for agents in certain territories, translating and interpreting etc. I also did weekly base report to my manger and proposed suggestions for the next period.
What specific skills were you able to bring to the project and how did they help the company?
First of all, good knowledge of Chinese market has been delivered through my study and report, which helped the company to understand both big market potential and the risks under cultural and regulation difference. Also my commercial sense and negotiation skills successfully accelerated company cooperation with a good Chinese agent.
Should more Scottish companies be looking to work with international students?
I would say yes for sure because I believe that diversity is the key to innovation for most of corporates. International employers could bring enormous abroad opportunities to Scottish local businesses.
What are your future career aims and objectives?
I definitely want to keep working as a marketing person at least in the next five years and helping my company with Chinese business is my short-term goal at the moment.
Would you recommend a ScotGrad placement to fellow international students/graduates?
I would say yes. It is far more difficult for international, especially non-EU students/graduates to find a job because of Visa issue and language barriers etc. Therefore, international students/graduates like me need more help actually. It would be great if ScotGrad set could up programmes like seminars or recruitment meetings that both international students/graduates and local employers who need foreign employer could join in.