When coming from Arizona and arriving on the peninsula of Hong Kong China the overwhelming feeling starts to hit the pit of my stomach. It is not the pressure of the internship, but the feeling that after preparing for 6 months on this project the opportunity to succeed is finally at my feet. I am not nervous on whether or not I am going to fail or do well, but the fact that I am now entering into the corporate world and there is no going back. As I immerse myself these next 8 weeks into the Asian culture a few questions come into my mind that I feel this trip will answer. “Will I do well at my internship?” “Is international business what I want to do for the rest of my life?” “Will I mix well and be accepted into the Asian community?” The fact that I made it here has already put me in the right direction and in these next 2 months I will not just be busy with work, but I will have lots activities experiencing the culture of Asia.
Orientation for Dream Careers was today and I am just experienced my first night in Hong Kong. Last night I got to meet most of the people in the program, and everybody seems ready to experience Hong Kong and start to work on their internship. The orientation today was pretty standard. They discussed rules and regulations, but nothing too exciting. The whole time during the orientation I wondered what work and my experience would be like here in Hong Kong. Last year I studied in Spain, and did the study tour in Costa Rica, and I had a blast. The party scene mixed with the World Cup championship in Spain was by far the craziest experience of my life. Costa Rica was also incredible, because of the friends I made, amazing places I got see, and the guest speakers I got listen to. After orientation I found out I have a co intern, Stephanie, from USC. We both then decided to go check out the building that we are working at so we have an idea of where to go so we do not get lost. Where we ended up was in an industrial part of town, at what looks like an old factory. To be honest it looks like something out of a horror movie, but I am going to keep an open mind and maybe it will be different on the inside.
So I thought it was the first day of work today, but 2 hours after start time I found that it was not. Apparently we start work tomorrow. I did not catch that memo. Anxious to start work we arrived an hour early, and then waited till two hours after work was supposed to start. So after that whole fiasco I decided to go home, change, and explore some of the area around the university. What I found was actually really nice. They have parks, fountains, tennis courts, basketball courts, soccer courts, a soccer stadium, 100 ft. rock wall and a big rec center around the University. It was really interesting. Unfortunately later that night I found the worst thing about Hong Kong… Homey Kitchen. Homey Kitchen is the cafeteria that serves us our breakfast and dinner, which we already paid for. The food kind of tastes like half made elementary food that has been left out too long. To be honest I wouldn’t even give this to my dog. Not to hate on them that much because I guess some people enjoy it, but personally I cannot stand the food. Breakfast is alright because they have cereal, but dinners are not my style. I am going to have to figure something out if I want to survive Hong Kong.
Finally today is the first day at work at Cube2 Design, and I wake up and prepare myself for the biggest opportunity of my life. When I reach the office this morning I was excited to meet everybody and figure out what I am doing for the summer. I worried that I would be doing the prototypical intern work; getting coffee, scanning, etc. When I met Bonnie, my boss, she was very nice and accommodating to us. I found that there are only 3 people in the whole office; Bonnie Cheong (Managing Director), Jinsoo Park (Creative Director), and Gustav Soderlund (Senior Director). I have never worked or even known any designers so it was interesting to meet Jinsoo and Gustav. Jinsoo is from South Korea and has been a designer a number of years now. He has won various awards and when being around him I feel that he has a really good understanding of what people want and he knows how to create that on paper. Gustav is from Sweden and use to be an engineer, but these last few years he has been a designer. Even though he has only been designing for a few years, I can tell he has a lot of promise. He has an edge to him and comes up with some really good design ideas. Bonnie is like the mastermind behind this project. She is what keeps this company going. Anyone can tell she has really good business sense and without her Cube2 Design would fall apart. What she wanted me to do is help run the marketing campaign; website content including press releases and portfolio narratives, company marketing and business development activities, project planning and program management, client presentations, and development of new business leads. Overall, I am excited about my first day at work and I was given a lot of tasks that would be interested and help me become better in understanding a business.
Later that night was our first “Tasty Tuesday.” Tasty Tuesdays are events that are planned on Tuesdays in which we go out as a group and eat at a local restaurant. For our first one we went to a street market and had food outside next to the Temple Street Market. There was a lot of interesting things on the menu, but personally I was not in the mood to try anything too crazy so I went with the beef. Some other people had chickens feet, snails, and prawns. Personally that kind of food is a little out of my league, but it was interesting to watch people eat it. After we went to the market and looked around. I found a jade Buddha that I liked, but of course I paid too much for it. I did not stay out too long because I want to catch up on some of my sleep and be ready for work in the morning. Temple Street Market was pretty interesting because it had a lot of counterfeit goods for cheap.
Day 2 at work and I tried to fix the web content of our company. The company had a half done website and Facebook page. I just commented on what I think needs to be changed on the website and later in the week the website designer is going to add the changes. The Facebook page is what I have been working most on. I have been redoing the info and about us. Also, I have added pictures and made new albums so people can see what the company has done. Go to our website – www.cube2design.com, and our Facebook page – http://www.facebook.com/Cube2Design.
Also, our first seminar with Chris Duggan who is the Executive Director of Dream Careers was tonight, and he spoke about dreams. He gave us his life story and why he joined Dream Careers. It was interesting, but the one thing he had talked about that really hit home for me was about finding what you love. People spend so much time trying to work for success and stability that they do not remember why they became the person that they are. The reason I had joined this internship was to figure out if I really want to do international business for the rest of my life. I have studied it for the past 3 years at the University and now it is time to do decide if this is the direction of where my life needs to head.
The Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) seminar was put on today by the European Union of Commerce about how to protect your ideas, products, and strategies from others who could steal it or copy it. I never really studied or focused on IPR, but overall it was interesting to hear the concerns these companies have about their products and business strategies. The concern that seemed to be the most prominent was about how to keep people from infringing on your ideas and calling it their own. What the speakers said was that be aware of you intellectual property and don’t be afraid to spend money in foreign markets for protection and IPR.
6/17/11 – 6/19/11
Its about time for the weekend as I finish doing work on the facebook page and organizing all of the pictures. I really enjoyed my first week of work and I feel that the next weeks approaching are going to be enjoyable. I found out that I will be traveling to Shenzhen, a city in mainland China, and be apart of a presentation for Philips electronics. Now I know what it is like to be in the real world, and I feel like I can handle it. It makes me excited to be put in real world situations and make big deals with big name clients. Cube2 has only been around since 2007 and I am going to be apart of its growth these next couple of months.
This Saturday was the introduction to Hong Kong tour where we had some fun going back to Temple Street market, eating at Jumbo resturant, and visiting the Peak. At Temple Street it was the same old stuff as before, so nothing really has changed. Jumbo is a resturant that is a boat on the water. It is pretty impressive and we had like a 8 course meal that was alright, but the the scenary was the main reason why people go there. After, we head up the hill to the look out point called the Peak. It was about 10:00 and all of the light in Hong Kong were shining. It was an unreal sight. I honestly have never witnessed anything like it before. There countless number of sky scrapers that shined an array of incredible lights. After we got done with the tour, the group went out to Lan Kwai Fong (which is the club scene) and it was different than anything I have ever seen before. The clubs were stacked on top of eachother. Like most of the clubs were in big office or apartment buildings and there would be different clubs on different floors. Hong Kong never ceases to amaze me.