Alumni Success Stories - Media & Reviews

Alumni Success Stories

CRCC Asia programs not only provide the opportunity to gain valuable insight into the lucrative Chinese business market but will also endow you with tangible skills and experiences which can genuinely improve your employability in the future.

Read below for more information about what our program alumni are doing now that they have completed their program.

Recent Alumni Updates


Jonny Plein

Jonny Plein


Co- Founder and Co – Director of Pouch


 

 

 

 

 

 

(Jonny (right) with his two co-founders)

 

Meet Jonny Plein, a CRCC ASIA Alumni who has just started his own business called Pouch. Jonny interned in Shanghai with CRCC ASIA for 6 weeks in 2011, we caught up with him to hear about his experiences of working in China and what he is up to now with his new venture.

What was the most important thing you learnt from working in China?
The most important thing I learnt was how to confidently explain an idea to someone new and that the Chinese a very open to new opportunities to grow their business. A lot of my work in China was “Business Development”, which was effectively going to the large office blocks in Shanghai, starting on the top floor and visiting every office in the building asking to speak to the HR Manager to sell a service. The reception was amazing and 90% of businesses gave us a meeting then and there. In the UK those meeting would have taken weeks to arrange whilst in China a new opportunity was a simple as knocking on a door.

Please explain your new business ‘Pouch‘?
Pouch is a free browser extension (an app for your browser) that saves you time and money when you are shopping online by automatically sourcing the best available and valid voucher codes and presenting them to you at the checkout page on over 3000 UK stores. Once you have downloaded Pouch you never need to search for a voucher code again.
The founders are all regular online shoppers and we found the most irritating thing about online shopping was trying to find discounts using the generic voucher code websites. These websites rarely work and have a terrible user experience. We knew we could make something better a came up with Pouch to make saving money online    as simple as possible. We have 5000 users and recently won a best new start up         award from the Mass Challenge accelerator programme.

How can CRCC Asia alumni & friends benefit from Pouch?
The best way for CRCC Asia Alumni & friends to benefit from Pouch would be to download it for free from www.joinpouch.com so they can start saving money. By clicking on the Pouch icon in the top right hand corner of the browser they can see what voucher codes are available for the website they are on.
We have voucher codes on everything from Ocado, Myprotein & Topman to ASOS, Currys and even Air New Zealand occasionally. There really is something for everyone.

I would also recommend following us on social media as we share our latest voucher codes via Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JoinPouch/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/joinpouch


Samantha Kwok

Samantha Kwok


Founder, Jing Jobs (China)

I joined CRCC in March 2013 on a 6 month language program right after graduating from the University of Sydney, Australia. Without any clue as to what I wanted to start my career in, I came to China to try my hand at learning a new language. 3 years later, I am still in Beijing, running my own HR consulting firm JingJobs.com, specializing in helping start ups expand their teams in Beijing and Shanghai. 
CRCC Asia helped me tremendously with launching my career and business in China. Through CRCC’s program and support system, I was introduced into professional working life in China without any of the hassles that come with moving to a new country. I automatically had a bunch of supportive people around me, I was also introduced to the right networking events and workshops which played a huge hand in helping me develop a professional network to  launch my platform Jingjobs.com. I have formed life long friendships with other participants on the program, who made my time China so enjoyable that I couldn’t imagine leaving.

Michael Donohoo

Michael Donohoo


Strategy & Insights Analyst, MEC, Australia

In 2012 I had completed my second year at university and was getting ready to enter my third. However, before heading back to university, I was about to start a unique, valuable and exciting opportunity- an internship in Shanghai, China.

To be honest, I had no idea what I was getting myself into- I could barely speak the language but going to Shanghai was something I wanted to do. I wanted to visit a dynamic commercial powerhouse, the home of some of the most exciting marketing and branding developments in the world. I wanted to understand the Chinese consumer and their seemingly insatiable demand and I wanted to understand brand identities and positioning in such a sophisticated market.

At university I had learnt about the Chinese Business culture and seen numerous case studies based on China but nothing could prepare me for the vast array of experiences in a city with more than 23 million people (That’s the population of Australia!).

Not surprisingly, everyday was an adventure in its own right. Let’s be honest, one of the biggest adventures was the subway- a truly exhausting experience being packed inside a train like sardines just to make work on time. Despite the foot traffic, the public transport system was both reliable and efficient. Once at work, my marketing internship was very beneficial for my career development. I was exposed to new SEO skills, developed print advertising, worked on new and live merchandise campaigns, completed online analytics and even wrote a few blogs. Most importantly the office environment was fun, supportive and friendly with regular social gatherings and lots of employees wanting to show me around this vast city. Whilst the internship helped me develop my marketing skills, meeting likeminded, passionate and focused students from around the world was another bonus.

Exploring the city was one of my favourite things to do. There was just so much variation. There were the impressive sky-scrappers and modern architecture of Pudong, the French Concession, the Yu Gardens, the Urban Planning Centre, the Shanghai Museum, outer suburbs, small districts and so on. Really, it’s a city where there is something always happening and a city with a constant buzz. Fortunately, my trip coincided with Chinese New Year-a week full of fireworks and celebrations. When I left Shanghai to return to university I had a new appreciation for their culture, a thorough understanding of Chinese business practices, lots of new and improved skills and a whole lot of positive memories. I thoroughly enjoyed my time working and living abroad and am thankful for the opportunity and invaluable experience I gained.


Jessica Davis

Jessica Davis


Tax Analyst, Deloitte

In 2013 I spent a month in Beijing working at Zhonglun W&D (a long-established law firm). As well as helping me to determine my future career preferences, my time in China proved very valuable when it came to my graduate job interviews. It demonstrated that I had used my initiative to source the internship in a competitive summer placements market and also gave me something unique to talk about. Chinese business is becoming increasingly prevalent in Western markets, so being able to demonstrate that I’d experienced Eastern culture and business practices definitely worked in my favour during the commercial awareness section of the interviews.

Combining the time that I spent in the office with evenings full of great social activities, as well as weekends spent exploring Beijing, meant that my time in China was both invaluable and exciting. I’ll always be thankful to CRCC Asia for helping me to secure my graduate job and for giving me the opportunity to broaden my horizons through an enjoyable and unforgettable experience.

 


Doyinsola Sogbesan

Doyinsola Sogbesan


Graduate Financial Reporting Accountant, Santander

When I came across CRCC Asia at my university’s Careers Fair it was an opportunity I knew had to embark on. My time at the reputable global insurance firm Allianz China General Insurance in Lujiazui, the new financial district of Shanghai,was truly enjoyable as it exposed me to cultural and corporate differences, allowing me to stand out in the current saturated graduate market.

During my interview for my role at Santander I noticed how my time on the program was the main topic of interest. In light of the current economic state where countries are increasingly interlinked, China’s strong ties in various global markets illustrate how valuable work experience in China is.

I have just completed a three month contract as a Graduate Financial Reporting Accountant at Santander UK Corporate & Commercial Bank and I am proud to say that my time in China prepared me for this position, especially in regards to adapting and working under pressure. With plans to return to China in a year or so I am currently seeking to enrol onto a Mandarin course.
The Shanghai experience was rich, fast-paced and one of best avenues I have undertaken for personal and career development. I sincerely have to thank CRCC Asia for offering this fresh, innovative and life changing opportunity!


Nathan Lawes

Nathan Lawes


Partnership & Networks Manager, Thirst

Nathan finished his internship in March 2015. He has since been hired full time by his host company, and is still living in Beijing.

“The internship at CRCC Asia has well & truly propelled me into a challenging career that I enjoy. Thanks to CRCC Asia, I have gone from studying theoretical frameworks at Uni to tackling global issues in the capital city of the fastest growing economy the world has ever seen. I shall always be thankful to the competent & committed team at CRCC Asia. From attaining the internship in London to being settled in Beijing, the team have been nothing but supportive.

As well as being given the opportunity to pursue a vocation in the dynamic Middle Kingdom, CRCC have organised great trips & social events – from munching pizza & bellowing at KTV to formal dinners & networking events. The internship has enabled us to make long term friendships & develop as international citizens. Professionalism & having fun can coincide.

I urge you to take up this great opportunity & become a global leader. It may well change your life.”


Mohammed Ali

Mohammed Ali


Research Analyst, ONEm

Spending two months in Shanghai was probably the best decision I have made, and I have full gratitude to CRCC Asia in setting up a massively rewarding internship that has assisted me in making a big step towards future career goals.

Working with a development company in the Hongqiao district of Shanghai helped me to see first-hand the massive demand from overseas for Chinese products. I was planning and delivering projects with international partners, ranging from America to Kenya and Kazakhstan, helping me build cultural and professional links with a range of groups.

The internship programme came at a time I was unsure of what route to take after graduating, with plans of a master’s degree on hold. Indeed, after the successful foray out east, my time out there led to no shortage of job offers after returning to London. In fact, most interviews were mainly informal chats about my time on the programme. It just goes to show, how important it is to stand out, with the internship in China, able to do just that for graduates.

Now working at a globally-oriented start-up firm in the heart of London’s financial district, I am working towards building on my experiences. In September, I am embarking on a master’s degree with a focus on China, learning Mandarin, and with a view to returning to Shanghai next summer, perhaps even with my internship company!


Chelsea Kunkle

Chelsea Kunkle


Front Office Manager, BPI Group

Chelsea concluded her Beijing internship program in October of 2013. During her time in China, Chelsea worked for a International Consulting and participated in a variety of roles. Her degree (International Affairs), along with her international internship experience helped her land a phenomenal job with BPI Group. BPI, with headquarters and offices in Paris, Chicago, and Atlanta, is a global management and Human Resources firm that helps individuals and firms in 40 countries worldwide. Chelsea’s main duties include supporting the Outplacement department, working on business proposals and international pricing, and managing a global network to help others find appropriate jobs after layoffs.

Chelsea’s time in CRCC Asia’s internship program helped her understand how to adapt in high-pressure situations, strengthened her ability to make professional presentations, and overall was a rewarding experience. For those who are hesitant to participate in an international internship, Chelsea has some wise words…

“If you feel nervous about the challenges you may face by living in a culture completely different to yours, you just have to push yourself to do the things that make you uncomfortable. Those often turn out to be the best experiences in life”.


Tom Adams

Tom Adams


Associate, Global Wealth Management

After graduating from university I had a very clear plan of what I wanted to do, and how I expected my career to pan out. I did however have a free month in September so decided to apply for a 1 month internship through CRCC. I thought it might be fun, interesting and another solid addition to my CV.

Now, less than 2 months after getting back to London, I’m preparing for my move back to Shanghai next week, this time permanently. My carefully thought out career plans in London have been discarded in favour of a job with the company with whom I interned in September. Obviously this is not a path everyone will go down, but the internship opportunity alone is well worth it, and you never know where it may lead.

I applied to the program at relatively short notice, and yet CRCC were still able to find me a position at a good company, in the field I wanted. The accommodation was good, they provided good support throughout the course of the program, and were very professional in all my dealings with them.

In addition to the work, the month was a great opportunity to see Shanghai, and meet people from all over the world. I would not be surprised if I am still friends with some of the people I met on the course in 10 years time.


Mark Pettitt

Mark Pettitt


Policy and Commercial Advisor, Cabinet Office, UK Government

“My CRCC Asia internship at the British Chamber of Commerce, Shanghai has been the key as to why I am now working for the UK Government Cabinet Office. The internship has been the focus of attention on both my CV and in interviews. Undertaking the internship set me apart from other applicants, allowing me to demonstrate my skills and abilities in a dynamic and international context – few other graduates are able to do this. It’s a fantastic opportunity that, with the right attitude, can really set you on your way to your dream graduate career or job.”


Matthew Bowerman

Matthew Bowerman


Ernst & Young, Melbourne, Australia

“I really feel a lot of gratitude towards CRCC Asia as I believe my internship experience was one of the major factors which helped me secure my graduate job at Ernst & Young in their Tax & Law division. I certainly hope that as my career progresses I can have the opportunity for further engagement with China and with CRCC Asia!”


Eugene Budkevich

Eugene Budkevich


Future Trainee Solicitor at Baker & McKenzie

“I would like to reiterate further that the CRCC Asia Internship Program is a fantastic way to differentiate any aspiring student in a very competitive job market. The type of experience that you gain in a completely alien environment, especially without knowledge of the language, will make you much more independent and develop numerous skills employers look for in their candidates.

[I worked] on two significant deals for the firm. First of these was an international joint venture between a Finnish and two Chinese companies, which planned to list the whole venture within 2 years. I was also involved in an ensuing arbitration between a Swiss and Chinese companies worth over 20 Million Yuan (approx. £2.5m). The latter being one of the main suppliers of plastic products for cars to the likes of Toyota, Volkswagen, General Motors and others.”


Beryl Chavez Li

Beryl Chavez Li


Director of the Philippines, SeedAsia

“After two months of work experience, I was offered three terrific employment opportunities in China. I now work as the Director for the Philippines, managing their operations and in a freelance capacity as an analyst looking for possible investments for a businessman who has incorporated his Private Equity firm in China. On top of this, I have recently co-founded my first start-up targeting the Asian market.

Overall, I had an amazing time in Shanghai! If it weren’t for CRCC Asia, I would not have realised my interest in the start-up scene. Many thanks to CRCC Asia for two months well spent and for opening my door to amazing opportunities!”


Matthew Jordan

Matthew Jordan


Finance Graduate Scheme, Tescos

“My internship in 2011 was a great experience and definitely enhanced my C.V. helping me secure a job after University. Not only did my time in China give me experience of working in a professional environment, I also developed my personal skills throughout the internship.

A great educational background isn’t enough to secure a top job in the current climate, having an internship in China certainly makes you stand out from the crowd.”


Stuart Burvill

Stuart Burvill


Graduate Scheme, Australian Department of Agriculture

“I had a fantastic experience with my internship in Beijing. I was given a small non-profit group called the China Carbon Forum which creates forums for stakeholders in the Carbon Sector international network of over 1200 people in government, business and NGOs. The group was a great match with my masters degree in international relations and I developed an array of skills and increased my knowledge greatly of Climate change and insight into governmental processes and relations.

Whilst in China I received a graduate position with the Australian Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing which has its own international Trade and Climate Change divisions making and so my internship will give me vital experience for my career.”


Neil Faulkner

Neil Faulkner


Business Analyst & Consultant, Prophix UK

“My internship in Shanghai not only boosted my CV, it was a topic I was able to confidently talk about in my successful consultancy application/interviews at Prophix UK; where I have subsequently worked in Canada and around the UK alongside some of the world’s leading consultants.

Working in China enhanced my international confidence, my ability to work and learn in a multicultural environment, and networking skills. My experiences pushed my boundaries both professionally and personally – as a result I had the best summer of my life. Participation in the CRCC Asia Programme is a must – do not let the fear of the unknown put you off.”


Fedja Selimovic

Fedja Selimovic


Business Development Manager, Global Wealth Management (Shanghai)

“I was a CRCC Asia Intern for 2 months starting January 2011. Working in the financial sector in Beijing, I was able to see first hand the potential that China gave to young individuals.

From what I experienced in Beijing I gained the confidence to move to Shanghai a few months later. I currently work as a Business Development Manager for a successful wealth management company and plan to stay here for the foreseeable future.”


Suzanne Woodman

Suzanne Woodman


Investment Analyst at an Investment Consultancy

“Interning in China proved to be an invaluable experience as it gave me the opportunity to gain an insight into the vibrant culture and business life in China.

It also makes a great talking point especially at interviews, as people are very much interested in hearing about your first hand experience of such a dynamic business environment.”


Bonnie Roche

Bonnie Roche


Graduate Program (Management Consulting), Accenture Australia

“Since returning from China I have begun a graduate role for Accenture Perth (Australia) in Management Consulting. My role is within the Organisation Change Management space which involves managing client/project relationships and developing communications and engagement to aid the change process.

I feel my marketing internship in Beijing definitely helped my ability to gain employment for an international firm whilst also helping me to further develop my written communication skills within a marketing space.”


Sheikh Saifuddin

Sheikh Saifuddin


Honors Graduate, Brock University

“I have just graduated and am currently applying for graduate schemes, my internship with CRCC Asia has certainly helped me gain skills in cross cultural communications and demonstrates my ability to deal with ambiguous situations in new environments.”


Kelly Johnson

Kelly Johnson


Executive Committee, Chinese Finance Association of America

“Besides the fact I had the best summer of my life through the CRCC Asia program, the experience I gained through interning with a private equity company has opened up many doors for me when it comes to breaking into the Chinese finance industry. This year I was privileged enough to be asked to join the committee of the Chinese Finance Association of America located in Chicago which focuses on sharing financial knowledge between Chinese and American businessmen. Its hard enough to find opportunities to work in China and going through CRCC was the perfect route to take and I am considering doing the program all over again!”


Sean Housten

Sean Housten


Honors Degree, University of Sydney

“CRCC and its Beijing Internship Program was a great experience and really opened my eyes to the joys of living and working overseas, spurring my motivation to move to London upon completing my university degree in Sydney.”


Nicola King

Nicola King


Trainee Solicitor, Pinsent Masons

“The combination of spending a month in another country and the importance of distinguishing yourself from your competition makes the internship a very worthwhile experience. I secured my training contract with Pinsent Masons before I commenced the internship but the colleagues I have spoken to have been impressed and I know it has great standing on my CV when I apply for a newly qualified position as a lawyer”


Jatish Patel

Jatish Patel


Equity Research Associate, Fidelity Worldwide Investment

“My CRCC internship in Beijing provided me with an invaluable ground-level insight into the Chinese economy. This has been incredibly beneficial in my current role, enabling me to generate a broader outlook on potential investment opportunities in an increasingly globalised world.”


Lucie Brown

Lucie Brown


Analyst (Management Consultancy), Accenture

“My experience in China and my internship in marketing really helped me to get onto my graduate training scheme with Accenture, a global management consulting firm.”


Alex Williams

Alex Williams


Financial Consultant, FactSet

“My CRCC Asia internship in China most definitely enhanced my CV. My current employer was really impressed during the interview and said my international experience made me stand out from the crowd. I dealt with a variety of clients at China TongYin in Beijing, and so I had some really useful examples of experience as well.”


David O’Mahony

David O’Mahony


Account Manager, Google

“I’m now an Account Manager with Google, helping small and medium sized businesses grow using AdWords, Youtube and Display advertising. The internship opened my eyes to the opportunities that are available working abroad and made me realise I would love to work for a multinational corporation like Google.”


Hannah Cobbett

Hannah Cobbett


Trainee Solicitor, Top Five “Magic Circle” London Law Firm

“The internship helped me build contacts in China, improved my Chinese (in a legal context) and increased my confidence to work in a Chinese business environment.”


Tolu Ogunseye

Tolu Ogunseye


Software Development Engineer, Polaris Software, India

“The experience I gained has helped me to get a job in India by preparing me for my interview, and good work experience in China looks excellent on my CV. However, the overall personal experience I had in China (though challenging at times), was worth more than anything I could write on a CV. I now have a much stronger chance of competing for jobs in what is one of the fastest growing economies in the world.”


Charles Moore

Charles Moore


Sr. Coordinator Direct Imports Merchandise, Walmart

“When people look at my resume, they see many years of schooling, but what grabs their attention is my experience in China. Being able to live and work in China shows motivation, cultural understanding and a unique skill I refer to as the “Blend.” Companies want a person they can integrate into any market, more so an emerging market such as China. It is an experience you will want to take full advantage of….learning the language will make you that much more valuable.”


Davis Reader

Davis Reader


Graduate Scheme, Japan International Tobacco

“The internship not only offers valuable work experience, but also helps to separate yourself from the rest of the crowd. Especially in a job market as competitive as it is today!”


Klara Krok-Paszkowska

Klara Krok-Paszkowska


Digital Planner, Manning Gottlieb OMD

“During my CRCC Asia Internship I got the opportunity to work in a global advertising agency, getting experience in digital communications, and upon my return to the UK I was able to secure a job in this sector. As a Planning Director I have had the opportunity to work with a number of high profile UK clients, such as John Lewis and French Connection.”


Joshua Stone

Joshua Stone


Business Development Coordinator, PIBB, China

“CRCC Asia gives you a great starting point here in China. The events CRCC Asia put on throughout my stay really gave me every opportunity to develop my own support networks and business relationships in Shanghai.”


Andrew McKee

Andrew McKee


Graduate Scheme, Ernst and Young (Professional Services)

“I am currently completing my Finance Degree at Queen’s University Belfast and have been offered a job at Ernst & Young in London which will begin after I graduate. The experience I had with CRCC Asia in Beijing was a fantastic boost to my CV and a massive help in securing this job.”


Will Taylor

Will Taylor


National Researcher (International Humanitarian Law), Australian Red Cross

“My internship in Beijing is something that I can always talk about in interviews in many different contexts.  It is especially helpful if you want to work internationally as I do, because it demonstrates an ability to adjust to a foreign environment far from home and to adapt to a different culture, lifestyle and importantly, working methods.”


Charlotte Till

Charlotte Till


Marketing Executive, The Daily Telegraph

“During my job interview, working in China is all the interviewers wanted to talk to me about as it made me different from other candidates and they all seemed genuinely interested.

I think having worked in China shows that I’m self-motivated enough to travel across the world on my own and I am able to adapt to a completely different culture. Having china on my CV set me apart from other candidates.”


Alexander Janson

Alexander Janson


Marketing Coordinator, Digital Jungle, China (Digital Marketing)

“My CRCC Asia internship was a good way into China. It was during my internship that I learnt the scale of social media in China compared with back home, and began to understand the huge marketing potential of social media in China. I thought this was a niche I should slip myself into. The internship was a platform into the corporate world in China.”


Jernica Williams

Jernica Williams


Graduate Scheme, UK Financial Services Authority

“My internship in China provided me with an invaluable resource during the graduate scheme application process. I was able to demonstrate commercial awareness, flexibility and initiative which helped me to secure a job.”


Sophie Corcut

Sophie Corcut


Analyst, Accenture (Management Consultancy)

“On my return from China I was quickly accepted on to a graduate scheme at management consultants Accenture. Coming back from China, you’ve got this one thing on your CV that makes you stand out – it shows you have some get up and go.”


Haady Sherif

Haady Sherif


Asset Delivery Manager, BAA Engineering

“My internship galvanised me to further develop and excel my skills. Going to university is just the beginning, in a sense you are born when you graduate. My internship set me on my way: it primed me for interviews, working in corporate environments, and dealing with pressured situations. My internship gave me a taste of success, which I have managed to build on.”

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