first_imgStudents meet Minister Brendan Howlin on their trip to China.A ground-breaking new diploma programme at Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT) educating participants in how to work, live, and do business in China has been hailed as a major success.A total of 13 mature students were the first to take part in LYITs Diploma in Professional Selling and International Marketing (China) (DPSIM) which has just reached its conclusion. Students came from a number of different sectors, including finance, design, hospitality and sales.LYIT students get down to work with their Chinese counterparts.And although their hopes for future careers were all very diverse, they were strongly supported through this unique programme.Returning from Shanghai in recent weeks the group have been fortunate to have been part of a programme which is helping to forge some very important business and trade links between Ireland and one of the world’s leading economic powers.This innovative course is the first of its kind in Ireland to provide participants with intensive exposure to businesses and potential employers in Shanghai. The programme is fully funded by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) through its Springboard initiative and supported by the Department of Social Protection (DSP).Springboard provides free higher education opportunities to people who lost their jobs in recent years as a result of the economic crash. Springboard provides people with the opportunity to reskill and get back to work, thus contributing to building Ireland’s future.The main focus of the Diploma was to enable students to make connections and develop networking opportunities with Chinese companies and the ex-pat business community so they can continue to develop, not only their own careers, but also strengthen ties between Ireland and China.The course programme was delivered in two parts; firstly, a semester on campus at LYIT before the group travelled to Shanghai for six weeks.During the first semester at LYIT the students studied professional selling and international marketing. It was during this time that the group were also given an all-important grounding in what doing business in China is all about.Having completed the first semester at LYIT, the group left for China on February 15th. The first six weeks were spent on site in Shanghai working on case studies for Chinese companies who are looking to enter the Irish and European Market. During their first week in Shanghai the group got to put some of their skills learned back in Letterkenny into practice. The induction week also taught the basic survival skills of how to get a mobile phone sim card, how to use the public transport system and how to order food. And with the basics mastered, the group were quickly back on track to begin the second part of their course. They met with government officials and visited two of the major industrial zones in Shanghai, at Jiading and Pudong.SUCCESSA significant portion of the course was devoted to learning the language, culture and business etiquette of China. It is a well-known fact that even the most successful of western businesspeople have not and will not succeed in China without understanding the Chinese way of doing business.As the Head of LYIT’s School of Business, Mr Michael Margey explained: “This has been such an opportunity for these students. For anyone who is interested in working in China or for Chinese companies, this first-hand experience cannot be underestimated. Having visited China for work, I would never have known how important simple things like sending a thank-you e-mail after a meeting can be. The Chinese culture has been in existence for such a long time, compared with the culture we have here in the west. It is a fascinating and very different culture to the one we are used to and for that reason, being offered an insight like these students have been given is an invaluable contribution to their future prospects” He continued: “I am delighted that LYIT have been so pro-active in offering this Diploma programme. I think there is no doubt that it will be of enormous benefit to those who have taken part, and indeed to the county as a whole.”Essential to the success of this Springboard programme has been the input of LYIT’s Chinese Partners and facilitators, Dublin-based Zhida International ( involvement, coupled with the excellent links already forged between LYIT and China enabled Springboard course participants to gain access to some of the most eminent experts on doing business in china.One of the programme highlights was a meeting with Mr Tom Doctoroff, one of Asia’s most respected advertising professionals and a leading expert in Chinese consumer psychology.IMPORTANCEThe importance of this unique course at LYIT cannot be under-estimated and its value has already been recognised by government and business sectors alike.Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Mr Brendan Howlin, TD, travelled to Shanghai this year as part of the government’s programme to promote Ireland across the world on St Patrick’s Day. While there, Minister Howlin met with the LYIT students where he recognised the important role they would play in fostering inward investment to Ireland.Since his return, Minister Howlin has spoken publicly of the significance of having a programme like this available in Ireland.“I was delighted to meet with students of Letterkenny IT’s Diploma in Professional Selling and International Marketing while in Shanghai over the St. Patrick’s Day period as part of the Government’s Promote Ireland programme.“The students, of all ages, showed real enthusiasm for and knowledge of China’s culture, language and economy. China is a key market for Ireland. It is encouraging to see our Educational Institutions pro-actively preparing their students for emerging markets like China.”RECOGNITIONThe programme has also been given great recognition and support by Enterprise Ireland and the Irish Consulate in Shanghai. Speaking following a recent meeting with the group in Shanghai, Mr Gormley the Consular General stated: “The group is really a credit to Donegal and to LYIT and we look forward to hearing of progress with the programme and to seeing more groups visit in future.”Course participant, Robert Nuttall made some observations on how he felt he was benefitting from the cultural immersion of his stay in Shanghai.“The Enterprise Ireland event in the evening allowed us to mingle with some of the consulate staff, ex pats and locals. It was great to hear some real insight into life as an expat in china, we got some sound advice and I also managed to make a contact within the design industry.”“I’m learning that China does not do things by halves and am blown away by the sheer scale of what has been done here in such a short space of time”The students and the Diploma course also generated considerable interest in China. They were invited to a press conference and featured in more than 20 newspapers. They also appeared on Shanghai Morning News and were the feature of a documentary being made by CCTV, China’s national broadcaster.LYIT HAILED FOR ‘DOING THE BUSINESS’ ON CHINESE COURSE was last modified: May 8th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:BusinessChinadonegalLYITlast_img read more

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