The opportunities for Australians when it comes to doing business in Asia are plentiful. It’s why Griffith Business School has a commitment to ensure their students are fully equipped to thrive in the Asian Market with ease. And participation in the Asia Business Challenge is an ideal stepping stone to prime students for the challenges of doing business internationally.
In June this year, 16 GBS students travelled to Hong Kong to take part in the challenge with students from Hong Kong Polytechnic University, a trip that was sponsored by funds from the New Colombo Plan scholarships. The challenge saw students form teams to review a range of small business projects, and prepare a presentation on a startup business that could excel in the Hong Kong market.
Though the Asia Business Challenge provided the focus for the trip, students also made industry visits to companies such as Deloitte, and met representatives from the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and Beijing, as well as attending presentations about business in Asia from the management team of major Hong Kong theme park business, Ocean Park.
“The program gives the students an opportunity to develop an understanding of how to do business in Asia with a particular focus on Hong Kong,” explains Michael Berry, the program’s developer and project leader. “It’s an experiential program that gives them real opportunities to develop insights into the business culture of Asia and the challenges and opportunities of working in the region.”
Even away from the official events of the trip, students made the most of the experience by taking the time to network. Students took the opportunity to meet with three alumni from Griffith’s Hong Kong branch for a traditional hot pot meal in Tsim Sha Tsui. The former students discussed how their time at Griffith enabled them to not only work, but thrive in the international markets.
“For me this project represents more than just another business assignment,” Bachelor of Business/Bachelor of Law student Alexander Bourne says. “It connects domestic and international students, allowing us to form to bonds and relationships which will be useful in the future for breaking into the international market in Hong Kong and Asia.”
Fellow student Courtney Hall, who’s undertaking a Bachelor of Multimedia with a Marketing major agrees. “The highlight of the program has been more than just the industry visits and networking events, it’s been the ability to gain an understanding of culture and explore Hong Kong with my team,” she says.
As students who’ve returned from the trip have acknowledged, strong cultural knowledge and relationships are crucial to doing business in Asia. They say the program introduced them to people with whom they could network and create a stronger understanding of culture.
Shirley Mak, President of Griffith University’s Hong Kong Alumni Network knows the value of networking and is happy to assist students in the ways successful business practice in the Asian country. “Networking and cross-cultural understanding and co-operation has always been at the heart of Hong Kong business,” Shirley says. “These networking events allow students from across many aspects of society and different industries to connect, share ideas and find common ground.”
The students were extremely grateful to Shirley for making time to talk to the students and share Hong Kong cultural insights.