My Experience as an Intern ASI
Born in Malaysia, Yong is a third year Management student at the University of St Andrews. At St Andrews, he serves as Vice-President at Chinese Hongpao Society and is the current President of Pan-Asian Careers Initiative. Fluent in Cantonese, English, Malay, Mandarin and Taiwanese, Yong loves travelling and has worked in Kuala Lumpur, Edinburgh and Paris. He is also a Board Member of the Edinburgh International Asia Conference.
Why did you apply for the Asia Scotland Institute? How did you hear about the ASI?
Having spent the summer working at Nestle in marketing and brand management, I started to think about how I can build on my experience. I applied to the ASI last summer upon the advice of a friend. ASI seemed to me as an avenue in which I can further develop my interpersonal skills by working with a wide variety of professionals and in which I can shoulder considerable responsibility in a forward-moving and professional setting: as part of a small team, I can be entrusted to contribute and take charge of projects. Additionally, I would like to gain experience working in the UK. Edinburgh is a major international city, hence work experience at this part of the world would be highly beneficial in the long run.
How are you involved as an ASI intern? What responsibilities are there?
Event management, marketing and strategies are my major responsibilities. I am involved in expanding the student engagement with the Institute. As the organisation is very much in its start-up phase, I am invited to input ideas and solutions on its development whenever appropriate, from event ideas, membership framework to outreach. Apart from promoting ASI events among student communities, I am also in charge of the relationship between the Institute and the University of St Andrews. With ASI support, I organised the Asian Careers Forum at the university and attracted 60+ students. Recently, I have been promoted to be the Senior Intern and to take charge of all the volunteers from St Andrews, representing the Institute as an ambassador at the campus. The promotion came along with more responsibility, so I am still learning how to juggle all the responsibilities. Effective time management is part of my learning curve I suppose.
What moments are particularly remarkable? What have you gained out of the experience?
In some sense I have got more than I bargained for, in a positive way. As an ASI intern, I joined the Scottish Cross-Party Group on China as a member and took part in their meetings in Holyrood Parliament. The thought of being involved in such a high level of civil/ governmental dialogue had never crossed my mind before. In the same vein, I am amazed by the networking opportunities and exposures. For example, I have made very useful contacts, such as with Sir John Holmes, Dr Eamonn Butler and other senior leaders from different industries. The internship also fostered long-last friendships with fellow interns and volunteers. Above all, it is the professionalism that I value most: through organising every single event, post-event debriefing, mentoring from Callam and other involvement, I have learnt how to be an effective team-player while striving to contribute in a small team.
Yong Ong, Senior Intern
Interview conducted by Thompson Chau
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