Regent’s students see opportunities in China
Final year BA (Hons) Global Management (Finance) student, Mattias Bohman is celebrating the first anniversary of the China Business Society (CBS), a student-led group he established to help develop excellent networks for Regent’s University London students and graduates.
Discussing the CBS’s objectives, Mattias explains:
“The China Business Society has been a great success for myself and our team. We have obtained hands-on experience with China and a number of us have already been headhunted by top firms.”
Looking to the future, Mattias is keen to highlight how extracurricular activities like the CBS can help students’ future ambitions, and hopes that the goals of the organisation will spread beyond Regent’s to other UK universities.
We spoke to him about how students can improve their opportunities with China.
Q. Do you think students in the West know enough about China – if not, what’s putting them off?
A. It’s important to understand that China is a very large country, consisting of 23 provinces which are larger and have higher populous than many European countries. Each province is different in the same way that Sweden is different to Italy or the UK
Q. What are the potential benefits for a student becoming more involved with China?
A. When I was born in 1994, China had a gross domestic product of $562 billion, and the UK’s was $1.1 trillion by comparison. Today it is $12 trillion and $2.6 trillion respectively. Some of the world’s largest companies are now Chinese. China’s global influence is very real and its success is an important part of the world’s future peace and prosperity
Q. What’s the most unusual thing you’ve encountered on your China journey?
A. As I learned to speak some Chinese I’ve sometimes made mistakes with certain tones. One example was on my first day on an internship in Beijing, I tried asking a female colleague if she had a pen, but accidentally said something very inappropriate! I quickly realised my mistake when she started blushing
Q. What are the networking and career opportunities for western students interested in China?
A. I believe a majority of jobs in the future will require an understanding of China, regardless of location. Today it is quite natural that a Chinese company is building a nuclear plant in the UK, while another owns the Hilton hotel franchise or is the world’s largest American distributor of Apple products, Swedish Volvo and many other companies
Q. Is learning the language a must? What about culture?
A. It is good to have an understanding of the language, in the same way it helps to know English if you are going to the UK. It’s a sign of respect and helps you develop relationships. Because culture varies from city-to-city and across different provinces it is important to be adaptable and a quick learner
Q. How can students get more involved with China?
A. Come to our events, follow us on Facebook or write us a message! We’re open to everyone
Mattias’ Top 5 Do’s to better engage with China
- Travel to less known cities
- Visit the Summer Palace in Beijing
- Eat weird things at Wangfujing Snack street
- Eat Peking Duck
- Find Chinese friends and exchange knowledge
Top 5 Don’ts in China
- Don’t put chopsticks upright into a bowl
- Don’t tip. It’s considered rude
- Don’t drink too much Baijiu
- Don’t cross streets without looking
- Don’t be afraid, try new things