Current employer: University of Plymouth
Current job title: TNE & Articulations Manager
Current location: Plymouth
“I would recommend undertaking a course with the University of Plymouth. Studying at Plymouth has changed my life and I am very glad that I made the decision to complete my academic studies here.”Tell us about your career path since graduation.
I started as a Mandarin tutor at the University of Plymouth in 2010, teaching beginners and pre-intermediate Mandarin to students, staff, and sixth form pupils via a video link to Launceston College. I also ran the Twilight Mandarin Course evening classes and the Sunday Mandarin Course to students who were going to Shanghai for a month during the summer. I then became an International Student Officer, offering student support and effective lines of communication between students and the Business School before they arrived on campus. Part of my remit was also to raise cultural awareness in the University by delivering intercultural communication workshops and presentations about Chinese culture to staff members; for instance, also playing a key role in the organisation of the Chinese New Year celebration events at the University.
In 2013 I became an Acting Partnership Co-ordinator, a role which involved developing and managing relationships with agents and partners in the international markets particularly but not exclusively, in the Chinese market. I liaised with the International Office, agents, partners, and relevant academics to draft proposals, develop agreements, and manage the process effectively. Then, in 2014 I moved on to work for Scarlett Entertainment as the Business Development Manager (Asia); creating new performance opportunities for Scarlett Entertainment's Asia entertainment roster (the company provided entertainment for corporate events and parties around the world), contracting, invoicing, and completing logistics for events, and creating and managing relationships with the client base. I now work as the Articulations Manager at the University; building relationships with new and existing partners, monitoring and reviewing articulations to assure continued quality, and preparing articulations paperwork for the appropriate University committees.
How has your degree helped/influenced your career path?
Having the degree has helped me to get all the jobs for which I’ve applied since graduating. Having a degree has also helped me to be good at my job, regardless of what that job entails as I am using the knowledge and skills I gained on the course. My mindset has also changed after completing the degree: I’ve become more flexible and strategic when tackling problems, and this has definitely helped me the most.
What is the most difficult thing which you have faced in your career?
The cultural differences between countries. I have been working in multi-cultural environments since I graduated with people from all around the globe, and I am still learning and trying to improve my inter-cultural communication skills and cross-cultural competence.
What is the best, most exciting or fun thing that you have done in your career?
When I was working for Scarlett Entertainment, I supplied eight Chinese backup dancers for Pharrell Williams on the first X Factor live show in 2015. I even got a selfie with Pharrell.
Imagine you were about to start university again - with the benefit of hindsight - what would you now tell yourself to have done differently?
Worry less and enjoy my studies more. I spent a lot of them trying to achieve higher grades and, thinking back, I really should have enjoyed the whole experience a lot more.
How did studying at Plymouth help you?
Well, I stayed in Plymouth after completing the course which I think says a lot about Plymouth as a city and as a university. Plymouth is a lovely place to live, work, and enjoy life, so there was really no reason for me to leave!
What lessons/skills did you gain from your course?
I learnt so much about marketing, management, and how to conduct research. My first degree was in language teaching, therefore I had no basic subject knowledge whatsoever when first joined the course; however, the design of the course and the lecturers really helped me to pick up all the subtleties of academic life very quickly.
What is your favourite memory of studying at Plymouth?
I really enjoyed the experience of studying and working with people from all around the world: my classmates were from the US, India, Hong Kong, Latvia, Barbados, Spain, China, and of course the UK. I am still friends with most of these classmates and it was a real pleasure to study the course with them. The course itself was set up with a global vision and it was exciting to explore global marketing in a very international environment.
Would you recommend undertaking a course with the University of Plymouth, and why?
Yes, I would recommend undertaking a course with the University of Plymouth. Studying at Plymouth has changed my life and I am very glad that I made the decision to complete my academic studies here.
Is there anything else which you would like to share with our current students?
Enjoy the present and use every bit of energy you have to dream, explore, and discover.
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