【Student】IBMBAｘUB Double Degree Student Harisatul Agustin has won The Best Paper Award at AASE Conference
Harisatul Agustin has enrolled our IBMBA since September 2019 and has been actively working on her research with Professor Yih Jeng, and her home university supervisor, Professor Suhadak, to develop this Best Paper Award research “The Construction of ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) Portfolio Investment and a Comparative Analysis of ESG Portfolio Performance on Indonesia Stock Indices.
Harisatul first thought to propose a topic related to The Impact of Corporate Governance, Financial Sustainability, and Corporate Social Responsibility on Investor Decision Making in January 2020 and she appreciated Professor Yih Jeng guided her to execute a more empirical study related to the ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) Portfolio Investment. Choosing Indonesia as the object of the research with the Emerging Market background, we believe this research could be wreaked sustainability effort for investors and business players in Indonesia.
“I was on fire writing this paper owing that this is an obvious novelty to Indonesia” said Harisatul, she seemed find the research topic very passionate and devoted most of her time on it. And it paid off that she won The Best Paper Awards on the 24th of March! And later on, she discovered a pretty big Asset Manager called MSCI has launched the ESG Index for Indonesia on 31st of March, for sure this is the first ESG Index that publically launched so far. Although the methods they used are different from our research, it remains the potential to continue this valuable research.
“For me, this is a lesson learned that ideas could come up from whoever you met and wherever you were, but how the result would be depends on the efforts poured” said Harisatul.
Although the conference conduction was not totally gratifying due to the outbreaks of Covid-19, some agendas could not be implemented such as field trip, seminar, and gala dinner, it is still such a pleasure to meet many international scholars who came from different fields of schools and listen to the reviewer’s critics and suggestions also other participant’s questions in a ‘social and physical distancing’ periods.
It is surely an unforgettable and memorable conference experience for Harisatul and we Congratulates her again on earning The Best Paper Award!
【Partner School】IBMBA students’ Experience of The International Helsinki Days 2020
Shared By IBMBA 108 鄒雯鈞(Jean)、林琨晧(Bruce)、程心蕾(Kelly)
What were some of the highlights of the whole week?
Every day was very intense, so we could learn a lot from the speeches and activities! I really liked each of the activity they held, but if I have to choose then: 1.Sitsit: Sitsit or “Sittning” is an academic tradition in Finland and Sweden. Normally the meal is prepared and served by students who often spend some time working at their union or nation. The number of dishes varies, but three courses are common, and alcohol is usually included. A vital part of a student sittning is singing. The guests are usually given a booklet with songs that will be sung during the sittning. Everyone sings when a song is brought up, and songs are often related to the current progress of the sittning. Sittnings often begin with a certain song and end with another, songs are sung when drinking snaps, and there is often a song to honor the students serving and cooking.
Thus, the IHD team held total four sits for us, one for welcome dinner, another one in the cottage, then farewell dinner and Valentine’s sitsit. These activities are the most unforgettable part for us, because there is no other chance to experience it even if travelling in Finland alone. Through the event held by Hanken School of Economics, we could have this precious experience.
2.The cottage experience: Staying in the cottage for two days in natural forest is also an important way to let us know Finnish culture more. In the holiday seasons, Finns flock to the countryside for quietness and relaxation at cozy hideouts. Often situated by water or falls, cabins and cottages are essential elements in Finnish life that provide a physical and mental getaway from the daily grind. Forgetting the everyday worries is inevitable in retreats amid the country’s greatest resource: its rugged natural beauty.
During the time in the cottage, we not only played a lot of games to increase every member’s cohesion also we got a chance to do “Sauna”, which was a crazy activity ever! We went inside the heating room to get warm and went out to the snow. Due to the climate change, it didn't have any snow at that time so we decided to jump into the lake which was frozen.
3.The company visit: We visited three companies during this week. First, Miltton, one of biggest marketing consultants company in Finland and they are still growing. Another one is “Fazer”, the biggest chocolate brand in Finland, we had a short guide in its headquarter and its factory. And, Nordea, the Nordic investment bank which is an international financial institution founded in the mid-1970s by the five Nordic countries. It was a precious experience that we could visit Nordic companies, and that is also a good chance to compare with Asian companies, which we can point out the difference between.
What were the highlights of Finland?
Altogether we spent 10 days in Finland. We spent one week in Helsinki attending the event, taking a look at all the famous tourist place, for instance, rock church and central library are really worth to visit. Also, the salmon soup which is the must eat list for every tourist. Then the other three days we took the Polar Express train to the north city “Rovaniemi” where we visited the Santa Claus village, and had a reindeer ride. It was just like the dream come true.
What interesting things did you learn about Finnish culture?
1.Not much talking and Finns need some personal space: Finns naturally keep their distance to other people, especially when it comes to those they don’t personally know. From a Finnish perspective, we would say it makes us feel they are being polite and not disturbing others. For example, when in a bus, Finns only sit next to another person when all possible window seats are taken, and they will start filling up the aisle seats.
2.Eating habit “Help yourself”: IHD team organized one local host for every guest. For example, I, Kelly, stay with one of the Finnish student who is from Hanken School of Economics. At the first day I arrived, he invited me to go to supermarket and bought some grocery together. After going back to his apartment, when the dinner time was, he started to cook spaghetti which I thought he was making the dinner for us, so I even started to film and record when he was cooking. However, he ate them all by himself. It was such a culture shock and I realized that if I didn't tell him I wanted to eat the meal together, then he would just prepare for his own need.
The story above was kind of a different experience between two western cultures which I compare with my experience of staying with my American homestay.
Would you suggest this opportunity for other IBMBA students? Why/why not?
Yes we would suggest it! It is an absolutely unique experience with 34 delegates from 18 countries all over the world. This never or seldom happens that you can meet people from so many countries in one place. Everyone wants to explore different culture and build a network, thus, it’s definitely a good chance to expand your horizon. Plus, you just need to pay for flight ticket and other personal expense and accommodation and meal fee are covered. The last but not least, if you go to Finland by yourself or join the tour group, you probably would not have chance to visit Nordic companies or experience the traditional Finnish university student culture.
What did you learn?
From the corporate visiting experience, we learn how the Nordic model and value work successfully in Nordic countries and what other people think of the advantage of Nordic value can success in their country. Both let us have more ability in critical thinking and come up with ideas out of the box.
In conclusion, during the special event we mentioned above, we learned a lot of Finnish cultures that local people have in Finland, for instance, the eating habit, the cottage and sauna experience and the traditional “Sitsit”. Besides, when all the guests around the world together, we learned each other’s language, political situation in their countries, how their business models work, or even their special traditions, etc. One week was just too short to get so many interesting things we would say as a conclusion!
How can you apply what you learned to your time in the IBMBA program?
During this event, we learn some Nordic values from the companies, mutual respect, personal space, and trust, which we think are worthy to bring back. It doesn‘t mean that Taiwanese students or corporates are not equipped with those characteristics, but it is just like corporate social responsibility which everyone knows but sometimes we forget to do it. The main point is how we implement these ideas in the real life, especially in our IBMBA program where we have lots of international students. We sometimes want to take good care of them with the excuses of being passionate, so we control everything and do everything for them. Thus, we invade their personal space and break the mutual respect as they see us as a complete human, same in the local companies. So we hope we can keep this experience in mind and use it whenever we are in school or in company.
◎IBMBA學生(左起) Jean, Bruce, Kelly
Is there anything you would like to change about the event?
For most of the part, the IHD week was so amazing and perfect, we really appreciated what they organized for us, but if some part can be adjust, it will be better.
Firstly, before we arrived Finland, they already planned every guests to have their own Finnish host. When we see the host information, we were shocked due to Kelly’s and Jean’s hosts were guys, which means that two girls would stay with their Finns hosts who just met for the first time for whole week, and we were all afraid of the safety problem. But luckily, our hosts were all gentle and friendly.
Secondly, we hope that they can increase more corporate visits and guest speakers. Otherwise the event will be like focusing on cultural exchange as the main part.
【Partner School】GHRM MBA Justine’s Experience at The International Helsinki Days 2020
November 6, 2019 is the date when our College of Management International Relations announced that there will be a one-week event that will be held in Helsinki, Finland. I thought at first it would be impossible for a student like me to apply for the said event. I am just dependent with my scholarship and my scholarship allowance and travelling to Europe would cost so much. I rethought of it and realized that nothing is impossible. I looked onto their website, read everything in there, and got my hopes up. One that captured my attention is that the conference will provide the accommodation as well as several meals. Of course, I have to be practical. Finland is one of the most expensive countries, so the budget for the accommodation and meals must be taken into consideration. Then here comes the most interesting part, “consulting”. One of conferences’ partners is the Miltton, a consulting firm. Consultancy is one of the things I would want to do after graduation. After searching about the company and the conference, it got me so interested so I want to give it a shot! The application for the program is not that difficult compared with the other conferences I’ve applied before. The organizers only require the following information: Full Name, Gender, Date of birth, Nationality, Telephone number, University and Major, Year of graduation, Allergies, T-shirt size, Emergency contact (name + telephone number), a picture and a description of yourself, and questions like “Do you have travel insurance?”, “Have you visited Finland before?”, “Describe Finland in three words”, “Why should we choose you for the seminar?”, “What do you expect from the IHD week?”
◎Justine(second from left)
In all honesty, this conference has the easiest application process I have encountered. All the information they were asking can be sent in just one e-mail. The organizers also stated in their website, “Please feel free to be creative and include video clips, pictures or other media in your application” So I thought of doing something extra. Since I can do video editing, I decided to make a video for my application. In reality, it only takes a day or two to make a video for this one, but midterms and other course requirements made me so busy that I almost forgot about the application. A month after, I still haven’t submitted my application. I was then discouraged by that time to apply, because I felt it was already too late. Realizations came in on the 16th of December, the day of the deadline. My friend encouraged me to give it a shot. So, we brainstormed and come up with unique ideas. She filmed me and I did the editing. It took me three hours to finish the video and finally submitted it. It was a shot in the moon since I was able to submit it at 3 AM on the 17th of December. I told them that I hope my submission would still be accepted because of the time difference. Because technically, it is still the 16th of December in Finland by the time I submitted my application.
Four days after, 21st of December, I received an e-mail that I got accepted! It was hard to believe at first, definitely, and of course, doubts came in. I’ve never been to Europe. Plus, the budget, it would be impossible for me to afford the flight ticket. As a less-frequent traveler, and someone who haven’t experienced any long flights before (I didn’t even know how it feels to be ‘jetlagged’), I assumed that the flight ticket to Finland costs 100,000 NTD (which is over-reacting, I know). But when I checked the flight tickets in Skyscanner, it’s around 25,000 NTD. Jane, who is also on the same program as me, and also got accepted in the IHD, taught me to split the flights to save money. Like travelling to HK first, then from HK to Finland, which is actually much cheaper. It made me convince even more to really pursue for the conference.
Another discouragement? Visa difficulty. As a Filipino passport holder, I would be needing a visa upon entering Finland. Taiwanese are very lucky since they don’t need to obtain a visa. And that’s the reason why they don’t actually have any visa processing centers for Finland in Taiwan. The nearest application center is definitely my home country, the Philippines. But I know how centers in the Philippines work, apart from the time being, there are a lot of uncertainties. So, I considered Hong Kong. Since I’ve never been to Hong Kong, I guess I would give it a try. I’m also lucky in a way since my thesis adviser who lives in Hong Kong gave me a place to stay on the days I was staying in her country.
Before coming to Hong Kong, I’ve prepared the requirements for Schengen visa for Study, Sports, Conference or Professional Training. The Schengen visa is the required visa for those who wish to enter the Schengen Area which includes Finland. Requirements include the application form, to be accomplished online, photograph, passport/travel document, travel insurance, invitation letter from the institution in Finland, travel insurance, letter from the sending university, flight reservation, and proof of sufficient subsistence (bank statement). I’ve written a separate article about these requirements for visa application. But all of these requirements are also clearly stated in the website of VFS Global, the application center for Schengen Visa to Finland in Hong Kong.
I was able to prepare all the requirements in less than two weeks. I sent an email to the organizers about the invitation letter, and they were able to provide it to me in three days. Regarding the invitation letter from the university, I appreciated our College of Management program Director Sharon Wang and Ms. Cindy Lin, International Programs Manager who helped me, including the letter and the visa requested insurance recommendations. Regarding the booking reservation, some airlines provide a book now, pay later option. In my case, I booked Turkish Airlines, since it has the cheapest flight ticket.
After I consolidated all the requirements, I booked an appointment to the visa center and booked a flight as well to Hong Kong. I had to pay an amount of 80 euros (HKD 690 or NT$ 2,600) for the processing. They asked me to wait for three weeks or less for the decision. After three weeks, I got an email that my visa got approved. I checked the airline tickets to finally buy the ticket. In the end, I ended up with British Airlines, since booking reservations only last for a week. As my flight date gets closer and closer, I expected higher rates for flights, but by the time I checked again, BA had the cheapest one. I then flew to Hong Kong again to get my visa. After I got my visa, I stayed in Hong Kong for few more days waiting for my flight to Finland. It was also hard for me to go around in Hong Kong, because of the virus outbreak. So, I just stayed in my adviser’s place and I only go out if I need to buy food.
The application process is actually easy, but then the visa processing made it complicated. All the hassles and hardships are totally worth it since Finland is really a beautiful country. According to the United Nations Report, it is the happiest country in the world. The people there are very friendly and kind. The event itself gives us exposure to the best of the best companies in Finland. The most well-known confectionary company in Finland, Fazer, the largest financial institution in Northern Europe, Nordea, and also a consulting firm with a big reputation, Miltton. It is a privilege for us delegates to be able to visit all these organizations. And thanks to the organizers of the conference, we had the chance to learn, at the same time, enjoy our stay in Finland. So, to anyone who is reading this and is doubting whether you would like to submit an application in IHD, I highly suggest you do so. It could be one of the best things in your life! Make your submission incredible, and you’ll get accepted. Good luck!
【Interview】Double Degree Program Student：Sandrine Letrilliart (IBMBA x ESSCA)
“In addition to the high ranking academic record, I was also fascinated with NSYSU’s great campus life, where I could immerse myself with nature and make more friends from all over the world. About the program, apart from diversified business courses, I could learn Mandarin and join the association” our ESSCA double degree student Sandrine said.
Sandrine is a French-Brazilian parentage, and she has lived and studied in both countries. Her favorite sport is tennis, and she has been playing it since she was a child. Sandrine believes that it is essential to broaden her knowledge in other fields other than her major, so she starts to explore and present more about the circular economy.
In France, Sandrine pursued her studies at ESSCA – École Supérieure des Sciences Commerciales d’Angers and took her Master’s Degree in International Supply Chain and Purchasing. After two years of studying commercial and doing an internship in a company dealing with a majority of Asian suppliers and customers in Paris, she realized how important it was to graduate from a prestigious Asian University. An Asian University could bring her the knowledge and the intercultural skills that she would need to develop her international career. By that time, her university was in a partnership with National Sun Yat-sen University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan, and she was offered to join the IBMBA Program.
At NSYSU, being a dedicated student in the class, Sandrine let her hair down by participating in the NSYSU Dragon Boat Team and taking some archery class. She was also involved in the outdoor events, which were held by the university every year, such as the Food Festival, Intercultural Festival, or Music Festival. Sandrine’s impression of the events and activities is well-organized, diverted, and joyful.
Talking about the difficulties during her time studying in Taiwan, Sandrine mentioned the differences between cultures. Taiwan’s culture is much different from where she came from, and it took her quite a long time to adapt to the new environment. Thankfully, with the support from the administration team and her Taiwanese buddy, she finally could acclimate to the new environment and learn how to work appropriately in Taiwan.
Before joining the IBMBA program, Sandrine had two internship experiences. Her first internship was working as a Web-marketing assistant in The French Alliance of Curitiba in Brazil. Her second internship related to Commercial B2B, she was a wholesaler ready-to-wear industry in Paris.
After she studied at NSYSU, she is currently working as a Sales Engineer in Faurecia company, which is the leader in the automotive industry. Faurecia is well-known as a manufacturer of car seats, exhaust systems, and car interior systems. This company has implemented all over the world with a turnover of 22 billion euros per year, so Sandrine believes she is evolving in a very challenging and multicultural work environment. She stated that the study at NSYSU not only helps her develop her career in Asia but also in the International working environment.
Sharing her advice to the current and upcoming students of NSYSU, Sandrine emphasized that along with the study, students shall also involve in extracurricular activities, such as joining the student association, side project and making more connections, friends from over the world, since NSYSU is a tremendous international environment. （Interviewer: Alex）
【Interview】Double Degree Program Alumni：Maxime Calot (IBMBAxESSCA)
Maxime Calot Originally from France Dual Award Alumni of NSYSU/ESSCA in Taiwan and France, 2015
The National Sun Yat-sen University offers a wide array of dual degree programs in which students can participate for an additional degree. One of such alumni was Maxime Calot from France, who came to Taiwan in 2014 from Ecole Superieure des Sciences Commerciales d’Angers (ESSCA), France to study IBMBA Program. Zhanna Samodurova, the President of the Students Association of the International Program, conducted an interview with Maxime and asked a few questions about his experience.
Could you please tell us a bit more about yourself?
Sure, no problem. Thank you for having me. I am French, was born and grown up in Paris. I started my bachelor in ESSCA school, which is located in the West part of France. Eventually, around 20 years old, I started moving abroad to do my internships and the thoughts about getting my Master degree came to my mind as a logical next step for my future life and career. Therefore, I started looking for a suitable program for me and found Dual Degree Program at NSYSU in Taiwan for my first time.
Why did you choose NSYSU? Were you considering other countries as an option to get your Dual Degree?
To be honest, I do not remember what other options my school suggested, probably some countries in Europe. Anyhow, I was always very interested in Asia, and Taiwan for me was a great chance to explore this part of the world by my own. I was deeply attracted by this amazing country, the Kaohsiung city and campus of NSYSU very much. Therefore, I checked courses that NSYSU offers for students immediately and made my decision of coming to Taiwan.
As you mentioned courses of the school, would you recall what your favorite class(es) and professor(s) were during the program?
I remember, that I had to choose my classes when I arrived. But what I really loved about courses is that I was able to learn new things and different things comparing with what I had been studying in France. I took several courses at College of Management, such as Business Ethics, International Human Resource Management and Global Supply Chain Management. Also, all courses that related to politics which fits my interest, as a result, I also took few courses from College of Social Science at NSYSU. Oh, and Chinese courses offered by NSYSU Chinese Language Center, of course! Chinese was amazing as well. I will never forget that kind of experience.
How do you find studying at NSYSU compare to at ESSCA? What is the main difference from your point of view?
Talking about educational part, I would say in Taiwan is more flexible. I believe it can be explained by the fact that Taiwanese professors trust students more than in France. Most of the time, European teachers are more suspicious. I remember that it was a lot of trust and confidence with professors from NSYSU. Apart from that, I would mention the flexibility of choosing your own courses. I think all of those facts contributed a lot to the fact that we loved the classes.
Let’s talk about your job experience. Did you have any internships during studying? Was it hard for you to find a job after getting Dual Degree Diploma?
I did not do any internships while studying in Taiwan. However, I did some during my whole education period at companies, such as Microsoft BeLux and Openfield. At Microsoft I was on the position of Windows & Surface sales representative. My top missions were field sales at various Microsoft & partner events, competition analysis and benchmarks, and also event organization and internal communication lead on Windows-related topics. Anyhow, I studied in France for 6 months after NSYSU, and I think that my experience in Taiwan helped me most by demonstrating the cultural shift. It had been as well as working in different environments. Currently, I am an Advisor for large corporates to develop their digital marketing activities in sub-Saharan Africa, at Google.
Would you recommend this program to your friends and future Master Degree students?
Yes, absolutely. I think, it is a wonderful opportunity to open your mind and learn something new about different culture. And I can tell that Taiwanese culture is amazing. Additionally, I am sure that Taiwan is “super-welcome” land to everyone. Therefore, I would definitely recommend this school and this program specifically to everyone.
The International Program Office and the Students Association (SA) invited Ms. Irene Chiang, a New Products Introduction (NPI) Material Lead in Merry Electronics Co. Ltd. to share with our students some very important information about how to prepare yourself for “real” life after graduation.
The format of the lecture was a live stream video on the Facebook page of the SA, where everyone could join the lecture and ask in live mode any questions they were interested in. Laura Chiang（the Vice President of SA） and Dang Phuong Thao（the Vice President of SA） had reserved the classroom at the College and provided the guest lecturer all necessary equipment for this online session.
During the lecture, Irene explained to students what to expect after graduation, how long the “job hunting’ period normally takes and, also, insider tips about creating your CV and process of job interview. Apart from that, she gave an example about how it is important to fully understand all components and details of the product that you market. In our comprehensive job-market, you must be professional in an area you would like to work. Irene told students that at some point she felt that she was missing some specific knowledge about components of the produced material, so she asked her manager to put her as an intern in the R & D Department at the company in order to fill this gap and be even more professional.
In addition, she talked about the importance of time management, since their company is international and they are working with people all over the world with different time schedules. Irene emphasized the need for proper behavior in such situations and, whenever possible, people need to make it clear to colleagues that their time spent on work is very valuable.
Apart from that, the SA provided the 7/11 coupons to the first five students who were very active and asked questions. Those students are Le Ngoc Bich Thuy(李珊), Truong Lam Huong(張藍香), Arissa(蔡侑珊), Lillian(葉麗亞), Zhanna Samodurova(章安娜), and Lucy(吳柔賢). Most of the questions from students were devoted to the topic of interviews with HR and proper behavior. Additionally, future graduates were curious about gaining job experience and the best work field for this.We are grateful Irene Chiang for sharing with NSYSU students her unique experience. Hope we will have luck to meet her again!
Currently, the live video lecture is saved on the Facebook page of SA. For those who missed it, there is always a chance to check it out there or use the link：https://www.facebook.com/SA.NSYSU.KAOHSIUNG/videos/870541673413074/
“Having worked as an engineer for a while, I realized that I wanted to pursue my career in Project Management. From my observation, many engineers either advance technical knowledge and skills or specialize in the management field. Since I was very familiar with Taiwan, I wanted to experience life here and also to speed up my career development. While looking for a master’s program, I found that the IBMBA program in NSYSU was the best choice that suited my need.”, said Paskal Semerdzhiev, one of our outstanding alumni from IBMBA, College of Management, National Sun Yat-sen University.
With the background as an engineer, the knowledge from IBMBA was brand-new to Paskal, since he had no experience with the management and business fields before. However, thanks to the helpfulness of the administration team and professors, Paskal could successfully overcome many difficulties and achieve his Master’s Degree. “Each professor has their teaching style; they were all experts in their field and were willing to help when needed.”, said Paskal.
NSYSU’s location is one of the most fascinating and memorable things to Paskal. He believes that there are not so many universities in the world, which have the ocean view, and people can watch the sunset every day by the beach.
Paskal is now back in the Netherlands and working at ASML. His current position is “EUV Upgrades Coordinator.” As an Upgrades Coordinator, he is responsible for the day-to-day operations of such upgrades – following the progress of engineers, arranging the needed materials, and interfacing with different departments. The machines that his company sells to customers need improved performance every couple of years (for every new generation of microchips). According to Paskal, an upgrade can be considered a project, and it involves lots of hardware actions, so each project may take months to complete.
Talking about the job-hunting process, Paskal thinks companies have different requirements, and specific positions will require specific training. He believes the IBMBA program in NSYSU provided him knowledge about the business environment, and it helped him develop his career and be prepared for the job.
“As someone without any business or management experience, and minimal prior working experience, it was not easy to find a job that is directly related to management. However, I found the best possible next step – as a coordinator, my background as an engineer helps; most of my responsibilities are related to administration and interfacing with stakeholders. The NSYSU diploma is a ticket to get in the job market, and your motivation and experience are what matter after you are in”, said Paskal.
Sharing advices to the current and future students, Paskal mentioned networking as the first thing to keep in mind. In NSYSU, students will have the chance to meet people from all over the world and work with professors, who have many connections to the local business. If students want to work in Taiwan, remember to take those opportunities to build the network because they might be the ones who help you to find jobs. Second, if students are someone who will probably go back home after the study, spend more time to experience the local culture. Lastly, if students have a chance to work with a local company – take it. It will be a valuable asset in any future job.
Paskal is from Bulgaria. He achieved his Bachelor’s Degree, specialized in Electrical Engineering, in Hanze University of Applied Sciences in Groningen, Netherlands. After that, he moved to Eindhoven to work as an engineer for three years at ASML before pursuing his Master’s Degree at NSYSU. ASML is the biggest supplier of lithography equipment for the semiconductor industry. During his time working as an engineer at ASML, he had to visit the company’s customers, and the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) was one of them. He worked mainly in Tainan and spent some time in Kaohsiung before studying at IBMBA.
Interviewee: Paskal Semerdzhiev Interviewer: Dang Phuong Thao - Alex (IBMBA & GHRM MBA Students Association Vice President)
【Interview】Double Degree Program Alumni：Sandy Chen (IBMBAxESSCA)
Sandy Chen Originally from Taiwan Grew up in the USA Finished Dual Degree Program at NSYSU in Taiwan, 2016 Double Degree in ESSCA, France
The National Sun Yat-sen University offers a wide array of dual/double degree programs in which students can participate for an additional degree. One of such students was Sandy Chen from Taiwan who got her first degree in IBMBA Program at NSYSU and second one at Ecole Superieure des Sciences Commerciales d’Angers (ESSCA) in International Business in France. Zhanna Samodurova, the President of the Students Association of the International Program, conducted an interview with Sandy and asked a few questions about her experience.
-Hi Sandy! Thank you for having a call with me. Could you please tell us how you chose this program for your Master degree?
Hi Zhanna! Thanks for having me as well. Absolutely! After graduating from college, I was not one hundred percent sure of my next step, but getting a master's degree always interested me. Thus, I began to look for possible options for myself and came across a Master's program offered by NSYSU. Without hesitation, I decided to enter this university, which was the best decision in my life so far.
-What did you like the most about IBMBA Program?
I have got the chance to meet a lot of people. One of the best things about MBA program in general is having the diversity of people, and NSYSU MBA is not an exception. Saying this, I mean not only students but international professors as well. Additionally, department offers students extra curriculums to do like the Students Association activities, for instance, or to find a job as a research assistant or TA (teacher assistant). It really does allow you to explore more. As for outside activities, the school suggests different Dual Degree Programs. When I was there, we had two opportunities to go abroad: ESSCA in France and ACT Program (Austria, Canada, Taiwan).
-What was the reason you chose ESSCA for going abroad?
The reason why I went for ESSCA is the fact that I have never been in Europe. Thus, I have got lucky to be chosen as a participant in this Program. Now, I can say, that experience was definitely unforgettable. At the beginning, I had some concerns, of course, because everything was new for me there but in the end, everything worked well. Everyone was friendly and encouraging, and I had a great time learning from my French classmates. In addition, I was able to find the time for travelling. Luckily, I managed to stay half of a year in Hungary, and the second half in France. So, it helped me a lot to actually learn the culture.
-How do you find studying in NSYSU compare to ESSCA? What is the main difference from your point of view?
To be fair, I did not grow up in Taiwan, therefore, I might not have the perspective of difference between Taiwanese and European educational system as a local student but I could definitely say that hierarchy is pronounced in Taiwan. However, NSYSU is breaking out the more traditional learning and turn the studies to be more student oriented. Our lectures consisted of more discussions, communication, presentations. It definitely helped a lot of Taiwanese students transition to European in-classroom learning, as big portion of the class was built on public speaking, group work, and student discussions. IBMBA prepares Taiwanese students who are not used to this learning style very well.
-Let’s talk about your job experience. Was it hard for you to find a job after getting Dual Degree Diploma?
Well, from my point of view, I started finding a job a little bit late, right after my graduation. Thus, I would recommend future graduates to start doing this earlier because job hunting period will take a while. I have gotten pretty lucky since I got a job within 3 months. Currently, I am working at Semiconductor company in Sales Department. The headquarter is in Taiwan, but they have an American branch, that is why I am in California now. I was set on moving back to the United States after receiving my degrees, and semiconductor had always been an option because first of all, Taiwan thrives in the industry, and I thought my bicultural experiences would help me excel in the field; secondly, my dad had been working in the semiconductor industry for 30 years already. Another important criterion for the job for me was the opportunity to use Mandarin while working, because, as you know, if you do not speak language, it will go away, even though my mother tongue was Mandarin. I think my degrees did help me stand out from other candidate because the double-degree programs and the excellent leadership opportunities I’ve had at NSYSU helped flesh out my resume.
-Did you have any internships during studying?
Yes, I did. I finished my Master Degree in 3 years instead of 2. Thus, I had a chance to find perfectly suitable internship for me. My internship was in local bakery shop in Daliao as a Digital Marketing Intern. I remember that it was not very difficult for me to find that internship since I knew the Chief Operations Officer at the company, but I was very glad to get a position there because the duties that I had while being the intern were exactly what I was interested in. I managed the official social media outlets for the company and got a chance to run my own international outreach department. These experiences eventually helped me formulate my masters thesis. I was able to use my internship as a strong base for my paper. In total, I spent there 10 months and they offered me a full-time job at the end but, at that point of my life, I wanted to learn and explore more.
-Any advice you would give potential and current students
I would say: “Set small goals for yourself for each year”. For example, my first year’s goal was learning Taiwanese culture, since I didn’t grow up in Taiwan. Next year step for me was going abroad, therefore I applied to ESSCA. Finally, third year of my Master helped me built the understanding between being a student and looking for a job as a working member of the society. Apart from that, you will always be able to monitor your achievements and control if you grow somehow or not.
Respondent: Sandy Chen (IBMBA/ESSCA Double Degree Alumni, Class of 2016) Interviewer: Zhanna Samodurova (The President of Students Association, 2020) Date: 15/04/2020
【Visiting】Brogent Technologies - Fun is our business
On 30th April, Instructor of Asia Pacific Business Environment course, Professor Kim Choy Chung led students of IBMBA Program, NSYSU College of Management to visit the Brogent Technologies Company, which is in Kaohsiung software technology park.
In total, students rode two amazing attractions. First, they experienced “VR360 Fly High Over Taiwan”. They wore on the VR glasses and headsets and then started their awesome journey. They flew like an eagle, overlook the beauty of Taiwan. Second, they rode the attractions called “i- Ride”. The i-Ride Flying Theater features an electrical motion base with suspended seating. Seating on that chair, you will be pushed towards a giant dome screen. Your seats are very close to the screen which makes you have the feeling of virtually being there. What’s more, it also has the special effects like light, mist, sound, wind and smell which really stimulate your sense and can give you the immersive experience. In the film, we went to lots of famous tourist attractions in Kaohsiung. For example, Moon World, Love River, 85 Sky Tower, Dragon and Tiger Pagoda and Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum. When we went to Liuohe Tourist Night Market, we could hear the sound of selling and also smell the smell of night market. After riding all the attractions, companies took the pictures for students for memories for free.
After experiencing the two exciting attractions, we are pleasure to invite Jiang An, the director of International Business Development of technology company (also the alumni of NSYSU) to give us a fantastic lecture. In the beginning, he gave us the introduction of Brogent Technologies. Next, he shared some success cases with us. “Flyover Canada”, it reached 1 million visitors in 28 months, and was voted #1 Fun & Games in Vancouver by TripAdvisor. “Europa park- Voletarium”, the Europe’s largest flying theater. “This is Holland”, a stand alone attraction with 40 seats i-Ride. It worked with UNESCO to film Dutch world heritage sites.
After the lecture, Shabnam, the student form Iran, shared about her opinion “ The company sharing some of its strategies and plans was really helpful and I suggest that the Brogent Technologies can consider to shift to the middle east market as well.” Field trip to Brogent Technologies was a valuable experience and left good memories to all the students.