developing global trade leaders
through trade scholarships & careers

Sally Yan

Mainland China

Hong Kong Baptist University

Bachelor of Business Administration

Class of 2012

Alumna

AlumnaSally Yan during her Internship with Global Sources Hong Kong Accounts pictured with colleague.

Being brought up in rural areas in mainland China, I have witnessed people suffering from poverty since childhood. Consequently, it is my goal to devote for a better society, especially for the alleviation of the disadvantaged lives in my hometown. Though I have been a part of the Hinrich Foundation Global Trade Scholars for one year, I feel from the bottom of my heart that I have learned a lot from different people.

Study in Hong Kong Baptist University

If somebody ever asked me what the most unforgettable thing in my university life is, I would immediately reply, “Being a Hinrich scholar!” I feel greatly honored that I could have this precious opportunity explore the world from a different angle and meet many other like-minded individuals. It is the solid financial support and the mission of the organization that attracted me to apply for the Hinrich Scholarships.

Internship at Global Sources

In both October 2010 and April 2011, I acted as a temporary helper at Asia Sourcing fair show held by Global Sources. Short as 2 days were, the experience in trade exhibition was not only exciting but also helpful.

Unlike the stereotype that doing promotion was easy and boring; I found it fun and challenging as it required many skills. Even the simplest booth installation was much more complex than I expected, let alone others. By no means was it easy for me, but I gradually learnt to adapt to and absorb from it. The 2-day exhibition showed me how a successful marketing person should be. First of all, s/he must have an all-rounded understanding of the products and second, creativity also counts! Third, it is more of an art than of science as it requires creativity as well as outstanding speaking skills.

Apart from the trade show, I was also offered the opportunity to work in Global Sources, a partner of Hinrich Foundation. Starting from this March, my Global Sources internship has taught me a lot. Of course my time was nearly fully occupied by study and work in last semester, but I really enjoyed the time of devoting my heart and soul to absorb what I was interested in.

I worked in Global Sources Accounts Department which is located in Hong Kong. Representing all departments and business units, the Hong Kong team is composed of a diverse group of team members working to make the world better through global trade. Among them is our accounts department, which is responsible for all the financial and accounting work globally. Our main daily duty is to facilitate all the trade shows and magazine advertisements from financial angle. For instance, we need to prepare collection summary and other collection reports, handle and process refund applications, assist in billing closing & commission calculation, etc.

During 3 months in Global Sources, I was lucky enough to be provided the chance to work under different teams in Accounts Department, which allowed me to get a relatively all-rounded understanding of the main business. At the very beginning, I was assigned the clerical task such as filing, photocopying. Many fellows may hold the opinion that filing was unexciting and unimportant; notwithstanding, I regarded it as a good opportunity to pick up my duty quickly. The documents to be filed were the finished work of current staff, which reflected what the company was doing, what the company structure was and how many business lines there were. By reading it and categorizing them, I was able to have a quick glimpse of the whole picture.

After getting familiar with the main business, I was asked to prepare the “cost analysis”. It was the allocation of the daily expenses in order to better control the cost. Instead of simply following the instructions mechanically, it was an opportunity to make an impression: my supervisor gave me the right to adjust and add new items in the report where appropriate. As an intern, I really appreciated it and considered it as a signal of trust and acceptance.

Except for the above mentioned, I was deeply impressed by corporation culture and the harmonious atmosphere as well.

Hong Kong office is where Global Sources began in 1971. Unlike many big corporations which have complicated hierarchies and office politics, Global Sources is a big and warm family which offers its staff a comfortable and caring environment. In accord with what HF Director Alex Boome told me in the interview, people here use their wisdom and knowledge instead of office politics.

Despite the fact that I was just a new comer; the colleagues involved me in their circle even from the first week. Every day at work I fully enjoyed the time getting on with them, working, eating and chatting with them. We may at times ordered take-away food and have small gatherings in the office, which was certainly unforgettable memory for me. Meanwhile, the experienced supervisor and considerate colleagues all helped me get adapted to the new environment soon. They were always by my side whenever I met obstacles.

In addition to the internship in Global Sources, I also got another precious learning opportunity in February from FOSCT (Future of US China Trade. Com). FOSCT is a website focuses on US-China trade, collecting up-to-date news and providing in-depth comments. Ms. Molly Castelazo, the Director of FOSCT, asked me to assist to collect news from ten assigned websites every week and write a summary update. Irrelevant as it may appear at first glimpse, it kept bringing me much information about the latest economic news, which was a great help for my study in Finance. What’s more, the commentary and analysis also taught me practical as well as unique ways to look at the current market.

Undoubtedly it was hard and demanding for an inexperienced student like me, but it was absolutely worthy of all the sweats and endeavors, for I have learned skills beyond textbook, made friends with colleagues, and also built a clearer map of Global Sources’ main business. Those skills and knowledge are much more valuable, at least in terms of my future career path, than words printed on textbook.

Consequently, I really appreciate the experience of joining the Hinrich Foundation, which not only released my financial burden, but also advanced knowledge and essential skills, broadened my horizons, expanded my social circle and with enhanced myself from various angles. With the mission of “Promoting global sustainable trade”, I have confidence that the Hinrich Foundation will continue to attract more and more talented students, passing their positive message on and give them a brighter future.