UNNC Students Create New Value for Real Enterprises Through Consultancy Projects |?宁诺学子通过咨询实践为企业增值
Written by?(作者):?Troy Chen 陈震
Photos by?(图片来源):?UNNC 宁波诺丁汉大学
Nine students from The University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC) are currently taking part in an international consulting project which offers support to companies home and abroad to achieve a competitive edge in the ever globalised marketplace.
The initiative is part of the Baylor i5 program – short for “Immersion Into International Interdisciplinary Innovation”. As the flagship program of Baylor University in Waco, Texas, its goal is to create an environment for students to develop an insight into science and technology, whilst pairing this with business knowledge and global cultural competence. Nottingham University became i5’s exclusive partner in China in 2012. This year marks i5’s 9th event hosted at UNNC.
Nine UNNC students have been selected for the project, together with students from Baylor University. The international project team consists of students from a variety of disciplines including engineering, computer science, economics and business. This joint program looks at industries as diverse as health and senior care, tourism, automotive works, manufacturing, and information technologies.
The project team has nine weeks to produce a business plan which details how to help the commissioned company expand their international market or provide a solution to a specific problem.
Learning by Doing
Sherry Qihui Zheng, a year 3 student from Nottingham Business School (NUBS) China who leads Team Kem One and won the Most Wisdom Created Award, told us that it is an amazing opportunity to take part in the project. “Being a leader in a cross-cultural team has been both challenging and rewarding as it develops your leadership and communication skills in real working environment where you have to make tough decisions almost every day.”
Zheng’s team has completed a 150 page market research report including both a business plan and appendix. To aid them with their project, the team has made multiple visits the automobile industries both in Shanghai and Ningbo to carry out surveys and interviews. They have just presented their findings with other teams before a panel consisting of academics, business experts, angel investors and entrepreneurs
Zheng also finds it very helpful to have four experienced academics from Baylor University to supervise and guide everyone through this exciting internship.
Entrepreneurship Professor Marc Idelson, who has been coordinating the initiative, said: “The four keys to success in cross-cultural endeavors are awareness that culture matters, academic understanding of cross-cultural dynamics, practical cooperation skills and the motivation to address the issues.
“UNNC students are eager to engage in the kind of challenges that will hone their ability to become responsible leaders with a global mindset. Developing a combined grasp of the British educational tradition of critical thinking and contemporary Chinese culture in Ningbo make the value created for businesses served by the i5 summer program an original and appealing proposition.”
Idelson also revealed that eight other consulting programs, sponsored by the Nottingham Advantage Award credit scheme, are operated by NUBS during the autumn and spring semesters.
Stephane Monsallier, Managing Director of System-in-Motion, a European IT Solutions Company that operates out of Shanghai, explains his company got more than what they expected through participating this project. “I’m very happy and thankful about the result. They really got into it and raised their work to a very high standard. I’ve worked on other projects with other business schools but I have to say that I’ve never gotten this level of benefits.
“They provide a fresh look from outside the business. Actually half of the benefits have been delivered by them through challenging questions that we may have neglected when running our business. The other half is their thoughtful recommendations which are not only strategic but also very practical and executable given the local circumstances. We are considering hiring one or more of the project members if they are interested”.
Quality International Education
As the very first Sino-foreign University in China, UNNC is committed to delivering a truly excellent education. Our programs are designed to equip students with the skills and lifelong learning habits necessary to achieve their full potential for a career in a challenging, globalized working environment. The practical experience from cooperative projects like i5 better prepares students for tasks they’ll have to do in the real world. The emergence of collaborative education models are already starting to reinvent education.
Professor Sam Shen, Vice Provost of UNNC, said: “UNNC is active in research-led teaching, collaborating within China and internationally. We believe our approach to engaging students in their studies is innovative, develops an international perspective of the business world with local insights and encourages students to be interactive not only in the classroom but also in the real business world.”
According to the latest statistics compiled by University’s Careers Development Office, more than 98 percent of our graduates are employed within six months of graduation or move on to further studies at leading international universities.
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