Crystal Ho | Internship Profile
Place of Work: Strategic Asia Europe
Duration: 2nd July – 10th August 2012
I completed a six-week internship at Strategic Asia Europe during the summer of 2012. I started applying for internships early on the year, hoping to secure a place as early as possible, little was I aware how competitive the job market was and hence, applied to many places as possible. I found the Royal Holloway Careers website and Facebook page very useful, and soon came across an internship opening that interested me instantly. A startup consultancy firm called Strategic Asia Europe offered an internship involving the London Olympics cultural Olympiad. This instantly captivated me as, the London Olympics was one of the key events of the year, and thus, I immediately applied by sending my cover letter and CV. The application process was smooth and after a few weeks, I was offered a face-to-face competency interview and soon after, got the job.
I had key responsibilities from day one and got involved in two projects during my internship. The first major project was to support the operation and logistics management of an international art exhibition – “Creative Cities Collection”, which took place at the Barbican Trade Exhibition Centre. It was part of the Cultural Olympiad endorsed by the Mayor of London. My role included leading the operations of invitation management, working with an invitation list of over 5,000 contacts. I also had the key responsibility to work with stakeholders and partners to ensure delivery of the event, especially managing the media and press including, China News Daily and Xinhua News agency. My second project involved supporting the “Sina.com Green Lifestyle Awards” to celebrate Chinese companies who champion the green design concepts.
Throughout the internship, I have developed key skills such as client, customer and stakeholder management, negotiation skills, research and marketing skills. However, the most important skill I have gained through this internship, is understanding the dynamics and challenges of Chinese clients such as, their culture and communication. This has been the biggest learning experience for me because I recently undertook an Asia Pacific Business course during my second year and I was able to apply my knowledge from this course to my internship.
This internship was definitely rewarding and I have been able to maintain excellent relationships with my colleagues. It was a new experience for me and something I never envisioned doing. In light of this, it is important students and graduates keep an open mind when applying for jobs, apply for various industries and roles that you may not even be interested in, because it you might just end up getting the job that is the most rewarding.
Crystal Ho (BSc Management, 2013)