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Alumni Corner
The Cross Cultural Internship Program (CCIP)
Internship in New York City

In NYC, it is now Jan 22, 2017 (Sun) 07:04 AM
Last modified: January 08, 2017 (Sun) 06:48 am (EST) 523

Since 2008, CCIP has fostered the development of global leaders. By providing an internship program with an emphasis on cultural exchange and community engagement, CCIP has been a life-changing experience for many students. Many of our alumni have gone on to become successful professionals and leaders in their own right.

2014 Alumni

FOO, Syn Yeow
National University of Singapore | GC C
Greetings! I am Syn Yeow and I intern at GC Eng & Associates in year 2014. I majored in Mechanical Engineering and I am now working at a national railway firm.

Benefits of joining CCIP: By joining CCIP, you would acquire essential skills that would make yourself stand out from other competitors when looking for a job. Since some companies prefer people who have acquired overseas experience/exposure, CCIP just fits the bill. Furthermore, CCIP is probably one of the very few programs that allow you to do internship and go traveling at the same time.

Advice to future CCIP participants: Upon embarking on the internship, do keep an open mind and be willing to accept differences in working culture in the United States. Things may not always go about the way you may expect them to be. Do not be afraid if you do not succeed at first. Also, be resourceful and try to learn any required skill before the internship. After the internship, keep a record of the work you have been involved in; it would be essential in your future job search.

LI, An (Katherine)
Nanyang Technological University | GC A
Hi, I am Katherine Li. I was an intern at GC Eng & Associates last year. My major is engineering, and I am now working at YWL Engineering Company.

Benefits: Interning in New York has been such a special experience for me. I had a better idea of how the houses are built, how the whole building is done, and how to draw floor plans. Apart from all the technical skills, I have also learned a lot of soft skills from joining CCIP. I got to know how to better present myself and how to socialize with people from other companies. I also got to understand that a company will promote someone who is able to help other colleagues, so it's not only about the skills and ability but also building relationships with others.

Advice for future CCIP students: This is such a great opportunity. I personally have learned a lot, so if you get the chance, make the most out of it. Be open to talk to anyone around you, New York is such an exciting city, take some time to explore it and don't forget to have fun!

WANG, Yinfei (David)
City University of Hong Kong | PADILLA A
I am Wang, Yinfei David. I was an intern at PADILLA in 2014. I am now working at BDO Hong Kong.

Benefits: I actually had a job offer from BDO Hong Kong before I arrived to NYC for CCIP, but interning at Padilla helped me understand many things before I started working at BDO. I learned about the elements of an organization, particularly that of a non-government organization. I found that even with different types of organizations, companies could have similar cultures across the board. At Padilla, I learned Excel skills, but most importantly, I learned how to take action and ask seniors how I can help them. My supervisors did not always give me things to do, so I had to think of ways to use the time to do something meaningful. This was a way to open myself for opportunities. Also, because of the program, I can say I've been to New York now. I can see that everything has two sides, both good and bad. I can see things more critically.

Advice for future CCIP students: Have a plan. There are too many things to do, too many experiences to try. If you don't have a plan to arrange your time, you can't make the most of your experience in New York. You must also keep up with your health, so you can experience more of NYC after your internship hours.

As an intern, speak up. If you don't understand what someone is saying, ask them to help you. This is important to be a good intern. Also, do more sharing about yourself and make the effort to have conversations with your colleagues so that you have a good working environment. My colleagues would come to me to talk and share their experiences with me. They encouraged me to pursue my dream. My colleagues inspired me a lot.

WONG, Min Jun (Joel)
National University of Singapore | ADM A
Hello, I am Joel from Singapore. I was an intern at Admerasia, within the creative department last year. I have just graduated and am planning to attend graduate school.

Benefits: : New York is a place for advertising. By joining CCIP, I have therefore broadened my perspective regarding a foreign culture and its advertising markets. It gave me an idea of what living in New York is like and helped me decide what I really want for my future. I have also become more independent and with more initiative. CCIP is not only about interning but also exposing yourself to different cultures. When I was with people who come from diverse backgrounds, I learned to be open-minded and to step out of my comfort zone and talk to them. From that, I have made some good friends and am still keeping in touch with them now. This is something that I think is the most valuable.

Advice for future CCIP students: : Be open-minded and learn to adapt to the environment. While you are in New York, do not blindly follow the culture but remember to retain your own culture as well. In America, people speak out a lot - do not hide it, just voice it out. And most importantly: work hard, play hard!

2013 Alumni

JIN, Luying (Miley)
Macau University of Science and Technology | STNY B
Hello everybody! I'm Miley from Macau University of Science and Technology. I used to intern in Sing Tao New York as a junior reporter in 2013. After that, I received an offer from the communication studies department of Nanyang Technological University graduate school, which is the best graduate school for communication studies in Asia.

Benefits: : My experience in CCIP was incomparable. Although I was constantly making different mistakes and then reflecting on them, I gained deeper insight into professional journalism, which is most valuable. For example, I became aware of the importance of choosing the right position for taking photographs. I learned to protect myself in participant observation. I fought against procrastination and improved efficiency. I took the initiative to step out of my comfort zone and reach out to people. These are just a few things I gained in the three-month internship.

In a word, CCIP taught me how to grow from mistakes and enabled me to find a profession worth the dedication of the rest of my life. Thanks EK for bringing me to New York and for an internship I'll never forget.

Advice for future CCIP students: : Since you're only an intern, you're encouraged to be more proactive and aggressive. Try to remove the language barrier, to know more professional norms, to gain a greater understanding of New York society, and to grab every chance for self-improvement. In conclusion, just make the fullest use of the internship.

WONG, Chun Yin (Stephen)
City University of Hong Kong | CMC A
Hi. I am Wong, Chun Yin (Stephen), graduated from City University of Hong Kong. I joined CCIP in 2013. I was an intern at CMC. I am now working at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Benefits: For a three-year degree program, we normally need to make a choice between taking an internship or getting cultural exchange experience. But CCIP gave me a chance to participate in an internship and get cultural exchange experience during my degree course. This is a great benefit of CCIP. You can intern at a host that related to your major, if you are open to the idea. The director, EK, welcomes students to explain what their future plans are and encourages an open mindset. Then, EK will try to arrange for you an internship with a host of your choice. This way, you can gain more knowledge by exploring a different field, which will expand your horizon. This definitely will help you in the future. My boss even shared how he built his own business, which also inspired me a lot. After living in New York for three months, I understood more about Western culture. I became more independent and sociable, which are the skills you cannot learn simply by talking with foreigners in Hong Kong.

Advice for future CCIP students: CCIP is not just giving you a chance. It helps you to step out of your comfort zone. You should take the chance to learn as much as you can and expand your social network during the three months. Don't rely on the program or the host, but you should learn to take initiative and be actively involved in your own life and choices.

ZHANG, Chi Jerry (Jerry)
City University of Hong Kong | HMN A
I am Zhang, Chi Jerry. I joined CCIP in 2013. I was an intern at Health Monitor Network (HMN).
I am now working at Facebook as an Accounting Manager.

Benefits: The experiences from CCIP helped me stand out during my interview with Facebook. Working in US companies made me become a more responsible person, which the Facebook's interviewer liked about me. Because of CCIP, I had a many opportunities to communicate with people from different countries. The skills I learned from the internship are still beneficial to me because I am now working at an international company.

Advice for future CCIP students: You should gain as much as you can in the internship by asking questions actively. In addition, you will make a good impression on your supervisor. He will think you are eager to learn and then will teach you more. It'sa cycle. You are building the trust between you and your boss, which is to your benefit.

2012 Alumni

CHAN, Yee Lin (Elaine)
The Chinese University of Hong Kong | STNY A
I am Chan, Yee Lin Elaine. I was a marketing intern at Sing Tao Newspaper in 2012. I am now working at a bank in Hong Kong.

Benefits: Through CCIP, I was able to learn about work culture in the United States and made friends with people from other parts of the world. The experience I had during the internship was valuable for my job after graduation.

Advice for future CCIP students: Please try to be open minded to new cultures, act responsibly and professionally, and make friends with a positive attitude.

CHEAH, Xian Jun
National University of Singapore | FUSIA A
I am Cheah, Xian Jun. I was an intern at FUSIA in 2012. I am now working at BNP Paribas Singapore.

Benefits: I interned with EK for FUSIA, and her working style is quite different. She is efficient and demanding. During the internship, I learned MYSQL, helping me to pick up certain IT skills, which is part of what I will be doing at BMP where I will be doing technology risk. I also learned how to communicate with people more effectively. When I first interned at FUSIA, I was quite formal when it came to emails and correspondences. EK taught me how to be more friendly in emails.

Advice for future CCIP students: I think the most important thing is to keep an open mind. For most of the interns, it will be their first time interning overseas. If you are too narrow-minded, there could be more negativity. You have to be willing to learn about the different cultures. One thing that I noticed that is different between New Yorkers and Singaporeans is that Singaporeans are more direct. It's important in New York to know how to do small talk so as to have better relations with people.

FU, Han (Albus)
The Chinese University of Hong Kong | FUSIA B
Hello everyone! I am Albus Fu from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. In the summer of 2012, I interned at Fusia Communications, and I currently work in the equity research department of Morgan Stanley, Hong Kong.

Benefits: : CCIP is well-structured, and the program coordinator is dedicated. To me, it was not only a great cultural exchange experience, but it also provided me with experience working in an intimate team in an SME. It is definitely a brilliant opportunity for gaining your first internship experience in life.

My supervisor at Fusia Communications was Elizabeth Kay, who emphasized teamwork and independent problem-solving skills, like making use of the existing company manual and reference documents. The former exposed me to and familiarized me with the infrastructure of the daily operations of the company. The latter gradually enhanced my independent working ability, enabling me to exhibit higher maturity and competence with my future intern team.

From the perspective of cultural exchange, CCIP enabled me to live in New York independently as well as intern in an American-style working environment, which not only improved my language proficiency but also allowed me to reflect on the cultural implications behind each mindset, adopt a more open-minded attitude, and significantly improve my intercultural communication skills as well as critical thinking ability.

Advice for future CCIP students: : Figure out your own career path and try to find an internship opportunity in a related industry. Communicate more with seniors and listen to their insight, which will really help those unfamiliar with the workplace.

In terms of future career planning, work experience in related industries is of great importance and will enable you to discuss and exhibit your experience and capabilities during an interview. In a word, target a suitable industry and accumulate relevant experience.

HE, Dacheng (David)
Nanyang Technological University | IFG A
Hi, I am He, Dacheng (David). I am from Singapore and joined in 2012. I was an intern at a financial company and am now also working at a financial company.

Benefits: Through CCIP, I had a better understanding of Western culture. I also got the chance to communicate with many people of different cultural backgrounds, which changed my life views.

Advice for CCIP students: You need to be open-minded and try your best to finish every task.

NG, Yu Xuan
National University of Singapore | FUSIA A
Hi. I am Ng, Yu Xuan. I participated in CCIP in 2012. I was an intern at FUSIA Communications. I am now working at the Ministry of Defense in Singapore.

Benefits: EK, the director of CCIP and my supervisor at FUSIA, is an expert at analyzing people. Because of her, I got a better understanding of my strengths and weaknesses so that I had a better opportunity to improve myself.

During the internship, I had the chance to meet different people from different cultures. I improved in communication skills, which definitely helps me in my current job a lot.

Advice for future CCIP students: You need to be humble and optimistic in learning so that you can be a excellent intern.

XIONG, Zehao
National University of Singapore | FUSIA A
I am Zehao Xiong. I was an intern at FUSIA in 2012. I am now working at Deloitte Consulting in Singapore as a business analyst.

Benefits: First of all, you can build an understanding of how a company operates. Also, I managed to understand how to do work professionally. As a student, you study in school, but because of CCIP, I learned how to do work in a professional way. Also, because of EK, I managed to understand a lot of different perspectives on things like economics, politics, and people's character. You get to know different people from different cultures, and you can tell that people are thinking differently. That is an amazing thing you can get from the program: people view things differently. This program provides the opportunity for people to communicate. We went to DC, Boston, and the United Nations…because of these activities, we were able to bond together. Even now we still meet together. These friendships lasted after the program.

Advice for future CCIP students: : People need to be proactive in two ways. First, at work you must be proactive; you need to show what you can contribute. Second, you need to be proactive to make friends. Don't wait for people to come to you. You go out of your comfort zone and talk to people. Be committed to work. At the end of the day, the most important thing is to make work a priority and get the job done.

2011 Alumni

CHEN, Ke (Terence)
The Chinese University of Hong Kong | FUSIA B
I am Chen, Ke Terence. I was an intern at FUSIA in 2011. I am now working at Bank of China.

Benefits: In my previous job interviews, people were most interested in my internship experiences in New York City. I was always excited to tell them how my life had changed during the two months in this amazing city. This experience helped me get the job finally. I think what employers are looking for is quite similar: efficiency, adaptability, and a solution-oriented mindset, which you can definitely cultivate in this great internship opportunity. Looking back, the internship provided me different exposures that may could be far away from my current job, but most importantly, it taught me how to solve problems efficiently and effectively. Of course, these are the skills you must develop and practice for your whole career, and the internship in New York City is definitely a good start to show you where and how you should prepare yourself for future challenges.

Advice for future CCIP students: Take this chance! Learn from everyone you encounter, fully engage yourself in the differently tasks, and don’t forget to explore every corner of this fantastic city. I’m sure you will have a memorable and meaningful summer! Good luck!

HAO, Pindan (Ariel)
Hi I am Hao, Pindan from South China University of Technology. I interned at Health Monitor Network for seven weeks in the summer of 2011. I am now a computer scientist at Mount Sinai Medical Center.

Benefits: It was a great experience working as an iOS developer in HMN. I learned a lot from my boss, Mr. Dong, who is a brilliant team leader, as well as from Elizabeth Kay, who taught me skills for greater professionalism. Additionally, the internship helped me on my graduate school applications and a year later I returned to New York for a master's program at Columbia University.

Advice for future CCIP students: Step out of your comfort zone and embrace challenges. You won't regret it.

KWEK, Pak Ming
National University of Singapore | FUSIA A
Hi, Everyone! I am Kwek, Pak Ming. I joined CCIP in 2011. I was an intern at FUSIA, the visa sponsoring organization. I am now working at Cambridge Associates as an investment operations associate.

Benefits: I studied engineering for my degree. But after joining CCIP, I had a clear goal – I wanted to work in the business field in the future. I love analyzing funding, conducting financial statements, etc. I love finance related work. I remember I had visited JP Morgan through CCIP. I was interested in their work and loved the culture and working style of US companies. If I did not join CCIP, I would not have found out that I am so passionate about finance. Otherwise, I might have needed to spend a couple of more years until I found out that my real interest is finance.

Advice for future CCIP students: Join more activities from CCIP. The activities will broaden your horizon. You will have a much better understanding of the world and yourself. Also, you can meet more people from different countries, which helps you expand your social network. And lastly, enjoy your time in New York. It would be one of the greatest experiences of your life.

PAN, Qiutao (Carol)
Macau University of Science and Technology | FUSIA B
Hi, everyone. I am Pan, Qiutao (Carol). I was an intern in 2011. I am working for my family business now.

Benefits: If knowledge is the treasure of life, the experience I gained from CCIP must be the most worthy and treasured one of mine. During the internship, I understood being humble and hard working are the basic attitudes you need. If you can be positive, that will be even better. I met a few best friends in CCIP, which makes my life happier. After three years, I would like to say the experiences and teachings from CCIP still affect my daily life.

Advice for future CCIP students: You need to be hard working and humble during the internship. You will soon find out the works you did are full of fun. You need to be curious all the time, so you can learn from the people and things around you. I have to say you are so lucky that you joined the program. I am sure you will chat with your friends from CCIP in the future, and you will then realize the internship is your most valuable treasure in your lifetime.

WONG, Mun Teng
National University of Singapore | GC A
Hi, everyone. I am Wong, Mun Teng. I joined CCIP in 2011 during the summer. I was an intern at G.C. Eng & Associates, which is located in Manhattan. I am now working at Parsons Brinckerhoff.

Benefits: I remembered EK, the program director, put a lot of effort in my resume. She guided me how to write an impressive resume throughout the application process. The experience from CCIP was very fruitful. Because of CCIP, I had a clear goal – I want to be an engineering consultant. If I did not join the program, I would not have discovered that goal.

Advice for future CCIP students: You need to have a right mindset for an internship in foreign countries. You need to learn actively and listen to other opinions. You also need to be positive, which is the key attitude needed for success.

YAQUB, Muhammad Umar
The University of Hong Kong | GC A
Hello, my name is Muhammad Umar Yaqub. I participated in the Cross Cultural Internship Program in the summer of 2011 while I was studying as an international student from Pakistan at the University of Hong Kong. I was an intern at GC Eng & Associates. I am now working as an engineer in Pakistan.

Benefits: Besides meeting a lot of people from different cultures, CCIP broadened my horizons. I can now appreciate different cultures, values, and history from different aspects. I was familiarized with the similarities and learned to appreciate the differences, which are the keys to living in peace and harmony in a multicultural society.

My work taught me how little I knew about the practical engineering world and how much more I had to learn. My time at GC Eng was very fruitful as I realized that the key to success as an engineer was to be determined, patient, hardworking, and never to get deterred by difficulties. Joining CCIP was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

Advice for future CCIP students: You need to be determined, hard-working, and patient to learn. You should put learning as your first priority instead of traveling.

2010 Alumni

CHUNG, Kam Lin Karen (Karen)
Lingnan University | ATLANTIS B
Hi, I am Chung, Kam Lin (Karen). I joined CCIP in 2010. I was an intern at Atlantis Insurance, which is located in Bayside. I am now an English tutor.

Benefit from CCIP: My thoughts regarding my career changed after joining CCIP. Many people will think of what they can do after graduation, but not many people will think about what they love to do. I understood more about my strengths, weaknesses and interest, which helped me turn my interest into a career.

Advice for future CCIP students: You need to prepare for the internship. Don’t waste the chance. You should try to find your strengths, weaknesses and interest during the internship. Strive for your own future.

NG, So Mun (Moon)
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University | FUSIA B
Hi, my name is Ng, So Mun (Moon). I graduated from Hong Kong Polytechnic University. I joined CCIP in 2010. Now I am working in marketing.

Benefits:I got a chance to understand the difference between Asian and American workplaces. At the same time, I learned a lot of communication and hard skills during the internship. Also, the internship gave me a lot of inspiration, which helps with my current job.

Advice for future CCIP students: You need to face challenges bravely. You should always talk to EK, the program's director, so you can learn something from her.

2009 Alumni

CHEAH, Wen Sing (Chole)
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University | FUSIA B
I am Cleah, Wen Sing (Chole). I joined CCIP in 2009. I was an intern at FUSIA. I am now working in my own company, Innovasi Program Centre Inc.

Benefits: CCIP provided me a unique opportunity to test drive different positions that I would never encounter throughout my career. I learned how to communicate with clients from different countries in a proper way, which many people do not take seriously. You will find out that it is a useful skill that enriches you. The main difference between an intern and an employee is that the intern can make mistakes. CCIP gave me a chance to try working before I engage in working as a professional. If I did not join CCIP, I could have made a lot more mistakes. It was a great working experience before I started my first job.

Benefits: Advice for future CCIP students: Being an intern, you need to do all kinds of tasks. But no matter what kinds of tasks you take, you need to try your best to finish it. I am quite sure you can learn something from all of them.

LIU, Xiao (Lewis)
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University | HMN A
Hi! I am Liu, Xiao Lewis. I was an intern at Health Monitor Network (HMH) in 2009. I am now working as a software engineer at Oracle, Inc.

Benefits: I had a lot less detours in my working path after joining CCIP. Before starting the internship, EK put a lot of effort in teaching me how to write emails to my boss in a professional way. Also, she reminded me that US companies have high expectations for interns. If I did not join CCIP, I would have needed to spend more time learning the skills during work. Moreover, I met the boss from HMH. He gave me a lot of opportunities during the internship. He even helped me by writing a reference letter for me when I was applying for a master's program in the US. I was very grateful after the internship, and we have become close friends.

Advice for future CCIP students: First impressions are very important. You want to let your boss know you are a professional. I suggest students to understand their host company before starting the internship. Be prepared! You might also want to be careful with your wording and format of the resume and email. Also, you want to build trust between you and your boss.

2008 Alumni

LAM, Yan Ngai (Tony)
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University | FUSIA B
Hi, everyone. My name is Lam, Yan Ngai (Tony). I joined CCIP in 2008. I am now working at Hong Kong Housing Society.

Benefits: My mindset changed after joining CCIP. My way of thinking became more mature and thoughtful. I understood the difference between Western and Asian cultures, and I now can analyze one thing in many ways. After the internship, my attitude of working transformed. I can now finish tasks in a more sophisticated and independent manner.

Advice for future CCIP students: You need to set a goal before the internship so that you can learn more. You should not waste the opportunity for learning.

LIU, Qiwei (Elaine)
The University of Hong Kong | HMN A
I am Liu, Qiwei (Elaine). I joined CCIP in 2008. I was an intern at Heath Monitor Network (HMN). I am now working at Hong Kong Monetary Authority.

Benefits: After the seven-week internship, my mindset was changed. I understood more about how Western people think and get things done. It was a little bit different from Asia. So it was a great opportunity to reset my way of thinking before I started work.

Advice for future CCIP students: You should try your best to learn during the 7 weeks. Don’t make yourself regret anything.

WAN, Hon San (San)
The University of Hong Kong | CS B
Hi, my name is Hon San Wan, the former president of Hong Kong University Students' Union. I joined CCIP in 2008. I am now working in Inland Revenue Department.

Benefits: During the seven weeks, I had a chance to communicate with Western people. I had a better understanding of how Western people communicate daily. That's something we cannot learn from a textbook. It is because you need to experience living in an unfamiliar place so that you can learn about cultural values and etiquette.

Advice for future CCIP students: Don't waste the opportunity. You should take the chance to look at the culture in New York and meet more people from different cultures.

Past participants actively helped with new student recruitment events.

Getting together.
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