Weiyi Xia is a Masters of International Business student from Shenzhen, China. She recently completed the MBS Global Business Practicum at NAB London.
"The [Global Business Practicum] really helped me to take a step further to know myself and most importantly, it let me know a bigger world"
Give us your overall thoughts on the Global Business Practicum?
It was one of the best experiences of my life because I've never thought that I could work in NAB London branch in the United Kingdom. As I’m an international student, it’s not easy for us to find an appropriate internships in a foreign country (like Australia) . Although I have internship experiences in China, the interview processes and company cultures are so different in the western world. I wanted to challenge myself and seize the chance to work in a big company in a foreign country, meanwhile, so this is a good way to identify my strengths and weaknesses
Q: What was the process of the GBP like?
A: The GBP program is about two weeks long to work in the host company plus the two days pre-departure classes at University. At the pre-departure classes, I got to know which company that I was assigned to and I also met my team members, three FBE students. The pre-departure classes were used to let us know our team members' personality quickly and what're our roles in the team. During the two-week study in NAB, I obtained a bigger picture of the UK’s Banking regulation and the internal bank structure which improved my professional learning. Knowing the government regulation differences between in Australian and the UK and having the chance to communicate with the senior level of managers also let me gain more professional knowledge in banking area.
"The hardest part about the GBP program was, we need to get familiar with the company working processes quickly, work out the task that the company assigned to us and deliver a research presentation at the end of the second week."
Q: Tell us about your experience in London as a city:
A: The NAB London branch is located in the city of London, United Kingdom, it is regarded as the world financial center and it’s a place that I always looked forward visiting. The London underground metropolitan railway is one of the oldest and busiest in the world, during the GBP program, like other busy commuters in London, me and my three team members were shuttling from our hotel to the company every working day. London was in November during that time and it was before the Christmas time, the sky was getting dark so quickly at night, but the traffic was still heavy at late night… as a Chinese student, London gave me a completely new experience in my life.
Q: Was there anything that surprised you about London as a city?
A: I love the magnificent buildings made by stone in London and I really enjoy the night of London. Since it was during the Christmas season, buildings and streets were all decorated with lights, sometimes I like to sit on the double-decker bus and enjoy the night scene of London.
If you're interested in participating in the Global Business Practicum in London or Hong Kong, click here for more information.
Q: Did you get the chance to network with NAB employees? If so, what did you learn?
A: Yes. Our research task needs us to have face to face interviews with different senior level managers, for the first week, we had the chance to meet different managers from several business units, chat with them and ask them questions related to banking industry.
Besides that, NAB employees were already be informed that we will work in there for 2 weeks, so sometimes in the office, people just came and chat with us. Meanwhile, NAB London branch has after-work catchup on every Friday, wines and snacks are be prepared and people from different business units will come and chat with each other. Those are the times that we could take the chance to network with them.
Q: What was your biggest accomplishment during the GBP?
A: Working in an MNC helped me get familiar with the MNC structure and the difference management style in subsidiary and host corporation. This opportunity provided me a practical understanding of the bank's corporate governance. I learned other academic information from my accounting, financing and HR background team members and it was a very precious experience.
The hardest part about the GBP program was, we need to get familiar with the company working processes quickly, work out the task that the company assigned to us and deliver a research presentation at the end of the second week. I still remember I only slept 3 hours the night before the final presentation, it was the hardest time of my GBP program but also the most precious memories to work with my team.
The GBP was rewarding, fulfilling but challenging experience, it really helped me to take a step further to know myself and most importantly, it let me know a bigger world.