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China internships 'transformational '- students

31 Jan 2014

The first group of students to complete internships in China as part of the University of Sydney Business School's expanded Industry Placement Program have described the experience as "transformational".

More than 40 students worked with local and multinational companies in the capital Beijing and the eastern coastal cities of Shanghai and Hangzhou. 

Host firms were the China Energy Conservation and Energy Protection Group, KPMG, the construction company Hilti, Henkel, Grant Thornton, PwC, Fortune International, the Beijing Advertising Company, Zhonghau Certified Accountants, KCS Chartered Accountants and the accounting company BDO.   

Most of the students viewed their China experience as a once in a lifetime opportunity to work in a specific area of interest before graduating. 

Over a period of six weeks, they practiced the business knowledge and skills acquired at the University of Sydney Business School and gained practical business experience which enhanced their career focus. 

"Finance students participated in a company's merger and acquisition analysis and share purchase projects while accounting students spent time auditing global companies and researching the tax systems of different countries," said Associate Lecturer Kaiying Ji who travelled with the group. 

"Marketing students conducted research and provided recommendations for various clients while HR interns were exposed to campus recruitment programs and assisted in the development of an employee wellness program."

In addition to developing the students professionally, host organisations also gave them an opportunity to grow personally.

The students gained insights into businesses which make a positive difference to the society in which it operates. Some took part in activities at a local orphanage and some visited historical heritage sites.

Fortune International gave students an opportunity to work with children suffering from the brittle bone disease osteogenesis imperfecta, an experience, they said, which exposed them to "a broader perspective in terms of how business can support community projects".

The students were also involved in social networking events, such as Christmas parties, annual symposiums, and a luncheon, which enabled them to learn about organisational culture in a fun atmosphere. 

According to some of the students, a major benefit of the program was the 'life-changing mentor-mentee relationship' they developed with their supervisor.  

"There is no doubt that all students are eternally grateful for their supervisors' generous guidance during their placement," Dr Ji concluded.