The China Student and Industry Program (SIP) event was held on Tuesday 13 September 2011. The first Student and Industry Program Event for students from China was a great success for the University of Adelaide Development Alumni China Student and Industry Program with support from Australia China Business Council (ACBC) and the Australian Asian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AACCI).
This was the first year Paul Finn (AACCI Treasurer) Fundraising & Development Manager of the Adelaide University Development Alumni organised the event for this group and the interest was overwhelming with all available student places (100) being taken up within 14 hours of the invitation being forwarded. The positive feedback means the event will run again next year.
The event was opened with an insightful presentation from guest speaker Mr Jing Li, a University of Adelaide graduate and Head of the Asian Desk (Adelaide) for RBS Morgans Limited. Jing stressed the importance of networking with the business community well before graduation.
He was followed by Mr Sean Keenihan, another graduate of the University of Adelaide, partner at Norman and Waterhouse and the SA President of the Australia China Business Council (ACBC). Sean recognises the value that international students offer South Australia and provided indepth advice on how to network.
An important aspect of the event was networking with industry experts. Industries represented including international trade, commerce, engineering, manufacturing, education and property development. This was run along the lines of a “speed dating” event – except that it was “speed networking”. The industry representatives sat with small groups of students and conversed with to them for approximately 15 minutes offering career and employment advice and tips. The students repeated the process with 12 industry specialists including TACDC General Manager Conan Fahey who shared his career path and professional experiences in Australia and China.
Students sought guidance about:
- advice on getting into their chosen industry
- non-academic skills employers are looking for
- how to take advantage of opportunities
- how to land the important first job after study
The feedback from the students was extremely positive. South Australia’s next potential business leaders know they are pulling their weight academically but sometimes find it difficult to cross the gap between study and their first career steps. The program is recognised as providing an important bridge and will be offered again in 2012.