Global Graduates Spotlight: Hong Kong

Grace Bullas, third year English Literature student, shares her experience of the Global Graduates programme, Hong Kong, and takes what she’s gained into her final year at Manchester and beyond.

Over the summer I was fortunate to take part in what became the most inspiring week of my University career so far; a funded scheme called the Global Graduates programme. This exclusive experience offers students the chance to visit a whole range of fascinating host cities around the globe, meeting with alumni and gaining an insight into international working cultures. After a rigorous application and then group assessment process, to my delight I had been placed on the trip to Hong Kong!

My visit in Hong Kong consisted of meetings, social events and dinners with a range of welcoming and fascinating Manchester alumni. The alumni we met were so happy to answer our questions, ranging from the simplest to the sensitive. Simply meeting these driven and inspiring individuals has played an invaluable part in my understanding of their organisations, career pathways and success stories.

Participating in the Global Graduates programme is a unique fusion between personal development and professional employability that lies at the very heart of the experience.

Regardless of their sectors, be it property, architecture, energy, banking, transport or business, one thing was certain; they all had a passion for what they do. There is no doubt that by meeting with these motivated business men and women I have tested and reinforced my interpersonal, networking and communication skills. Listening to their advice and absorbing the common emphasis on interaction, it is now even more apparent to me that building and maintaining a strong web of connections will be indispensable to my future career journey.

I not only learnt this from the alumni but also from the other students on the trip, as we worked together to navigate around the city, prepare research for meetings and communicate with professionals. Together we had the exciting opportunity to explore the city itself. We admired the smoky temples, the street markets, the beaches, the glowing promenade and we even made a trip over to Macau. The city’s vast scale and volume of high-rise buildings, its technicolour parade of lights and the buzz of animation exceeded all of my expectations. By visiting Hong Kong in specific, I have come to realise that global opportunities are more accessible, feasible and realistic than I had originally thought.

This unique experience is one that has undoubtedly strengthened my future aspirations of working internationally and has furnished me with a whole portfolio of employable skills. I have had the invaluable chance of fostering a transferable global mindset and am now aware of the tangible opportunities available to me on a global level.

Participating in the Global Graduates programme is a unique fusion between personal development and professional employability that lies at the very heart of the experience. It has been organised by an incredibly hardworking team of staff and exists due to the generous support of alumni donors- all to whom I am wholeheartedly thankful for this experience. My week as a Global Graduate is one I am certain I will never forget and as such, I sincerely hope this programme continues to run for many years to come.