Over 90 students and alumni attended our Global Careers in China event at Central Saint Martins on 1 February 2017.

The event began with two parallel workshops.

The first workshop was for Chinese students returning to China, and was headed up by Jiang Li, Greater Asia Marketing Manager for G-Star RAW, and Jillian Liu, Marketing Manager at Lane Crawford China. Jiang and Jillian offered their tips and advice about how to find jobs in both China and the UK, as well as a valuable insight into the decision behind staying in London or returning to China to work.

The second workshop was for students that have never worked in China before. This session was delivered by Oliver Pearce, Founder and President of the UAL Shanghai Alumni Association and Global Marketing Director at ReneSola Ltd, and Joe Oliver, Change Agent and Founder of the UAL Beijing Alumni Association.

Oliver and Joe led an illuminating discussion about the realities of life in China, including accommodation, visas, culture and the language.

The workshops were followed by a welcome talk for all from Oliver, who explained that the UAL China Alumni Association represents the interests of more than 4000 UAL alumni living and working in China. As an unpaid volunteer, Oliver now wishes to support alumni with their career development, and to help them overcome some of the challenges he once faced. He described the association as a creative family dedicated to helping alumni thrive in their careers in China and beyond. They aim to promote connections, jobs and business opportunities, organise cultural and educational events and to connect alumni through social activities.

Following this Arnold Ma, CEO of Qumin, the UK’s largest Chinese digital marketing agency, delivered a keynote speech about the current projects he is working on and the real impact his ideas are making in the UK, China and beyond.

The evening continued with a panel discussion chaired by Adam Watling, UAL Careers Manager. Oliver, Joe, Jiang, Jillian and Arnold were joined by Philip Dodd, Chairman of Made in China, Di Wu, UX Senior Consultant at UBS, Ye Li, Digital Designer at Burberry and Micky Wang, Co-Founder of Knit Planet. They discussed their working life in China and what it’s like to be a creative professional in that region. They agreed that there is a significant creative jobs market in China, particularly with the creation of 1200 museums in the next 5 years. They debated the types of skills alumni need in order to be relevant in China, and it emerged that the most valuable skill is being able to speak both good English and  Mandarin. They emphasised the importance of networking, and explained how social media has revolutionised this aspect of their career. Finally, they revealed that a creative education gained in the UK, and specifically from UAL, is very sought after within the creative sector in China.

The event concluded with a networking reception, giving guests the chance to meet and form connections with the panel, who offered their advice and expertise.

To find out more about the UAL China Alumni Association, please visit our website