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We set off on the much-awaited company tour of Global Sources Shenzhen office on May 22, after wrapping up the school year. Assignments, examinations and term papers off our heads and ready to embark on internships and careers with Global Sources and Hinrich Foundation, we were relaxed but slightly nervous.

The 45-minute train journey to Shenzhen was over even before the seven-member team, hailing from Bangladesh, China, India and Vietnam immersed in discussions on Hong Kong experience, forthcoming travel plans and placements, realized.

Global Sources company tour 2
HF and VF scholars, alumni now working with Global Sources come together for a picture after lunch.

Global Sources company tour

The day-long tour turned out to be a perfect mix of fun and networking. After an elaborate and icebreaker lunch with Hinrich Foundation alumni now working in key positions with Global Sources, we headed to our destination as dark skies opened up turning the weather gloomy. But the office of Global Sources was anything but that. Swanky interiors, warm staff with plenty of targets and deadlines to meet, floor after floor we got to see how things work in a corporate set up. We realized it is definitely not a cakewalk.

Global Sources company tour
Chandler Shan talks to the scholars while showing a video on Global Sources.

Chandler Shan, HR professional with Global Sources, led the tour, helping us understand the businesses through a short video, a power point presentation followed by a question and answer session. He said GS gives utmost importance to employee well-being and incorporates fun activities periodically to make the work culture dynamic and open. The latest in line is the upcoming Badminton Championship. This allayed our fears that GS is all about work and no play.

Global Sources company tour 3
Chandler Shan talks about the magazines brought out by Global Sources to the scholars during the tour.

I personally was oblivious of the fact that GS, listed on NASDAQ since 2000, brings out 19 different industry-specific magazines and that they are popular in the industry circles. Being a journalism graduate, I was amazed.

My teammates were impressed. “It’s impressive to see the wonderful working environment and professional operations of Global Sources. I will start my internship here in a month and this tour exposed me to different departments, key operations and got to personally interact with my future colleagues,” said Wu Haoqi, HF scholar from mainland pursuing Bachelor of Business Administration at Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU).

For Chandu Gopalakrishnan, HF scholar from India pursuing Master of Arts in International Journalism also from HKBU, it was the first trip to the mainland. “Understanding a multinational corporation like Global Sources in close quarters was a different experience all together. What I saw was not a firm but a group of committed individuals working towards a common goal.”

As we left one floor and entered another in the high rise where GS operations are spread over five floors, we became more and more eager to work here. “The innovative reward system for high-performing employees is interesting and motivating,” said Mohammed Ramzan Miah, VF-HF scholar from Bangladesh pursuing M Sc in Manufacturing Systems Engineering at Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Global Sources company tour 4
Seven member team that made the office tour along with Chandler Shan, HR professional, Global Sources.

So is the case with Mohammed Mosaddeq Allama, VF-HF scholar from Bangladesh and Ramzan’s classmate. “Before this tour I was clueless about the business model of GS. I also like the employee-friendly culture. Meeting alumni was an icing on the cake.”

As we completed the tour, we realized it was time to go but for our teammates Wu Haoqi and Eileen Chow, who have their internships lined up with GS, they were going only to return.

About the author – Bushra Baseerat

Bushra Baseerat

Bushra Baseerat. she is a journalist from India, currently on a sabbatical, pursuing a master’s course in International Journalism at the Hong Kong Baptist University and upon graduation, she is contributing to Hinrich Foundation as export consultant, based in India.

She started her journalistic career with English daily The Times of India as a trainee journalist and continued with the biggest media house in India for nearly seven years rising to the rank of a special correspondent. She reported extensively on health and gender issues, climate change and wildlife among others.

During her stint with the English daily, she was awarded a fellowship by the Washington DC-based National Press Foundation for its Journalist2Journalist Program on “Lung Health Issues” held at Kuala Lumpur in November 2012.