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Our students from Taiwan

Students and graduates from your country share their experiences of living and studying with us.

Student name: Cheng Ying Chen
Course title: MA Public Relations
Country: Taiwan
Year of graduation: 2008
Current employer: Spirox Corp

After being a global marketing specialist in Tennrich Corp, Cheng has recently moved from the electronics industry to the semi-conductor industry.

She now heads the marketing department in her new company and attributes her language, cultural understanding and public-speaking skills to her rigorous postgraduate training at Cardiff University.

Why did you choose Cardiff University for your MA?

Mainly because of the good reputation that Cardiff University enjoys in the UK and Taiwan.

Before I made my decision, I knew some of the alumni working in the PR industry in Taiwan. This was a crucial point when choosing a university because not many Taiwanese are familiar with British universities.

After arriving I really liked Cardiff, especially since the new shopping centres have made Cardiff a far more shopper-friendly place compared to London. I’d like to say that Cardiff is somewhat of a second home to me.

Tell me a little about your time here. Did you enjoy the degree? And did your degree equip you with the necessary skills for your job?

The MA in International Public Relations in Cardiff definitely helped enhance my language skills and confidence in public speaking. Only one-fifth of the class were Chinese, so I was lucky in the sense that I had a chance to practice using English. I had really hoped to be in a completely English-speaking environment and additionally, one that was culturally diversified.

Through mock press conferences, debating, focus groups and group reports, I learnt team management skills and how to work with people from internationally-diverse backgrounds. It was fantastic!

So now when I meet people from different countries, I know how to put myself in their shoes and try and think from their point of view. I have also gained confidence to speak English in public. Now, I’m always sought after as an MC or interpreter in a press conference or corporate banquet.

Furthermore, I found that the critical and logical thinking aspect in academic work was lacking from the Taiwanese education system. Over here, I was pushed to answer questions in public and was taught to write reports according to strict methodologies. I still use that skill when writing marketing plans.

What does your role as a global marketing specialist consist of on a day-to-day basis?

I currently collect market information from news clippings of competitors, posters, advertisements and communication made to distributors. I am also in charge of checking that my company adheres to the branding guidelines in all the visual advertisements that we publish.

What do you enjoy most about being a global marketing specialist?

I enjoy meeting international clients, organising and holding international tradeshows by myself. I’ve participated in quite a few such as MWC (Spain), CeBIT (German), Computex (Taipei) and CES (US). These trade shows have been one of the most influential in the consumer industry.

What are your career goals for the mid and long term?

I hope to not only be a leader in marketing, but also in management. Since moving from Tennrich, I have a new leadership role and am managing two staff members under me. I am also creating an entire customer database for my company which has 250 employees.

I have also just undertaken a customer relationship management system (CRM) project. I like creating something that has a direct impact on my team members. I am also happy that, as a marketer, I am able to generate real sales revenue and see growth in my company.

Do you have any words of wisdom to share with prospective Taiwanese students?

Be open minded and never stop exploring. Keep having faith!

Although Taiwan is a small island, we have the power to compete and collaborate with the world’s biggest and most powerful vendors in the electronics industry.

I hope that all potential students thinking about coming to Cardiff University should be open to new things and start afresh when they arrive in the UK. Challenge and, if necessary, get rid of old influences from your home country and try to respect other new cultures throughout your university journey.

May your academic journey be a wonderful one; Cardiff University is one of the best choices you could make.