From Trainee to Senior Account Manager
IC TEAM: Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where do you come from, what are your interests?
My name is Deepak and I come from Gran Canaria, Spain. I was undertaking an undergraduate BA course in Business and Marketing in Sheffield, UK and in my third year I had the opportunity to undertake a placement year. I didn’t even think twice about it; I really wanted to go to China to embrace myself in a diverse culture and learn how business is being conducted in China. I undertook my internship year from 2012-2013 and before I left China I was already offered a full time employment position for after my final year at university. In the internship year, I attended Chinese lessons every morning and in the evenings I used to work for six hours. My main drive and interests at the minute are to learn as much as possible and figure things out that will make my development and professional life much more valuable.
IC TEAM: What was the reason you wanted to do the graduate traineeship? Why did you choose to come to China, and Zhuhai for that matter?
I really wanted to come back to Zhuhai and China mainly to live the experience of how a Chinese city that is growing every year is about to boom. As we all know, The HK-Macau Bridge will be ready by the end of next year and it will be connecting with the only Mainland China city, Zhuhai. I thought this could be a great opportunity for me to see how quickly a city can grow in China, especially as I have already been there in 2012. Work-wise I was getting hold of strong clients for the company which I definitely wanted to continue handling and slowly build up a solid portfolio where I can show facts. It´s really cool to be able to say that you have been to China however people are interested in hearing about performances and results.
IC TEAM: What kind of tasks did you get up to over the course of your graduate traineeship?
During my internship period the main goal was to learn as much as possible. This also included gaining some insights in Mandarin Chinese and to travel as much as possible across the country. In relation to working, I was given a strong responsibility of managing the Spanish speaking market for the company which made me feel valued. This is what internships do, they prepare yourself to be exposed to the working life and set you up to a bright career. There is no better place than conducting an internship in China. Normally they are really easy to apply for, get compared to the West and the value this could have in the future of your career could be life changing!
IC TEAM: What was your best experience here so far?
One of the best experiences I have had in China during my internship period was definitely the trips with IC to places like Xiamen, Zhangjiajie and Guilin. These places are probably the best scenic places in China and it was exciting how we could get buses from Zhuhai to other close by provinces in matter of 10-15 hours. It’s definitely a remarkable experience that I will never forget! Work-wise I had the one of the best years ever under my supervising manager at my company. His working ethics and management styles were technically sound. This was one of the main reasons I wanted to come back. I wanted to make sure my skillsets were as flawless as his. This is what China offer people starting from scratch; the possibility to interact with other people from different cultures and create lifetime bonds. Very inspiring!
IC Team: What’s it like working in China?
I love working in China due to the fact that I have so many things to do every day and I keep learning new aspects about business in China, which drives me to continue my stay in China longer. I believe working in China has developed my passion for my job and to be involved in trading and Chinese business. I consider people to be really lucky to find a passion at an early age. I don’t mind working long hours as I am always confident that all this hard work will be paid off sooner or later.
IC Team: Tell us a bit about your role and responsibilities?
My current role is Senior Account Manager and my main responsibilities are as follows:
– Manage a solid number of existing clients for the company.
– Turn hot leads and new requests into long-term clients.
– Project management: manage every request that turns into an order in terms of quality standards (making sure that defects are kept low), production time and arranging the logistical side.
– Sourcing promotional products/gifts from factories in China.
– Prospecting within main Spanish speaking countries and Australia / UK.
– Undertaking factory visits and quality controls within factories in South China.
– Develop a solid marketing strategy that will enable the company to gain more sales in different global markets and identify strong potentials for next FY.
– Responsibility on managing main online marketing platforms (Twitter accounts, Word Press Blogs) which in the long run will drive traffic to the website through improvement on SEO Rankings.
– Interview new candidates for marketing and sales position for the company
IC Team: How do you feel when you have new interns at your company?
When we get new interns in the company it makes me think about everything I have gone through during the last couple of years, and how amazing it was when I first came to China. They say that people always fall in love with the first city they live in China. This is my case. Zhuhai is absolutely incredible and so well situated in the south of Guangdong. It is always great to have new interns coming to a company as they provide us with fresh ideas that can be implemented in business processes, and certainly can help us with our daily tasks. At the same time they are getting a valuable experience from our existing processes which are always important.
IC Team: What are your plans for the future?
Short term, I would like to get hold of the HSK certificate. This is the only international certificate for Chinese Mandarin recognised worldwide for foreigners. I definitely think this will provide me with more options in the future and especially if I want to stay in China in the future.
IC TEAM: For future interns, what would be your recommendations?
My recommendations for future interns would be to set a goal of learning as much as possible from every single person inside their allocated company. The people who are managing you have gone through pretty much the same experience you are about to have, and they know where they can help you develop in every single aspect. I would also recommend making sure that you are busy every single day, no matter what, you can be traveling, working, learning Chinese, and interacting with new people. Just make sure you have something to do and of course to have time for yourself. Use your internship year successfully and you will achieve bigger results! Learn new things every day, ask without hesitation, and figure things out!