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STAR Awards
The Cross Cultural Internship Program (CCIP)
Internship in New York City

In NYC, it is now Sep 22, 2017 (Fri) 11:13 AM
Last modified: January 08, 2017 (Sun) 06:48 am (EST) 524

2016 Award Recipients

CHAN, Chun Yip (Anson)
The University of Hong Kong | ROZIC A
I am Anson Chan from the University of Hong Kong. In the summer of 2016, I gained one of the most precious memories of my life. I was admitted to the CCIP and given a chance to intern at a government office (Office of State Assemblywoman Nily Rozic). During the program, I was given a number of administrative and research tasks including organizing big events, conducting different policy research, and meeting constituents. These tasks enabled me to understand more about the American community and politics.

CCIP is not merely about the internship but is also for leadership training. I was given the chance to lead three different activities, the "Presentation to Local Teens from the YMCA Program," "A Dialogue with Councilman Peter Koo," and the "New York Philharmonic Concerts in the Parks & Fireworks." Playing a leading role, I had to introduce and promote the activities, organize everything in a good manner, and make sure every participant found the experience rewarding.

In this program, I gained many “first-time” experiences. I got the opportunity to meet many government officials, talk in front of a bunch of reporters, and more. These memories are going to be the most unforgettable ones in my life.

Another feature of the program is that all the participants live together at the YMCA. It is inevitable that people will have little conflicts because of cultural difference and the fact that they are new to America. Being the group leader, I helped solve these conflicts by communicating with the people and organizing some gatherings and events so that everyone would be able to understand each other’s culture and become friends. This reflects the spirit of the CCIP and its motto: "We Are All In The Same Boat."

In the future, I would like to become a civil servant. Interning in the U.S., I learned a lot about policy making, democratization, and legislation. I believe these will equip me with the necessary knowledge to step into my ideal career path. More importantly, the interpersonal, problem-solving, time-management, and leadership skills are qualities that will be useful for me throughout my life.

HE, Yang (Anne)
The University of Hong Kong | CMI B
My name is Anne, and I’m a year 3 Translation, Finance, Economics and Marketing student from the University of Hong Kong. I did a 10-week-long internship at Crystal McKenzie, Inc.

Every day for ten weeks, I experienced the office culture in a typical American firm. It was inspiring to see how Americans work hard to make their dreams a reality. All members in the company cooperate and maintain good communication. We were under pressure to turn around assignments efficiently, so we paid attention to details, but didn't pursue perfection.

My supervisors also respected my opinions, and as an intern, I also contributed innovative ideas to the company which were well accepted. That really provided me with a sense of recognition. I feel that having the right attitude and a strong quality of work results in satisfactory performances over a 60-year period. This was what I saw with the Americans I met.

In my humble opinion, this internship makes people realize we can and we will continue to collaborate as one to make our world a better place. We have proved that language and cultural barricades cannot prevent people from sharing and fighting for the same dream, which was, in this case, to provide marketing service of high quality. For people both at home and abroad, we have communicated this idea.

I hope more people can benefit from this program, and get to see, although different in culture, the spirit of chasing dreams remains the same across countries. If students can take this internship seriously, they can get a much deeper insight than most tourists.

HUANG, Ying (Rain)
Macau University of Science and Technology | FUSIA B
I am Rain, a third-year student studying business at MUST. I interned at FUSIA Communications Inc. I’ve never been involved in such a well-organized and systematic company like FUISA, so it was a new challenge to me. I lived a busy life in FUSIA and I had access to the huge database, webpage programming and others, as well as providing translation, processing photos, preparing emails, communicating with students or other companies, and other daily administrative support.

As an intern, I also had a chance to participate in discussions and decision-making process for some company projects and other business developments. Through those chances, my skills improved a lot. Interning alongside the rigorous, professional staff at FUSIA, I became stricter with myself.

My supervisor EK is a straightforward person and a good observer. During my internship, she kept pointing out my advantages and weaknesses in character and ability, which helped me understand more about myself, gave a better understanding of my advantages, and helped me correct my weaknesses.

Besides improving my professional skills, I also learnt about a great number of life experiences in such a multicultural company, which enlightened me a lot and made great impacts on my future career choices and life goals. It’s the most unique experience.

As one of the student leaders, I served as the team leader of the dragon boat team this year, during which I was trained to a great extent. It’s hard to manage a team as a team leader and I could perform well only by balancing both the overall situation and individual feelings.

During the CCIP program, I made friends who shared the same goals, met many excellent role models, learnt more about American culture, and had an unforgettable internship. I feel grateful for meeting the lovely and excellent people there. Those days will remain one of the most excellent and memorable experiences of my life.

LAU, Chi Ching (Safrina)
The Chinese University of Hong Kong | CMPNY A
My name is Safrina. I am a Year 3 public health student studying at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. I applied to The Cross Cultural Internship Program (CCIP) to start my internship in New York in 2016. I interned at the Chinatown Manpower Project (CMP) in Manhattan during the summer holiday. Since CMP is a non-government organization that supports the Asian American community, I felt satisfied and joyful when helping our compatriots to get familiar in this foreign country. The staff members were all very nice and helpful, I learnt a lot from them, particularly when they offered me opportunities to learn in different departments and programs, so that I had a varied experience in their company.

Both my communication skills and customer service skills are improved after the internship. Additionally, I know more about NGOs after interning at CMP and it has encouraged me to volunteer more to contribute to the society. There are so many people needing help and we should not hesitate to give them a big hand.

Outside the internship, CCIP also organized many activities for us such as the Happy Hour Gathering, Memorial Day Parade, Volunteering in Cunningham Park, a Statue of Liberty visit and so on. I had lots of fun with the students from Macau and Singapore during the events. I made a lot of friends and we will still have contact with each other after the program.

The greatest challenge as well as the most rewarding experience in my New York internship was being a leader of the Washington DC visit and Boston trip. There were up to 50 candidates and hundreds of US dollars involved in these two activities. During the visits, I always tensed up and felt nervous because I was afraid that I could not do my job properly. There were some problems of punctuality, long queue times, and getting lost during the visits, problems I could not solve without the help of other leaders and participants. Still, I was happy that all the students enjoyed the visits very much and gave me a thumb up at the end of the activities.

My leadership skills definitely improved a lot after organizing these two big activities. In fact, I think that being the activity leader is the most remarkable and unforgettable experience of my internship. The successful experience gives me confidence and the skills to be a leader in the future. I can’t wait to organize some activities for my fellow classmates at my university.

CCIP provides students a precious opportunity to enhance ourselves and get familiar with the New York culture. I advise all of you to join as many activities as possible and take the initiative to be an activity leader. Not only will you know the New York lifestyle better, you will also make new foreign friends during the activities.

LI, Wing Yan (Priscilla)
City University of Hong Kong | CMI A
I am Priscilla from City University of Hong Kong. I had my internship at the advertising and design agency Crystal McKenzie, Inc. (CMI) for 7 weeks. CCIP focuses on holistic development of students. I also joined a series of activities held by different student leaders and it was definitely my pleasure to be part of them.

I was lucky to have such an opportunity to intern in New York. Exposure to a new culture is definitely the part I experienced the most. Though Hong Kong shares a similar work pace as NYC, one main thing that separates them is the American’s lifestyle. When I was in office, I always shared my experience in Hong Kong with my fellow colleagues and supervisor. A sense of belonging was gradually strengthened.

Stepping out of parental care, everything had to be handled by myself. I used to be a person without a sense of direction and was kind of a “Kong kid” who relied hugely on parents and siblings. After only 7 weeks of internship here, I have become more independent and I am proud enough to tell my parents that I can be the one they can rely on!

Having hands-on practice and exposure to business sectors is definitely another core part of the CCIP program. I represented CMI to attend the New York Expo 2016. You can hardly have such a chance to explore the American business culture in your home country.

My friendships gained during this program are also irreplaceable. I made lifelong friends after only 7 weeks of interning. Gone are the days when we were SABs planning different activities for other participants, going for trips to Washington DC and many other places. Words can’t express how I miss those times with them.

Looking back, joining the CCIP program is the most memorable part of my entire life. There’s so much I gained that I would never have imagined, far more than the materialistic parts.

To all future CCIP students, your university life is short and time flies like an arrow. When you look back after graduation, you will not regret treasuring every opportunity to pursue your goal. CCIP is definitely a program that not only can make you grow, but will also let you realize how lucky you are to explore the world of beauty when you are still young and energetic.

LIM, Yang Le
Nanyang Technological University | KIM A
Hi! My name is Yang Le, and I am a Year 3 Public Policy and Global Affairs student from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. It has been an unforgettable experience interning in the District Office of Assemblyman Ron Kim. The program has been very holistic with learning happening within the Office and outside of internship hours.

My main role in the Office was dealing with constituent casework. The district, which I am serving in, has many Asian immigrants and some of them face problems in adapting to the new lifestyle. As English is usually not their first language, it is difficult for them to seek help from the government. Hence, I used my language proficiency in both Mandarin and English to act as the middleman between the government and constituents. Besides improving my communication skills, these face-to-face interactions had deepened my sense of empathy for those who are left behind in the society. This internship also further affirmed my desire to join Singapore’s public service in the future to help people through policy-making.

Outside of the internship hours, there are student-led activities for CCIP participants which had no lack of learning opportunities. Activities like the trip to Washington D.C. had deepened my understanding of the American culture, history and politics. I also chose to be a planner and organizer for some of the activities, like planning a trip to the Statue of Liberty and a cultural sharing session with local youths. I even challenged myself by being an emcee for CCIP’s recognition ceremony! Though I had been an emcee before, being an emcee for a large formal event was a first for me. I was able to train my preparation and adaptability skills during the ceremony as no one can guide you step by step and unforeseen circumstances can pop up. For example, when the VIP speaker had to leave early, I had to change the script and the flow of event on the spot.

Of course CCIP is not just about personal benefits, CCIP participants can also contribute to the local communities. I introduced Singapore to local youths during the cultural sharing session which helped them understand the Asian society better and cultivate a sense of cultural sensitivity. I also played a part in maintaining the cleanliness in Cunningham Park by clearing the trash and dead leaves. As a park that is mostly maintained by volunteers, it is amazing how the locals are so involved in their community.

Lastly, some advice for the future batches. Be open minded and learn as much as you can. You should try to step out of your comfort zone. I have learnt to be more confident in seizing the opportunity to do something different; you will learn a lot from it. Don’t forget all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Take some time to enjoy and feel the beautiful city of New York. It is a sight to behold. Furthermore, remember CCIP is not just an internship program, it is a community where friendship is created. Do stay connected with the other interns and your American colleagues.

All in all, CCIP is an experience of a lifetime, with so much to learn in such a vibrant and wonderful city. Thank you CCIP for the fond memories!

LIU, Dongqing (Cathy)
Nanyang Technological University | GC A
Hey there, this is Liu DongQing (Cathy), a penultimate student from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore! I spent 12 fruitful weeks at GC Eng & Associates, a well-structured engineering consulting firm.

This internship experience gave me the opportunity to develop relevant skills and cultivate a professional attitude in a supporting role through the participation in real life assignments. The host, Mr. Gene Eng, also encouraged me to explore American culture and think like a professional, which I do appreciate a lot.

The mission of The Cross Cultural Internship Program (CCIP) is to inspire exchange visitors to be open-minded and encourage them to develop a global mindset. I did benefit from the program flow and all the activities.

First of all, this detail-oriented program has trained me to think logically from the very beginning. Every introduction, submission, and evaluation process is a reflection of actual work flow in the business field. This well-designed progress helped me to develop numerous good habits and useful skills, such as self-motivation, time management skills, and information analytical skills.

Additionally, by taking positive roles in those self-organized cultural activities I have learnt how to think from the perspective of others and how to solve problems under unpredictable circumstances more effectively.

All these amazing experiences in New York have encouraged me to jump out of the box and made me more confident about myself. To me, the CCIP spirit is all about sharing, understanding, and integrating. It adds inestimable value to my future and I will love sharing this precious spirit to the people around me with no hesitation.

MAN, Hei Yin (Angela)
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology | STAVISKY B
This is Angela Man from HKUST. It is my honor to be nominated as the STAR Award recipient of the 2016 CCIP program. Having a strong desire to work in the US Governmental Institution, I was pleased to have a chance to intern at New York State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky’s office for three months. These three months were a truly eye-opening experience to me, not only because I witnessed firsthand how the Senator serves as a vital link between the public and the government, but because I also represented the Senator's office when attending local meetings or events.

It was certainly a great choice to enroll in this program. In addition to the splendid internship experiencein a real US-style working environment, participating in various seasonal events and meeting up with students from various famous, Asian universities excited me a lot. There was a lot of chances to use different languages out here and we were given many chances to collaborate with people from different backgrounds.

For instance, as a team we created a singing performance and a dance performance, as well as filming and editing videos on our own. They were really fun experiences, especially as we could share our passions through them. Since all participants lived in the same place, we basically hung out every day and night, and I had friends to accompany me whenever I needed. I believe they will be my life-long friends after this program.

2016 is a US election year, with all forms of elections being held this year. I was lucky to be able to be involved in an election because my host is running for her senate seat against another Democratic candidate. It was a thrill for me to be involved in it. I did not directly participating in the campaign side since my visa has certain limitations on this, yet I was given a chance to shoot a promotional photo with my host for her election and that was fantastic enough.

My host, Senator Stavisky, is one whom I indeed admire since she works really hard and she is sensitive to every detail. Even at 78-years-old, she has a strong work ability and a clear-headedness which definitely earns her wide respect from everyone. Being the first woman from Queens County elected to the State Senate and the first woman to Chair the Senate Committee on Higher Education are just some of the brilliant achievements for which I greatly admire her, as she truly broke the glass ceiling. As for my colleagues, most of them were local Americans and I was the only intern in the office. Luckily, my colleagues offered a lot of help and I was happy to have assisted and coordinated with them.

The whole experience was truly amazing but I have one piece of advice for future CCIP students: polish your English skills or at least get comfortable using it before you come. Since the working environment heavily relies on English, the better your English skills are, the better your internship performance will be (as you won't misunderstand the instruction and will maintain a good relationship with your colleagues).

SIM, Hui Xian
Nanyang Technological University | AITHENT A
I am Sim Hui Xian, a Penultimate student at Nanyang Technological University. I had an enriching 7-week internship over at Aithent Inc., an IT consulting company, where I learnt about the Insurance Licensing Industry in depth and acquired numerous skills as well.

I was initially tasked with researching the insurance industry. Along with my own research, I discussed, clarified and learnt a great deal from my supervisor. Gaining industry-based knowledge has been enriching and very fulfilling for me. The guidance of my supervisor and colleagues during this process is something I am very grateful for.

Analyzing competitors’ products honed my analytical skills and enriched my understanding of the various principles involved in selling a product. For example, one key principle, the “Pain, Feature and Benefit” Principle, helped me to accurately identify the needs of the market and draft promotional materials on the product’s unique features.

Completing promotional material required collaborating with teammates on the video production team, a first for me. I am grateful for the patience and guidance of my colleagues who helped me convey the content effectively. When I viewed the first draft of the video, I was impressed by how our efforts had come to fruition. I'm now inspired to enhance my video production and editing skills in the future.

Through the rigor and demands of my assignments, I was exposed to many new experiences. Some aspects of the American work culture, such as the “open-door" policy, put me out of my comfort zone but I worked on improving my confidence. These experiences gave me important life lessons and values for growing as a person that I will cherish in my future endeavors.

During the CCIP Program, I also took part in many activities that introduced me to the unique aspects of American culture. I enjoyed exploring museums, volunteering, and attending parades with my CCIP friends. As these activities were led by CCIP participants, I sought ways to assist and exchange ideas so I could learn from the process. These prior interactions played a big role in my own success as an activity leader.

Being so far from home, we looked out for each other, which brought us all closer. We created a friendly environment to make us more comfortable with admitting doubts and to provide reminders of deadlines and meetings. It was very heartening to witness so many people helping and sharing with each other. I am very proud of all we achieved while in New York.

To future CCIP friends, I would advise you to bring an open mind. During your time in New York, you will have several “firsts.” When you are open and prepared to explore, you gain even more than the program can plan. Much of what I gained was unexpected and intangible but essential to my growth as a person. You can't know the possibilities this experience will provide. All the best and may you reap great experiences from your journey to come!

2015 Award Recipients

CHAN, Ho Yee (Holly)
Hang Seng Management College | FUSIA B
My name is Holly, and I am a third-year student from Hang Seng Management College (HSMC). My major is marketing. I interned at FUSIA Communications Inc. My job title was integrated marketing and communications.

I gained a lot from CCIP. Firstly, my leadership skills were trained in the program. I was assigned to be the team manager in the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in New York (HKDBF). The main duties included conducting the administration work of the race team, such as preparing the waiver forms and seating charts. At the same time, I was the leader of the booth team and needed to prepare the souvenirs and coordinate the meetings about the whole event. In fact, the festival was held over two days, so the team members were tired, which is understandable. Handling the morale of the team is another task of being a leader. I learned that saying something positive and encouraging is vital for boosting the morale. By having those valuable experiences, I believe I have grown to be someone who has a more mature mindset, can comment on the same issue from different angles, and can review past experiences for better self-examination.

I deserve this award as I am a responsible person. I’m willing to spend time and effort on activities. Meanwhile, I’m willing to admit and learn from mistakes. For example, some participants who joined the trip to Princeton University and Jersey Garden had complaints. They complained that the message regarding a change in meeting venue was not clear. I admit I made a mistake, and I understand the concerns of those complaints. It is not their fault for gathering at the old meeting venue. What I have learned is everything should be confirmed before the participants are dismissed.

To provide advice for future CCIP participants: I believe evaluating after every activity is the best way to learn. Not only having self-evaluation but also the group one. Participants can recognize what they did wrong personally by having self-evaluation. For the group one, all of them can discuss anything which is needed for improvement and collect the participants’ opinions.

CHEUNG, Ka Yeung (Michael)
The University of Hong Kong | TRANSEXP B
I am Michael, a third-year student studying economics and finance at HKU. I was the financial department intern at Transexpress Inc., a New York-based bus company because I was eager to learn about the operations and the financial management of the transportation industry in the first place. I felt lucky to be placed in this department and to be supervised by a seasoned employee overlooking the financial records of the company.

I was a newbie in the first week of the internship, but I aimed to be like a sponge and absorb as much knowledge and information as I could within the seven weeks. I felt grateful that my supervisor taught me how to apply practical accounting knowledge into the real business world. For instance, I recorded the charter order invoices and payments into the Quickbooks accounting system as well as the Motorcoach Charter Manager, the company’s internal database system.

I must say that doing real-life accounting work is more interesting than studying theoretical work in books, even though both are equally important. Office workers, drivers and supervisors here are all devoted to their work, and I felt like I was entering a big family when I experienced the American office culture here. There were even weekly lunch gatherings and BBQs. After this internship, it became clearer to me that I am going to be a considerate manager just like the managers here.

I believe that every student leader deserves an award because of their hard work in organizing student activities. I am also thankful that CCIP students voted for me. Looking back, I would say that every activity can be organized better, but to learn from the mistakes we have made during the whole process is more important to me.

In the end, I would say that I have tried my best in every activity I helped organize and participate in, and I definitely enjoy spending time with all my CCIP friends in New York. I also feel I developed better coordination with people and more communication skills, and I truly appreciate this opportunity given to me to be one of the SABs.

Last but not least, I hope to encourage future students to join CCIP because it is a rare opportunity to spend seven weeks abroad to learn to work in a formal internship, to experience life after work hours, and to learn who you are and what you want to be in the future. I am sure that all participants will become more mature after this meaningful summer experience. Thank you again for giving me this STAR award.

CHIA, Wei Wen Daniel (Daniel)
Nanyang Technological University | ROZIC A
My name's Daniel, and I'm an Economics Sophomore from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore! I spent an amazing 12 weeks at Assemblywoman Nily Rozic's Office this summer, which saw me go through a metamorphosis - both as a person and as a student.

I was primarily tasked to work on the bolstering of the Assemblywoman's Living Wage Bill, which led to the creation of a personalized survey targeted at working constituents and business owners alike. After being translated into Korean and Chinese, the survey was brought to the streets and the results were steam pressed into a report for the Assemblywoman's usage during future legislative sessions. Countless opportunities were given to me to conduct constituent outreach, which include holding my own constituent consultation session at Rosenthal Senior Centre - in a bid to provide assistance to elderly seniors in need of our office's help. I was also given the opportunity to liase with various schools via personalized phone calls, related to the Assemblywoman's potential gracing of the graduation of High school and Middle school students alike. Being one of the main organizers of the Asian-American Cultural Exchange event hosted by Nily herself served as a golden opportunity for me to familiarize myself with the Politicians working tirelessly for the state, giving me an overview of the goings-on behind the way in which these legislators engaged in their primary duties - with the people, and for the people.

The friendship and camaraderie gained from this program is irreplaceable, and is something that would not have been possible if program participants were not placed in a conducive living and working environment that emphasized on cohabitation and cohesiveness. From planning events down to the very last fine detail, addressing head splitting obstacles and thinking out of the box during complex situations, I was able to emerge as a better analyst, thinker and all-round planner. The program has also taught me to value the simple things in life, which are often forsaken in today's blazing fast society - family and personal downtime. Independence was also part of the package, which was something we as participants had to hone over the course of our stay, be it 7,10 or 12 weeks. Seeking to do the best in everything I cross paths with has always been my personal direction in life, and I believe myself to have broken many personal records and limits throughout this either journey - both before the program started and throughout the period of candidature. The constant mental and physical exhaustion contributed cumulatively to the development of my tenacity and resilience as a person - which remains to be a challenge i would never have imagined myself surmounting. I went out of my way as an SAB, not only fulfilling the primary roles I was assigned to, but also continuously providing additional support and assistance to my fellow SABs for their own events. I sincerely believe in being a good follower as well, which saw me partaking in every event and activity permissible, oftentimes brimming with excitement and enthusiasm. However, I would say that I deserve this award no more than any of my other program mates - as they have done an equally phenomenal job in making the program a huge success. This is a huge honor, and I am extremely thankful for the faith and belief my peers have in me, as an ordinary person that tries his best to achieve extraordinary things.

I'm not really sure how impactful and insightful the advice I have to offer is, but here goes nothing! Always remember to 'stay hungry, stay foolish'! Having an indomitable thirst and hunger for experiential and active learning will get you much further than you'll ever expect, as every little moment you push yourself to do a little more will come back tenfold when you least expect it. Failing to plan is most definitely planning to fail as well, as the crux of deriving a life changing experience in the capital of the world basically revolves around how well you plan your each and every single move from start to finish. Don't forget to find ways and means to dig out the gold nugget known as 'fun' in everything you do as well, it keeps things fresh, exciting, and all the more worthwhile to do! Don't be shy, drop me a text anytime you need advice!! (;

I would also like to thank EK for this opportunity, as without her, my existence in this program wouldn't even have been possible. It's been a breathtaking experience, and there's no way I would hesitate doing it all over again!

HUI, Cheuk Ying (Claudia)
Hang Seng Management College | FUSIA B
I am Claudia from HSMC. Since my concentration is corporate communication, FUSIA is my first preference as a host, and I am fortunate to be an intern there. Being nominated for the STAR award means that participants and the organizer of this program believed that I have demonstrated leadership skills, and I had never thought I would be a nominee. Never had I thought I would be one of the nominated STAR award winners because I have never seen myself as being a leader, and I never had the confidence to be one. Interning at FUSIA actually pushed me to be one because it is all about leadership skills when you intern at FUSIA. Every single day I deal with different students and situations. To run a big program like this, complaints are inevitable, and I always have to think of some strategies to cope with them.

At the beginning, I was very defensive because I cared too much about people’s opinions of me, hence I was not able to deal with students professionally. I did not know how to think from the company’s perspective, which was no benefit to the company. It was not until my supervisor and I had a really serious meeting that I evaluated my own performance. After that, I changed and started to understand the role that I had. I was not afraid to deal with people, and I always put the company as the first priority when making decisions. I actually stood up and tried to protect the image of the company, which surprised me because I would never have the guts to do so before. I believed I have taken a big step with this. I was also one of the SAB members. I believe that I have not only fulfilled the primary role of SAB, but I have also given lots of support to my teammates. We had lots of meetings and made plans together for trips and events. I always reminded myself that we are a team: When there’s an issue, we are all facing it together. Stepping outside of my comfort zone, leading events, giving support and coordinating with my teammates, being willing to change and evaluate myself, I believe that I deserve this award.

As for the advice for future CCIP participants, I would like to stress to remind yourself that you are in America, a country that has a completely different culture than Asia. What works in your country might not be applicable here. Step out of your comfort zone and be open to make more new friends. Remember that you can always do better, so don’t set a limit to yourself. If you don’t try, you would never know.

Try to see things from several perspectives, and you will gain some new insights. Oh, and don’t forget to have fun while you are here, explore around — this is a beautiful city. Thank you, EK, and thank you CCIP; I have grown so much from this program, both personally and professionally.

MAK, Hoi Yin (Stephanie)
The Chinese University of Hong Kong | GENESIS A
Hi, this is Stephanie. I'm a local third-year student from The Chinese University of Hong Kong. I am currently obtaining an Integrated Bachelor of Business Administration. In accordance with my major, I interned as a managing intern in Genesis Realty Group, a property management firm in New York for 7 weeks in the summer of 2015. Gaining hands-on experience in a foreign company, learning a global mindset, working in a comprehensive English environment, etc: These are why students are competing for the chances at a global internship. However, throughout the internship, not only did I learn much more than what I expected, but I gained valuable friendships with other participants of the program.

The program requirement of all participants staying together in a hostel in New York was a point I was concerned about. Yet it indeed brought the participants together by living, sharing, and even taking care of each other. It was actually where the friendships of the participants from all over the world developed. During leisure time, participants could join group activities organized by ourselves. Luckily, I was one of the organizers, and I got the chance to know more and cooperate with other participants. There were times when it was hard to fulfill everyone’s interest at the same time, but fortunately after communicating, participants were always willing to bear with each other and pursue the best memories in New York together. Moreover, as we were living all together, I enjoyed the time spent with other participants, especially those from other countries, and built cross-international friendships. Being one of the activity organizers and cultural ambassadors was not enough for me to wholly enjoy this internship period, but to be open-minded, positive, active, willing to learn and accept the new things, helped me indulge in this beautiful journey so much.

All in all, dear future CCIP students, be brave and active; do not be ashamed of yourself. Stand up and grab more chances in any circumstances. Like grabbing the chances to chat with the foreigners, maybe your colleagues or some passerby — whoever they are, you can learn something from them and at the same time practice English. The more you step out of your comfort zone, the more you learn and grow. Seven weeks (or more) seems long, but time really flies! And I already started missing the days there when I was on the plane leaving New York!

REN, Haosu (Sampson)
Nanyang Technological University | STUDIO A
From May 9th to July 18th, I am glad to have had an opportunity to join CCIP. Not only as an intern in the Studio but also as an active participant in CCIP affairs. I developed the skills on animation and leadership as well. This experience just made my summer wonderful and meaningful. It’s just too much to list what I’ve gained in this program. Generally, I would say I’ve grown both professionally and socially. Since I was new to my host’s industry, an advertisement agency, I worked hard to understand and to learn the process and software. Sometimes I asked questions to my colleagues and socialized with them. In New York, everyone is a stranger, but everyone could be a new friend to you! Professionally, my logo design was chosen from six logos by the client.

If I have to pick what was the best thing gained here, I wouldn’t hesitate to say friendships. I worked closely with my colleges, and they recommended some nice places to me, like some famous restaurants or museums. Besides, we, CCIP students, played together, learned from each other, and helped each other. I made some life-long friends there, and we still keep in touch. I believe helping others is helping myself. Thus, I’m a warm helper and a responsible person. I appreciate people asking me for help or making me a leader of a group because they trust me. In return, I can sincerely say that I’ve tried all my best on every task. I was the leader of the CCIP promotional video, which required nearly two weeks of editing. Most of the time, I went to sleep at 2 am. Working with 30+ people, I learned how to be a good leader and how to deliver work in an efficient way. "Every step of your project should have someone be responsible for it," said Marry, the boss of my host company. Those experiences made me a considerate team leader as well as a reliable team player. My suggestion for coming CCIP students is the balance: work hard and play hard!

YANG, Yiru (Mirana)
City University of Hong Kong | FUSIA A
Hello! I am Mirana Yang, a third-year student from City University of Hong Kong. I was an intern at FUSIA Communications, and the experiences in CCIP made this summer wonderful and meaningful. I was almost the last one to join the program, but I was in the first group to go to NYC. There was so much uncertainty. However, I always said I was a lucky girl and that all uncertainties turn out to be unforgettable memories.

The organizer and my supervisor, Elizabeth Kay, is very responsible and friendly. She made a very detailed and practical training plan for me, based on my expectations. I lacked multitasking skills before. EK and I treated multitasking as one of my main goals. Another ability that I really needed was leadership skills. I joined SAB, and honestly, SAB is not an easy job. It required a warm heart, communication skills, conceptual thinking, and responsibility. Most SABs I met in the program were excellent. The experience of organizing activities trained me to persuade others.

My training plan could be adjusted according to my demands and performance. In addition to soft skills, I learned how to use Navicat and Globalscape. EK is generous; she always gave me opportunities to try new skills, even though I am not a very careful person and made some small mistakes.

EK helped me understand more about my abilities and personality, and the internship at FUSIA will influence my career a lot. I really cherish the friendships with the participants and my supervisor. I was worried about making friends. I was so surprised that I got so much help from others once I arrived at the Y. We helped each other, experienced New York City together, and shared the happiness and sadness. We are a warm family.

I am so honored to be nominated for the STAR Award. I love challenging myself and exploring the unknown. I still remember that everything was new to me when I first stepped into FUSIA. What I observed was that FUSIA had its own work system, and its database is both giant and complicated. Usually, when I finished my tasks at hand, I would open those files and check them one by one so as to be more efficient when I have to find those files again. Moreover, I learned in the beginning a valuable internship practice: only ask a question with an answer. It is very useful.

I felt that I was not only an internship student but also a part of the company; that is why I thought from the company’s point of view. The special thing about FUSIA is that it is the organizer, and most of its work is inseparable from CCIP. Most of the time, my clients were my friends. If I had interpersonal problems among students, I would be in a dilemma. However, I would still choose to stand out and to point out the problems, because I am part of the program.

This is a useful internship program not only for individual professional skills but also for the soft skills. Once you plan to do an internship, the first thing you should figure out is what your expectations are. Do you want to learn something, which benefits your career, or do you want to experience cultural diversity, or do you just want to add a line to your resume. No matter what your answer is, it is a good answer if you keep it in your mind and achieve it in the right way.

2014 Award Recipients

BIN NOORRASHID, Muhammad Noor Danial (Dan)
National University of Singapore | LANDAIR A
The best experience was during the Mermaid parade, whereby even though I was not formally the leader for the event, I helped out by grouping everyone to travel together and made sure we could all arrive in time to see the parade. After which, we mostly moved as a group or subgroup to various locations such as the beach and the rollercoaster rides. I say it was a success as we were mostly together in some way or another and could all have fun being in a group rather than being separated!

The greatest challenge I had here in this program was to perform a once in a year monthly fast, which coincided with the Boston Trip. It was never easy having to manage and handle a large group of people and giving instructions while having a dry mouth. On top of that, Fred, our tour coordinator, was not with us on the first day during our long travel to the hotel, which led me and Alice to be fully responsible to manage everyone’s welfare while adhering to the general schedule in order to arrive in time for the fireworks. In some way, the opportunity was that I could show everyone that despite not having food and water in my body, I can still do these tasks and take care of everyone. I hope that through this, others may see that the mind is stronger than the body!

One of the moments when I felt I made a bad start was forgetting to bring my CCIP shirt for the very first day for the photo taking session. As it was the first time meeting EK, I knew it was going to be a bad first impression. Indeed, I was the only one who wore a blue T-shirt while the rest diligently wore their CCIP shirt. Thankfully, EK was nice and did not make me feel too guilty about it. Even so, I learned to be more prepared for all future events and made sure I have the appropriate attire and clothes ready for future CCIP events.

I believe I have been diligent in abiding by the program rules and duties. I ensured that I was always back in time before 11pm and slept adequately for work the next day. Being an exemplary intern was key as I believe I represented not only Fusia, but my school and country. As such, I did my best in staying active during work and maintaining a fine balance between work and play. Aside from work, I performed my duties as an SAB leader as best as I possibly could, during my time as IC, and even when not. I arrived on time for all events and did my part to promote a happy atmosphere for everyone!

Over the course of the 7 weeks, I grew a lot in being able to communicate with people from different cultures and being able to better adapt myself into various situations and environment. As I was often not able to communicate with others who spoke in Mandarin and Cantonese, I learned how to gain their interest such as learning some basic Cantonese phrases and speaking in a style they were more familiar, which helped break the ice! Now, if I ever was deployed overseas, I would safely say I have the capability and experience to adapt better and integrate with the locals!

CHAN, Shuk Kwan (Cloris)
City University of Hong Kong | BOCONCEPT A
Seven weeks passed with the blink of an eye. Flipping through the photos in my cell phone, I realized that I had grown a lot in this seemingly short period of time. This internship really helped me realize my strengths and weaknesses and help me figure out my future road as well.

In this large group setting, we had so many chances to interact with others. This gave me the chance to learn how to cooperate with others. I believe everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. For me, my strength is mapping. Whenever a group of people goes to a new place, I would stand out as a guide. I think this is a kind of positive motivation, especially in an unfamiliar place. Other than steering the way, I am also willing to offer help in any activities because I believe a little bit of help will add up to become much more. However, I had my weakness too. Sometimes, I would walk too fast because of my desire to go to as many places as I could. There was a time a group got separated because I was leading too fast ahead. Therefore, I think I have to learn to be patient.

In terms of being a leader, I am still on the way. When leading an activity, I did my best to provide adequate information to the participants and keep myself reachable all the time. However, I know that I am still lacking some charisma as I am not used to making public speeches. I will train myself in this aspect in order be a real leader.

This internship has broadened my horizon, which drives me to think about what I really want in the future. Before coming to the US, I would think working in another country is totally impossible as it is hard to imagine. After these seven weeks in New York, I realized everything is possible if you make your efforts. I am really grateful for this precious opportunity, which has helped me make up my mind to start planning for my future.

CHAN, Kwun Ling Queenie (Queenie)
Hang Seng Management College | FUSIA B
Seven weeks ago, we all were strangers. We came to New York with different dreams and hopes. CCIP brought us together in New York. I met a lot of wonderful people here — my friends who always stay beside me; my supervisor who taught me a lot computer skills and how to build relationships with others; and my colleagues who shared their past experiences with me. Now as the program is coming to the end, I realized that I learned so much from these people. I will never forget these short seven weeks.

As an intern at FUSIA, I was exposed to different kinds of jobs. This was a unique experience I will never have again. My supervisor, Elizabeth Kay, taught me a lot of computer skills. She knew my weakness, which is dealing with numbers. So she tried to give me more works that related to numbers. Handling market research was one such example. At first, I was really frustrated because I did not know why she needed me to deal with numbers for a week. After the project, I realized I was more comfortable with numbers. She always says that you cannot be afraid of something. You eventually need to fail in order to do well in the future. I think I get the idea now and really want to say thank you to her.

As for being the leader of a large group, I am still on the way to becoming a great one. I had tried my best to lead the Dragon Boat Festival. However, I know that I am lacking the charisma that a leader should have. I needed to prepare more before the event so that everyone would have more fun in the festival.

This internship has broadened my horizon, which let me understand myself more. I changed some of my original thoughts. Actually, I could not imagine how I could work in a foreign country. However, I proved that I can be an independent and capable person. I realized that everything can be possible if you stay positive and have the courage to step out of your comfort zone.

And lastly, I want to thank my friends, my colleague, and my supervisor. Without them, these seven weeks would not be so meaningful for me. Let’s follow our dreams.

CHAN, Siu Lung (Ryan)
City University of Hong Kong | STUDIO B
I am now an intern working at Studio, which is an award-wining advertising firm in New York. Surely, I am so honored and excited to intern here. It is an inspiring place for me.

In the previous weeks, I was glad to be one of the SABs in Session B during CCIP. I have tried my best to organize and participate in so many activities, including the Recognition Ceremony for Session A and C participants,the shopping trip to Woodbury Outlets, and the Hong Kong Dragon Boat races. Each activity I got involved in was a precious lesson for me. I needed to communicate with other SABs so that we could come up with an all-rounded plan for the events. In addition, there are only several boys in my session. Therefore, I had to take care of the girls. This made me become a more responsible and caring person.

Which activity impressed me the most? Of course, the Dragon Boat Races! For many of us, this was our first time participating in this kind of event. We needed to practice in such a short period of time. It wasn’t an easy task. In the beginning, I did not think we could accomplish it. To my surprise, our united spirit was built up bit by bit after practices. These are experiences that I will never forget.

I believe that the experience I got from CCIP is exactly the opportunity for me to train up my skills. These skills will become the strong pillars for my future career.

CHAN, Kam Man (Kamen)
City University of Hong Kong | YU C
I am Kamen Chan, a Year Two student, from the City University of Hong Kong. Joining CCIP is definitely a turning point in my university school life, and I grabbed every opportunity here to change and develop myself. Most importantly, I totally involved myself into every activity and my internship. I apply for the STAR Award since I am proud of demonstrating the following characteristics in CCIP.

First of all, I could turn every challenge into an opportunity. Although I encountered different difficulties when interning in my host, I could still turn them as opportunities and resolved each of them independently. For example, my host had high expectations for every intern and they provided a self-learning environment for me to try new things. I also needed to figure out solutions on my own rather than seeking help from colleagues. "Are you sure you cannot finish the tasks?", "There is nothing impossible.", my supervisor asked me when I had no idea on the tasks. I learned to turn these problems as opportunities and resolved them by myself. I used to seek help from others and seldom sat down and thought about solutions. After this internship experience, I learned how to solve problems independently. Secondly, I was positively motivated by maintaining an inclusive team environment. Being one of the SAB members, I always took the initiative to help other CCIP participants and be the leaders for some of activities. I desired to make contributions to the whole team, as well as making the whole team become more united. Whenever the other participants had negative emotions or disputes, I urged them to be more positive and help them resolve the disputes by using effective communication. As "we are all in the same boat", my self-motivation and desire to help others could definitely help maintain inclusive team phenomenon.Thirdly, I was able to learn from mistakes and be responsible for my own actions. Whenever I made a promise to others, I must try my very best to finish what I promised before the deadline. Moreover, I always had reflections, in order to make improvements on myself. I concerned myself with my own performance and always considered how I can perform better. For example, I forgot to click "time out" button in the timesheet panel before. I did reflection and found ways, for example setting phone alarm in order to remind myself to avoid the similar mistakes. Forthly, I made a sustained committment to program rules and duties. I obeyed the regulations from the begining till the end of the program. For example, I come back to YMCA dorm before 11 pm, attended every compulsory activities, etc. I believed my commitment could help make the program run more smoothly. Fifthly, through participation in different activities of CCIP, I had a significant personal growth. I have never left home (Hong Kong) for more than one month. After joining CCIP this program, I learned to solve every problem independently without the protection of my parents. I also learned how to manage my stuff calmly.

JIANG, Jing (Jenny)
National University of Singapore | FUSIA A
I am Jiang Jing (Jenny) from National University of Singapore and currently a year one student majoring in statistics. I am an outgoing, warm-hearted, and passionate young girl with logical thinking. This summer I joined the CCIP program and started my seven-week internship journey at FUSIA Communications.

As an intern at FUSIA, I did business based communication and statistics-related jobs. Off work hours, I acted as the bridge between the program organizer and students. I dealt with different kinds of student matters as well as administrative work. Being so involved in the program helped me to build a strong relationship with students. And more importantly, I learned about understanding other people as well as how to deal with different situations. All these opportunities, whether it was in the office or outside of it, trained me and reminded me the importance of cooperation and active involvement.

As a SAB member, we are not separate from other students, but do engage more in the program voluntarily. It is not an easy thing, but the whole process of working as a group was full of fun. Such SAB works not only helped us to build deep friendships with each other, but also provided us a chance to understand the value of a cooperative spirit. As SAB members are responsible for organizing activities, I strengthened my ability to deal with emergency situations. Even if I was not the leader of a certain activity, I still gave a helping hand when needed and learned how to delegate to help group efforts and to reach solutions to problems.

Frankly speaking, I love CCIP. It is not only about how I improve myself during the internship, but it provides me the chance to experience US culture and meet people of different backgrounds. On the one hand, I learned of the US culture and developed an informed opinion about it. I also made lots of friends who come from different backgrounds.

I enjoyed the internship experience at FUSIA, and I enjoyed the days in New York. I also enjoyed the times with new friends through CCIP.

JIANG, Yilin (Eveline)
The Chinese University of Hong Kong | GENESIS A
My name is Jiang Yilin, Eveline. I believe that I have two qualities that have helped me succeed during the seven weeks.

I am always willing to be a volunteer and help. I have not only attended a volunteering activity, which was to help park staff clean the environment, but I also volunteer in other unexpected ways. In one instance, I volunteered to go to Woodbury by public bus in order to save money for other students. To be more specific, our program organizer was going to rent a big bus in order to fit all signed-up students in. However, there were three people too many for a mini bus. In order to help other students save money, I volunteered and persuaded my other two friends to take the public bus with me so that the group could still rent the mini bus.

In addition, I am always positive, even when I am facing challenges. During the first week of my internship, there was a misunderstanding between me and my host. I had left an impression that I was immature and not willing to work at the company, which built up tension at my internship. It was a hard time for me. But instead of giving up and switching to another host, I wanted to change that situation.

As you know, misunderstanding is always caused by miscommunication and cultural difference. As a result, I tried to catch every chance to communicate with my host, in order to achieve a better understanding of their expectations and culture. After I realized that there was a misunderstanding, I always put myself in their shoes and tried to understand their opinions before I did anything. Also, when my supervisor gave me a project to do, I always checked with her to make sure that I didn’t get it wrong. In addition, when my supervisor mentioned that she was not satisfied with our current website, I also offered to design a new website for her. When it was finished, she liked the website a lot.

Through my efforts to communicate better, my host and I both got a better understanding of each other. At the end, she told me that she was surprised that I could fit in their work culture so well. I believe that it was my positive attitude that helped me to turn this challenge into opportunities.

To conclude, I believe that I have achieved much personal growth in this program. I wish my experience could also be helpful for students in the future. Thank you so much.

XIE, Wen (Diane)
The University of Hong Kong | ROZIC B
I’m Diane from HKU, a sophomore majoring in Business Design and Innovation. I’m interning in Assemblywoman Nily Rozic’s office, and my tasks include doing news analysis, handling casework and helping out with district events.

I know that the Star Award is for the best of one cohort, and the reason why I deserve it is that I have taken full advantage of the opportunities CCIP offered, reached far out of comfort zone and accomplished things unconceivable for myself before this program. Being the dragon boat team captain is one of such things. As I am not the most sporty person and have never been on a sports team before, I felt quite at loss at first. But later I got more hooked with the game, and with the help of our great teammates, I managed to organize three practices with full attendance. Although we didn’t perform extremely well, we still had plenty of fun. I’m also pleased to turn the notorious L&L travel package into a satisfactory experience for fellow participants. I have been a considerate and engaging leader among multiple activities, doing research beforehand and enabling my fellow participants to have a good time without taking trouble.

From CCIP, I learned to always keep an open mind and welcome new experience and responsibilities. I also started to grasp how to put myself into my teammates’ position so as to create the best teamwork experience. I have grown both as a thoughtful team player and as an effective leader. Above all I have come to know that mistakes are unavoidable, but they shouldn’t diminish my courage to take initiatives in unfamiliar situations. Future CCIP participants, remember that CCIP isn’t just about getting something on your CV or reference letter, it’s also about exploring, discovering yourself and growing into a more responsible, active and positive individual!

2013 Award Recipients

ANG, Sheng Rui (Atlas)
National University of Singapore | ROZIC A
I am an intern for the Office of Assemblywoman Nily Rozic, an SAB Leader for NUS A and most importantly someone with a heart to serve and learn. To put things in perspective, this short reflection will not be able to capture the brilliance I have been surrounded with the past seven weeks. Nevertheless, there are three things I am extremely glad to have learnt during my participation in the Cross Cultural Internship Program.

1) Give, give and give somemore: To have the chance to serve a group of people, American constituents or fellow interns, all these giving will eventually become lessons guiding you through life. By taking the initiative, not only did I get the chance to bring about unforgettable experiences for my peers, but I concurrently also grew as a true leader - one that establishes bonds between strangers and never holds back a helping hand.

2) Do your part in solving social problems: From my involvement in the efforts to pass a bill, I learnt the importance of being sensitive to the needs of people around me and also respect the need for equality in treatment. Knowing that you are part of the solution and not the problem is indeed a beautiful feeling.

3) Bravery is much appreciated: Living away family and friends can be especially challenging and lonely. However, I suppose the key is to go beyond being adaptable and have the courage to create an overseas experience you will remember for life. The food, streets and people in America have offered me numerous "light bulb moments" I will be able to share with my peers back in SIngapore. It is hence all about saying "yes" to opportunities you never thought you would in the past. I am glad, in fact proud to have lived this internship.

CHEE, Marcus, Nan Ze (Markie)
Nanyang Technological University | ROZIC B
For the first time in a while, I’ve had the opportunity to think and reflect about my New York story, and about what comes next. And I found myself thinking about time. About how it flies by, about how there’s never enough of it. About how life comes at us so fast that we don’t always get to appreciate the time we have, and the people we share our time with. I feel like I just came to New York last week, and now I’m writing this essay, and trying not to embarrass myself any more than I have to.

I believe when we all first joined CCIP, we were sceptical. All of us had been pulled out of our comfort zones and pushed into a completely new environment, with new rules, new colleagues, and new peers. Some of us realized right away that things would be different and tried to adapt to these new surroundings, while others took a little longer. But most importantly, we progressed as individuals to form a unified community. We have made bonds between friends that will never be broken and memories that will last a lifetime.

Once again, I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone in the Dragon boat Team for an amazing team experience and all those who helped out in one way or another. It is the fighting spirit of the team that allows me to truly understand the meaning of ‘It is not the size of the dog in a fight, but the amount of fight in a dog.’

In a way, it’s a shame that we’ve become so close just in time for us to head our separate ways and begin the next stage of our lives. While I hope to find new and exciting experiences in the future, ideally we will remember our shared experiences and the valuable lessons we’ve learned, whether from navigating around Time Square, drowning in work or even counting the right amount of tips to give each time we dine in. Now it’s time for us to move on and expand our horizons, embrace whatever comes at you and show the people in your new world that there is much more to get out of life when you give and take.

As we end one glorious chapter of our lives, a new one begins. We have a fresh blank page ahead of us. We each will have to walk a different path now and, whether it begins tomorrow or in September, things will never be the same again. It is up to us to grab our pens and write our own stories. I believe all of you will take away the life lessons we’ve learnt in New York to write an unforgettable chapter filled with the fulfilment of your dreams and desires. Let us take what we have learned and let it guide us through to our futures. Let us build on our experiences to better ourselves and others around us, be it in America, Hong Kong, Macau or Singapore. Congratulations to all of us!

CUI, Can (Angie)
The Chinese University of Hong Kong | FUSIA A
Seven weeks ago when this summer befell, we were strangers making different dreams in different cities. With the Cross Cultural Internship Program, we came together in the Big Apple and from then on, we were all like sleeping into a same dream and becoming stage actors in this dreamland. Now as the program waning to the close, I am sort of forced awake and desperately reorganizing those pieces that stimulated my neuron the most.

In retrospect, I didn’t really take a second thought to decide which firm to intern in, when our host EK personally impressed me with her infectious energy, credible honesty and affable way of talking. Then upon hearing that I was accepted by FUSIA, excited as I was, I inwardly told myself not to idle this internship away and always keep my soul humble to learn. This taught me a grateful lesson.

Later on when schedule grew tighter, a systematic and efficient working manner was required. Seated right beside EK, I luckily got a shortcut to timely feedbacks and conducive suggestions upon my work, which definitely helped me to build up a better understanding of my ego as well. Then I gradually become not afraid of making mistakes when I come to realize that they would all turn around for my good. Furthermore, In the process of helping with the administrative management affairs, a manner of transpositional consideration was fostered up and simultaneously I was trained to be a problem-shooter.

Reconditioning a lifestyle on the other hemisphere is a real challenge, but of that I am sure, the lesson I learned and the happy hours we shared together will serve as a golden memory to relive for good.

FUNG, Yu Yan (Mary)
The Chinese University of Hong Kong | HKANY A
Hello everyone! I am Mary, one of the three intern of Hong Kong Association of New York (HKANY). Originally I supposed I was too young to be accepted by the program. Therefore, when I was notified I could join CCIP, I felt blissful.

I have never left home for more than a week before and I did not have friends to join CCIP with me. At the very beginning I missed home and my friends all the time. Luckily, with the help of new friends I met in this internship and being a member of Student Association Board, I felt better and happier every day.

I love my intern experience very much. Ms Ying Yen, my supervisor, is friendly and kind. She has lunch with us twice. She gives us clear guidance yet sufficient freedom to finish our job. For instance, she sets a specific deadline for a research project. Though she clearly tells us her expectation like what she wants to contain in the project, we can freely choose the format and way of job division. She expects us to be self-disciplined so she did not constantly oversee us and therefore we can work in a less stressful environment. This is very different from the Asian world in which interns will be guided step by step all the time by a serious-looking supervisor. It is great for me to taste American style of working.

From this internship, I met people from all walks of life. I found myself being in a totally different world. People here would directly express their dissatisfaction to the people they are angry of but not backbiting.

I learnt a lot from this internship and find myself now more mature. Hope more CUHK students can join this terrific program next year.

HUI, Man Kwan (Jane)
The University of Hong Kong | GHO B
“Catch it before it falls” is my motto. I always grab chances and challenge myself with new environment. Last year I was in Europe for exchange; prior to CCIP, I was in India to volunteer for a group of slum women and children with my schoolmates. Now I am in New York to intern at General Human Outreach in the Community, Inc. (GHO). The combination of a New York internship and the organization related to psychology is just perfect and could only be once-in-a-lifetime. It is great to see how a well-developed country treats the developmentally disabled population. The US is a human right country, at least in the social welfare aspect. I have learnt lots of the philosophy, rationale and principle behind each practice and they have made me realize that how valuable everyone is, you and me, able and disabled. The valuable internship experience has affirmed my will to become a social worker and commitment to improve people’s living quality. I hope that what I have learnt here can help me to change Hong Kong to be a better place.

During the program period, I volunteered to be a school leader and a SAB member. I believe that everyone has responsibility to make things better and someone must do it, so I did it. I always ask myself: why not? Try me! Taking initiative is a key to make the program efficient and effective. I am always happy and ready to serve.

I like an old saying very much: a diamond is only a chunk of coal that made good under pressure. Challenges are polishing. The more I overcome, the stronger I become. Although there were hardships during the program, I enjoy every moment we have spent together. I wish everyone in the program a successful and glory future from the bottom of my heart.

LAW, Sara Natalie (Sara)
The University of Hong Kong | KOO B
Siu Ting interned at Charming Holidays. My job duties included assistance in daily operations and market research.

Experience: One of most memorable experiences was the annual dialogue with the Grand Hyatt Group. By listening to the discussion of hotel booking procedures and supply and demand of hotels in different seasons, and the bargaining of hotel prices, I understood more about the relationship between travel agencies and hotels.

Gain: Although Charming is a Chinese-American company, the clients are mostly non-Chinese. I had numerous chance to improve my communication skills. I gained insights into realistic workplace situations which helped me to think about my future job career path. By joining this program, I discovered my personal advantages and disadvantages. I learned to have the right working attitude (e.g. being active and highly-motivated, solution-driven, flexible, adaptable, responsive), and become more independent and adaptable to different environments.

Advice: Primarily, participants have to fulfill their job efficiently and accurately by making the best use of resources such as past document, colleagues, or supervisor and asking whenever that are not sure about it. They have to be willing to learn when faced with a challenging job. To achieve the ultimate goal, you have to think of the meaning behind every task, not only to finish the assignment.

LI, Wanqi (Fiona)
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology | FUSIA B
This is LI Wanqi, Fiona. I am a year 1 student from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, majoring in Bachelor of Business Administration (Finance and Professional Accounting). I’m an intern in FUSIA communications, Inc. and a leader in Student Advisory Board.

This was my first time to take a formal internship and also the first cross-cultural trip to a foreign country. In this unforgettable summer, I explored and gained a lot, not only about the professional knowledge and skills but also about trying to understand and be open-minded.

Interning at FUSIA Communications was fulfilling. Every day I spent busy time sending mass emails, preparing documents, conducting research, updating websites, processing photos, maintaining database, communicating with external parties, taking charge of small projects, and even coding sometimes. As indicated, I was excitingly exposed to jobs of almost all kinds. This was a unique internship experience, as I could discuss with my supervisor, Elizabeth Kay, about my interest and perspective of learning. She encouraged me to face challenges, try hard, and learn from mistakes. With her high expectation and support, I improved a lot.

As a student leader on Student Advisory Board, I was encouraged to think from different perspective. I, along with other board members, can discuss and organize the student activities. We served as a bridge between participants and the program. Maybe also because I was working at CCIP's organizing company, I felt it was my responsibility to provide a helping hand whenever needed. Gradually, I learnt how to organize a program and understand different people, which was indeed a great treasure.

I strongly feel that I am so lucky to have joined and benefited much from CCIP. It offers such a wonderful platform to elite students from different universities to meet and inspire each other. I am grateful that CCIP, my host company and my peers turn this summer into such a wonderful memory.

LI, Hongze (Benjamin)
Macau University of Science and Technology | GEA B
Before arriving in the US, I did not think too much about what I would achieve during this 8 weeks internship. Actually, I joined the program on the last day in January, and I rarely thought about which company I going to work for. But one thing was sure--- this year’s summer will be the most extraordinary and unforgettable one that I will ever have.

CCIP Program is more than an internship, It also provides the opportunity to improve your social skills and broader your horizon as well as enjoy American style life. I learnt a lot from my supervisors and colleague. During the internship, my office skills and English ability have been improved, and I have encountered and got new ideas for my life and career path.

This program has given me an understanding that the biggest challenge everyone faces is personal success and an appreciation for the efforts one must make to achieve the goal. We took part in HK Dragon Boat Festival in Corona Park, and I was the team captain in charge of training. I do appreciate my team members’ efforts. We had three practices, and each of them took us own spare time, and fortunately, most of our team members came to practices on time. All team members gave their optimum strength during the competition. Without their cooperation, we couldn’t have achieved anything or have had the outstanding result.

Thanks God for giving me the opportunity to join CCIP. I do remember when I was ill one of our most outstanding members, June, who gave me a warm hearted care. I will never forget my lovely team members and kind community in Flushing YMCA. I am intoxicated by the amicable weather and beautiful city view in New York. Thank you.

NADIA, Gabriela (Nadia)
The Chinese University of Hong Kong | YU B
I was hyped when I first heard about CCIP that I would do my best to be accepted to this program. The result came out; I was informed that I wasn't admitted and I was devastated. EK said I was too young to join this program. Two weeks later, EK called me saying that they have one more place and asking me whether I’m still interested in joining the program. “YES, OF COURSE!” I answered firmly on cloud nine. However, I can only join session B because I will just turn 18 by then. This is my first ever internship and I took a giant leap to come to New York. Anxiety and excitement have agitated me for the past few weeks before the internship started.

Interning in YU & Associates is not easy as they have high expectation on you to be proactive and creative, and to possess a self-learning attitude throughout the seven weeks internship. With the help from my supervisor and colleagues, I improved in both hard skills and soft skills day by day. They also have inspired me through their personal sharing about past experiences, perspectives, and future goals. I really appreciate CCIP for putting me in a suitable host for me as the environment and the culture really motivates me in further pursuing my career in engineering business world.

I found new fun-loving friends in CCIP. Together, we shared our future goals, dreams, and cultural differences, we traveled and learned to adapt in this foreign country. “We are all in the same boat”.

As the program is coming to an end, I just want to thank CCIP organizers, EK, my supervisor, my colleagues, and my friends who have made my summer fruitful and unforgettable. I hope more students from CUHK will join this program next year!

YEO, Kai Ting, June (June)
National University of Singapore | FUSIA A
I tossed and turned in bed all night whilst fighting feelings of uncertainty about my upcoming 7-week stay in New York. Four hours later, I was on the plane, oblivious that I was about to experience my best summer ever. Upon arrival, I made fun-loving friends as my anxiety stealthily seeped away to make way for a whale of a time.

CCIP was more than an overseas internship experience; it gave me opportunities to experience the United States culture – I cheered enthusiastically for New York Mets with the passionate baseball fans at CitiField, toured the White House at Washington D.C., and celebrated Independence Day under showers of fireworks.

Interning at Fusia Communications was fulfilling. Each morning, my colleagues and I were greeted with a diversity of work ranging from drafting proposals, updating website via programming software and attending meetings. We were trained to work efficiently in an organized manner and seek clarifications whenever in doubt.

As a student leader interning at CCIP’s organizing company, I was constantly updated on the program happenings. Thus, I assisted the organizer in program management and dealt with unexpected situations by sharing my point of view and brainstorming for solutions. This trained me to consider issues from multiple perspectives and put others’ welfare before self.

My friends hyped the adventures I had in U.S. We visited Boston, trekked Niagara Falls and explored caves. I was also pleasantly surprised when my friends swarmed into my room with a cake and sang “Happy Birthday” heartily on my birthday.

I love the U.S. as its direct, brazen and free culture parallels my personality. During Boston Pride Day, I admire how the Americans are proud of who they are, regardless of their sexuality, and supportive of the avant garde crowd.

As CCIP drew to a close, thoughts of leaving my peers and U.S. left me feeling melancholic. I had the time of my life and an amazing experience – this was my best summer ever.

ZHENG, Chenghuai (Tim)
Macau University of Science and Technology | FUSIA B
Hi everyone, I am Tim! First and foremost, it is my honour and pleasure to work in Fusia as an intern and thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to become a leader in CCIP. Even though it is a short 7 weeks, it truly has been an unforgettable, rewarding and enriching experience for me in New York.

In terms of work, I have gained tremendous amount of knowledge in the field and valuable experience as an intern, such as learning how to overcome the piles and piles of work and complete them within the deadline and getting used to the hustle and bustle of New York City culture. Working in Fusia in particular has allowed me to broaden my realms in terms of teamwork and working together with my boss to directly receive on job training and first hand feedback, which allows me to make immediate adjustments and improvements.

As one of the captains of the Dragonboat team, I had the chance to exercise team leadership and team management with a group of exceptional individuals and I would just like to express my heartfelt gratitude to everyone who helped out in one way or another.

In a blink of an eye, 7 weeks is over just like that! Although it is a very short period of time but it has been an eye opener for me. I am so glad that I went out to explore and immerse myself in the NYC culture, visited countless museums, stepped into the UN, caught a live baseball match and even sat in the meeting room of Senator Gillibrand's office! My deepest appreciation to CCIP for making it possible!

Last but not least, I would like to thank the most important person who made all these possible and she is none other than Mrs Elizabeth Kay. I love CCIP!

2012 Award Recipients

BAN, Xi Yein (Elicia)
The University of Hong Kong | CITI B
I have learned not only the hard skills but also social skills via this internship program.

The cross cultural comparison between the States and Hong Kong had been more than fascinating as they are both developed countries. However, the society culture is utterly different. Communication played an impeccable role in the society. Fast paces in Hong Kong had made the people work more efficiently. Trading happens more quickly but this offsets the communication between sales staff and customers, as that happened in the States. Observation has taught me that patience and good manners are essential elements when interacting with people.

My supervisors, which are Martine and Gabrielle, always expect my coworker and I to perform our tasks in a professional way. For every task that we handled, at least thirty minutes of briefing were given so that we understand the purpose and the effective way to present our findings. Although the coworkers are always busy with their jobs, they always welcome our questions with open hands. We even learn some simple Creole and French phrases from the supervisors to enhance our interaction with some of the customers who do not speak English. I was very fortunate to be assigned the role of person-in-charge for events like the Abby Payne Jazz Concert and the Dragon Boat Booth. These events had undeniably boosted my leadership and communication skills.

The past seven weeks had been the most fruitful time of my twenty years of life. I strongly feel that I have benefited much from this program.

CHAN, Yee Lin (Elaine)
The Chinese University of Hong Kong | STNY A
This is Elaine, Chan Yee Lin. I am a year 2 student from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, majoring in International Business and Chinese Enterprise. I am interning in Sing Tao Daily in Manhattan as a Marketing Intern..

Experience: My main job scope is coordinating marketing events. I have overseen and coordinated The Third Annual Immigration and Health Fair for Chinese Immigrants to the US. I had to liaise with sponsors, participating organizations, volunteers for the event, manpower planning and so on. It was very challenging, but a very good learning opportunity for me.

Gain: I have really learnt a lot in the past few weeks during my internship. Through my interactions with many different parties, I have improved my communication skills tremendously, especially my telecommunication skills. I also had many opportunities to practice my writing skills when I was tasked with different paper work, such as writing the information pack and drafting the sponsorship agreement. These assignments given to me were very practical in giving me the experience which would be important in my future career.

Advice: Interning in STNY is an excellent learning experience. The host has high expectations of the students and the work load is heavy. Students would need to be mentally prepared for the rigors of the job, and the ability to multi-task without compromising the quality of work is a must. As supervisors may not be available at all times, students would need to be adept at working independently.

FAN, Yuejiao
Nanyang Technological University | TRANSEXP A
This internship experience at Transexpress is my first formal internship. I was exposed to a variety of administrative jobs here, such as bookkeeping, inventory record keeping, fuel usage monitoring and driver scheduling.

One thing I take away from the internship is that one has to be proactive if she wants to learn as much as possible. On my first day of work, I barely knew anything about the company and my colleagues. I wanted to learn how they ran the business and how they managed the company so I asked. Everyone in the office was more than happy to answer my questions. That was how I started seeing the full picture of the company.

On top of that, I worked hard and tried my best to understand everything I did, from simple things like data entry to more important jobs like driver scheduling. That was the best way for me to obtain recognition from my supervisor and other colleagues. As a result, they trusted me with their jobs. When the new administration staff came in, the supervisor even assigned me to teach her my jobs.

During the internship, I was partly involved in the management of the drivers. I learnt that was managing people was always the most challenging part of management, because they made mistakes all the time. Observing how my managers managed the driver's schedules differently according to the nature of the incident and the character of the employee impressed me and taught me a lot of lessons in being a manager.

All in all, this internship brought me a very realistic view of workplace and I believe it is a very valuable experience.

HE, Dacheng (David)
Nanyang Technological University | IFG A
CCIP proved to be a wonderful learning experience. As someone interested in the financial markets and planning to have a career in trading financial products, interning at IFG offered me a great exposure of this dynamic industry. During the past seven weeks, I learnt a lot about forex trading using algorithms. It gave me a better understanding of the difficulties of trying to design a consistently profitable trading robot. In addition, my superiors, in particular Wilson and Allen, taught me invaluable principles necessary to become a successful trader.

In addition to the knowledge I gained by working in the company, CCIP also offered me an invaluable opportunity to interact with people from different backgrounds, and I managed forge friendships with many of them. Serving as an organizer of weekend activities, I also learnt the art of compromise. Overall, the past seven weeks were a fantastic experience and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

KAN, Lijing (Anne)
National University of Singapore | STUDIO A
My internship experience in New York City has far exceeded my expectations. Working in the office and interacting with my colleagues bridged the theoretical knowledge I have learnt and that of the real working world. The diversity and inclusiveness of this vibrant city have offered me new perspectives in not only design but also ways of living. I am also motivated to work harder and play harder as it becomes utterly important to seize every possible moment, as time seems like a precious commodity in New York. Wandering around the city after work was as well refreshing for me. There was never enough time to observe different sides of New York City, not to mention that every aspect of it is ever-changing. New York City is hardly stagnant, and so is the experience of living there.

It was definitely critical to gain as much I could from my work and life here as an intern, by learning new skills and adapting to accommodate different schools of thoughts. However, I think being audacious and open-minded is as well significant in enriching the experience. I really appreciate that CCIP has offered me this platform to embark on a new journey of observing the world and getting to know another side of myself. I believe that this page of my life is going to benefit me in the future, and will soothe me in my nights of contemplation.

KEE, Li Chien, Jonathan (Jon)
National University of Singapore | FUSIA A
As an intern at FUSIA, I was given the opportunity to apply the business knowledge I learnt in my course of study in a real-life marketing firm setting. I was exposed to crucial marketing functions such as media tracking, and also had the chance to manage important company projects.

Experience: Living and working in New York has proven to be a fulfilling and memorable experience for me. Being my first time in America, this experience will always hold a special place in my heart. I am particularly attracted to the cultural diversity in New York, and the creativity the city exudes. I love being immersed in the fast-paced but free lifestyle here. I realize that New Yorkers tend to be preoccupied with getting around their busy schedules, but they still take time to wind down especially after office hours. Most of all, I love the food culture in New York. The portions here are generous and hearty, and will leave me craving for them especially when I am back in my own country.

Gain: More than technical skills, I have learnt so many life lessons during my internship. I am thankful to have had an understanding and kind supervisor, who was patient and ever-willing to impart important life lessons to me. I learnt how to condition myself to think with a wider perspective, for instance, and to train myself to have more foresight in the things I am doing. I always believe such intangible skills are the most crucial to know but the hardest to come by. I am thankful that I had the opportunity to learn such lessons, and will surely bear them in mind as I face more challenges in the future.

Advice: Every circumstance is always a learning opportunity, and having the right perspective is so important. Wisdom always comes with humility, and we will always have a lesson to learn from what we go through, or from anyone whom we meet in our lives. At the end of the day, it’s the lifelong friendships and memories that we forge through the internship which we will come to cherish more after our internship experience ends.

LAU, Shyh Tzer (David)
The Chinese University of Hong Kong | FUSIA B
Feeling the breeze of Manhattan skyline and the suffocating Wall Street, here is it, New York, where the intense feeling of fulfillment happens. I’m Lau Shyh Tzer, David, year 1 Computer Science student from The Chinese University of Hong Kong. As an intern at Fusia Communications Inc, the seven-week internship experience was utterly marvelous.

Interning in a small-medium enterprise, it really provided me an exclusive chance to be a crucial part of the company team rather than just like being an observer which what I couldn’t easily achieve at a big firm. When I get off the F train and say ‘Hi’ to the splendid Brooklyn Bridge every morning, I would begin to guess the upcoming challenges and being to turn on my mind to contemplate on the company operation. It was an incredible sense of belonging like you’re one of the founding members and it really incited my entrepreneurial spirit. On top of that, I was given the opportunities to develop the company website as well as the important role of administrating the sophisticated database. Those senses of responsibility undeniably boosted my confidence and shaped me a better player to work in an American-style manner which what my supervisor always points it out - work harder but work smarter.

Besides that, being ten-thousand miles away from my hometown with group of new but going-to-be lifetime friends was what a warm feeling. Even we’re all from different growing background, speaking various native languages, we broke the cultural gap and chilled out together to numerous movie-like places, faced together with certain psychological up-and-downs and captured awful lots of jumping-style photo. Those ever-lasting friendship was certainly one of my precious assets that I gained from the CCIP.

It was a memory about a tech guy achieving his dream which I call this tiny part of my life, beautifully unforgettable.

LI, Junjie (Jerry)
Lingnan University | IFG A
As a marketing assistant in IFG trade, my duties are executing marketing and video production projects, and will also report to the chief branding officer. It is related to my Major Marketing as well. Basically, I was helping company to develop the foundation of branding, which includes changing the current website layout and creating some video as learning material.

Experience: This 7 weeks internship experience is really memorable. The most memorable thing in these 7 weeks is I set up a standard procedure about how to use different software to create some tutorial videos and demonstrate videos. I totally have no idea about this before, and there are no instructions. It was quite different from my pervious internship experience. So I need to find solution by my own. It allows me to use all my abilities to solve problems. It gave me confidence that I can fulfill a project individually.

Gain: Although I was very busy, I benefited a lot. By fulfilling different task and solving problems I faced during the internship period, I realized that effective communication makes it easier to fulfill the task. When we face new problems or issues, we should try to figure out a solution in a different way. Meanwhile teamwork is also important. Moreover, I get to know more about the branding strategy of a new company and how the CBO thinks about promoting a product and branding the company itself. Even the color applied to website and company promotion material, really matters to the image of a business to its potential clients.

Advice: Cherish this opportunity, whatever your duties are in your host company. There is nothing that is meaningless. Think about what you can gain in this task, and from the perspective of your supervisor. Most of all, seek to continually improve yourself. When you are well-prepared and the opportunity comes by, seize it and make the best out of it.

NG, Yu Xuan
National University of Singapore | FUSIA A
I interned at FUSIA Communications, Inc. I am grateful for a supervisor who really looked out for each of us and was serious about helping us grow and discover ourselves. At the end of the first week she was able to point out each of our weaknesses and strengths. She did not expect us to be perfect, but always highlighted what we were good at and sharpened us.

This internship gave me a glimpse of the real working world and definitely made me feel more prepared for life after graduation. It taught me how to deal with people, difficult situations and my own mistakes. Through the seven weeks I learnt the importance of having a good attitude. Whether it is at work, or living together with 73 other people in hostel, a smile or a kind word goes a long way. More than having acquired a certificate of participation or good commendations from my supervisor, it is the people whom I have met and the conversations that I have had that made this internship count for me. I discovered that this is what really satisfies me. I am thankful for my fellow interns who see my grumpy morning face at 6:30AM every day, who laugh with me and at me, who come to my rescue at work every time I need help and who have become more than colleagues, but friends.

Living in New York is really an experience. I like how there is music everywhere, and people are free to be themselves. Here, I saw the mistakes I made turn around for my good, I befriended strangers in Bryant Park, I sat on a bus for seven hours in DC, I tried Peter Luger's T-bone steak, I slept on the 7 train like a true New Yorker and I watched the best musical in my life. Most importantly I learnt to open up my mind and be receptive to new ideas, new people and new situations. I learnt not to discount every little experience, because everything happens for a good reason.

My advice to future participants? Be humble and put in your best in everything, because you never know how much you can learn even from the mundane, seemingly insignificant things that you do.

NG, Earl Christianson, Chua
The Chinese University of Hong Kong | IFG B
Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile. Because it happened” – Dr. Seuss

As this internship draws to a close, and as we say good-bye to the city that we called our home for the last 7 weeks, I look back and think of all those moments that I had during this program, and I can’t help but feel a tinge of sadness. Undoubtedly, we will all feel sad as we leave New York. We will have to eventually say good bye to this amazing city, of which we explored and explored to no end.

But what would probably hurt the most, is having to say good bye to all the amazing people that we’ve met, the same people that we would walk together on our way to work, the same people that we shared all our laughs during our weekend trips. And the same people that we had a lot of fun taking crazy pictures with.

But as I write this, I realize. Why should we have to be sad? We’ve all had an amazing time in this city that never sleeps. We’ve shared all the laughs and sites of the big apple. But most of all, we’ve met all these amazing people! We’ve been able to meet all these amazing people with whom we’ve shared the pains and challenges of working in New York. And we’ve met these amazing people who have the potential to be amazing friends. To me, what defines a successful and enjoyable internship aren’t the places that you go and see nor even the money you make, but the people that you go through the internship with. And to me, that is the most invaluable experience that I’ve had, for which no amount of money could ever replace. Every penny, every second that I’ve spent on this internship was well worth it. Because it gave me the opportunity to meet all of you! So…..Europe anybody? :)

XIONG, Zehao
National University of Singapore | FUSIA A
This is Xiong Zehao, a Year 1 student from National University of Singapore. In CCIP, I’m an intern in FUSIA and a leader in Student Advisory Board. CCIP is indeed a conducive and an unforgettable experience for me.

I appreciate the opportunity to participate in CCIP. First of all, it is a great opportunity to explore the U.S and American culture. Living in a Chinese and Korean community neighborhood has also let me understand the differences between the Chinese and Korean culture. Second, the program organizer is very responsible. Besides our internship, she tried her best to give us as many chances as possible to explore the U.S. We went to Washington D.C, United Nations, Singapore Mission, etc. We even had the honor to meet Mr. Mark Neo, Singapore’s Deputy Permanent Representative to UN. Moreover, the program is much cheaper than other internship programs. And the value of the experience is much higher than the price we paid. Though we stayed in YMCA which was not as good as those 5 stars hotels in Manhattan, it was comfortable and in a convenient neighborhood.

As an intern in FUSIA, I learnt a lot of things I cannot learn from big corporation. Everything in FUSIA is very organized and efficient, so I also got trained to be more organized and efficient. I got exposed to diversified administrative work and got a big picture about how a company functions. Besides this, I have many opportunities to communicate with my boss to get advice and learn directly. FUSIA students also have very good relationship with each other. We always hang out together after work. Our boss joined us very often as well. I have learnt a lot from my boss and colleagues.

As an SAB, through dealing with emergency situations and different students, I also learnt a lot. As a student leader working in the organizing company of the program, I was always the one who immediately knew what was going on when things happened. From discussing with the program organizer and different students, I could understand the situation from both the organizer’s perspective and students’ perspective. In the mean time, I learnt how to organize a program and understand different people. There were both hard and fun times as an SAB. I still remembered the trip to Washington D.C., when the tour guide was making up the amount of money and kind of trying to force students to go to the spots which student did not want to. We as the SAB leaders discussed a lot on how to handle the situation. We tried hard to liaise with the tour guide and calm the students down. When I look back, it was a really good experience and I learnt from this incident.

Besides this, making some lifetime friends is also something I treasure a lot from this program. We had chances to make friends from Singapore, Mainland China and Hong Kong. Though we are all Chinese, I got to see the differences between different Chinese cultures. This is something I will not get from other internships.

Overall, CCIP is a really fantastic program. I enjoy my stay in New York City. I love CCIP.

ZHAI, Yue (Luna)
Macau University of Science and Technology | FUSIA B
This is Luna, Zhai Yue. I am a year 3 student from the Macau University of Science and Technology, majoring in Advertising. I’m an intern in FUSIA and a leader in Student Advisory Board. Thanks for the CCIP, which is a wonderful learning experience.

In these 7 weeks, I really gain a lot of thing, Not only about the working skills or experiences but also about the thinking of culture and life.

As an intern in FUSIA, I learnt a lot of thing. For example, the team working, thinking for the whole company or team is more difficulty than for just me. I can't do it well, as I usually don't have a big picture about how a company functions. Fortunately, EK (my boss) taught me a lot. Actually, I got many opportunities to communicate with EK directly. It's really a wonderful environment to learn and to recognize my shortcomings.

In the same time, I am a SAB (Student Advisory Board). The SAB is an organization, that we SABs can discus and organize the student's activities. We plan the activity; take care of the students; assurance activities carried out smoothly. At the beginning, I am a little confused with how to organize an activity. But thanks for the CCIP, I gradually learned how to be responsible for the orderly organization and management activities. I believe that these experiences be of great help in my future.

As a student from other country, this cultural experience let me deeply understand the world we live and the life we create. Learning experiences and the friends here will be a valuable wealth in my life.

ZHANG, Bingsi (Icy)
Macau University of Science and Technology | TOTO B
Oh, damn it! What can I do? I don’t know how to use Access, I don’t know how to speak Cantonese and actually my English is not that good. I am so scared! There are lots of things I don’t know and even never see before, so scared, so worried and so anxious about myself!” I repeated it again and again for the first day I went to work. Yes, this was me at the first day in New York, a normal student from Macau University of Science and Technology.

Difficulties, strange environment, and different cultures invaded into my world. I felt sacred and confused, but it seemed scary and confusion did not make any sense. Gradually, I realized that I had to face the reality, and face to the problem I started to ask myself why I was so scared, actually, the answer was surprisingly simple, just because I didn’t know. “So what if I don’t know?” I asked myself again, “Nothing”, seemed to be the answer. Thus, everything became quite easy. Absolutely, the “Don’t be scared” attitude is the most precious experience I acquire and also want to share with you during this long journey.

As for the most unforgettable memory, I should say it is the time I stayed with the 14 students of the Gee team. I still remembered that you still tried your best to practice the dance in a late night after one-day tiring work, Although, there were some unhappy problems, you guys helped me to combat them. And also, the performance we did in the closing ceremony was exceptionally perfect! I did really appreciate you, everyone in the Gee team and also EK to give us a stage to show our talents and confidence.

2011 Award Recipients

CHEUNG, Cheuk Ming (Ryan)
The Chinese University of Hong Kong | CG B
I am Ryan Cheung, an 18 year old first year undergraduate studying a Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical & Automation Engineering in the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

I participated to experience hands-on the life and culture of living and working independently in New York; and have definitely achieved that.

Joining the peer group I offered help to others by proof reading resumes and polishing submissions. I experienced the philosophy of "sharing is caring'. Also my written contribution to the CCIP press release was hopefully useful; and giving back is heartwarming.

Getting up at 5am and spending 5 hours commuting every day was initially a shock; but I value the importance of being reliable and punctual; and was never late. At my host company, I completed every task in an efficient and timely manner. This unique experience has been a big learning curve and I have developed because of it. It has helped me realize my potential and discover my strengths and weakness in the process.

I participated in the Host Appreciation and Closing Ceremony; standing at the reception throughout, to make sure late guests were properly greeted and promptly granted access. For half of the Dragon Boat Festival Day I enjoyed helping children draw and paint.

I befriended students we exchanged views and culture; which is special as I am Eurasian. I embraced the concept of East meets West and enriched our mutual understanding and respect. I have matured, and realize I have a lot to learn and much to contribute. I may not fully realize what I have gained, but I have represented my Country, University, peers and myself very well; which in itself is rewarding.

I have risen to all the challenges and contributed wholeheartedly to the CCIP; all with the valuable support from EK, my supervisor, colleagues and family.

CHU, Ho Yan (Tiffany)
The University of Hong Kong | RIVERA B
Freshly graduating from my Bachelor of Laws degree at the University of Hong Kong, many have inquired why I chose to intern abroad instead of job-hunting this summer. I had hoped to travel far and see the world. Little did I know CCIP would give me so much more.

My host company, Rivera & Colón, LLP, is a law firm which offered me various hands-on experiences in a wide range of work - from being the receptionist taking calls to the paralegal handling cases alone. At first sight, my duties may not seem directly relevant to Hong Kong legal practice; yet in fact, the work setting cultivated my soft skills and practical work skills gradually, both subtly important to working with clients and in the office in the future. I enjoyed interacting with and observing different people, which trained me to become more confident and professional. I also learnt time management and work organization during the busy weeks when some colleagues took vacation, leaving only 2 of us in the office.

I always believe that either you don't take part, but if you do, commit your whole in it. As such, I joined the Student Advisory Board and the Dragon Boat Team to get the most out of this program other than just the internship. As an SAB Event team member, I had a glimpse of the inner-making of the program events such as the Closing Ceremony and served as a bridge between participants and the program. Although we spent many nights having fruitless meetings, I felt a sense of accomplishment every time each event was completed. The Dragon Boat Festival was another fun experience. We sacrificed weekends to train but still lost in the end, nevertheless I felt our team spirit as we rowed towards the same target in the same boat under thunder and rain. In this program, we may come from different places and different schools, but we share moments as one big family.

CCIP is truly one-of-a-kind, but I'm so glad I made the decision to join it, not to mention be recognized as a STAR student. Thanks CCIP and EK for giving me such a wonderful experience! Here, I gained cultural insight, joy, friendship and love. I hope everyone else has had an equally rewarding time.

JIA, Muyun (Rebecca)
The University of Hong Kong | CMI A
I looked out the window, and the night scene of Flushing traced me back when the car firstly arrived at YMCA and I got out, I thought, "Here I am at last. " I was finally at New York so far away from the University of Hong Kong where I just finished my final exams as a Year 1 business student. I was here having only myself to rely on and believe in. However, being a down-to-earth and keen student, I look forward for all the things ahead.

Interned in Crystal McKenzie, Inc. (CMI), I knew all that I did, I did with my might. Work in CMI was never easy, as the standard of accomplishment were usually beyond my reach and existing knowledge. However, this experience could be likened to a swim learning class for a beginner. I dived first, made several trial and errors, sometimes drowned, but I still communicated my mistakes, and asked for guidance. During this process, I made most of my knowledge, believed in my ability, and was never afraid of reporting to supervisors who always trusted my judgments. I also never halted the process of adapting. As time goes by, I was so sentimentally attached to CMI and its people. My hard work and my way of treating people united me and other CMI co-workers.

As a CCIP participant, I thought I did my utmost in both work and peer socializing. I believed in unity in diversity. Hence, putting me in other shoes was always challenging, but essential. So, I usually took the lead to take care of various travel and daily affairs for my group.

I have already made this experience so different in my whole life, and it made such a great impact on me that I would never forget.

KOK, Hong Bin
National University of Singapore | FUSIA A
I am Kok Hong Bin, a Year 2 Student from National University of Singapore, majoring in Chemical Engineering. I intern at FUSIA Communications Inc., a marketing agency which focuses on developing products and channels to help the market overcome cultural challenges.

Throughout the internship, I feel that I have gained tremendously in terms of my marketing knowledge and learning how to communicate with others. While the internship does not benefit me directly in my academic field of study, I feel that the intangible skills which I have picked up would be more useful to me in the long run, especially since these skills cannot be taught in a school environment. Skills such as communicating with clients, networking, report writing are necessary skills that can make or break a person's career. Working in America as also allowed me to experience their diverse culture and understand the differences between Asian and American cultures.

As a participant of the program, I have enjoyed taking part and even help organize various events such as the Morgan Stanley visit and Kickoff BBQ session. Not only do these events allow students to gain more exposure and a global outlook, it is also a great avenue for students in the program to interact and learn more about each other. I have definitely made more friends from Hong Kong and China and learnt more about their culture and behavior through this internship.

All in all, CCIP has been a great opportunity and I felt that I have gained more than I had expected. I am hence very grateful to be a recipient of the Star Award and I would recommend CCIP to students who wish to broaden their horizons and gain an enriching experience.

KWEK, Pak Ming
National University of Singapore | FUSIA A
I am Pak Ming and I am currently a Year 2 Chemical Engineering student from The National University of Singapore. While I am an engineer by training, I chose to intern for FUSIA Communications, a marketing solutions company, during my CCIP stint due to my strong interest in marketing and business. In retrospect, I am glad I made that choice as the past 7 weeks had been extremely rewarding for me.

The internship at FUSIA Communications, while short, has given me a strong sense of motivation and self-belief. From the get-go, I was given opportunities to handle a myriad of important tasks which will directly affect the reputation and credibility of the firm. The tasks, ranging from liaising with the program's host company to coming up with proposals for new market ventures, gave me valuable on-the-job experience and boosted my confidence.

To repay the faith and trust that the host company had given me, I gave my all in everything I do in order to complete my tasks efficiently and effectively. Looking back, despite making many mistakes along the way, I feel that I have greatly benefited from this internship as I uncovered my own strengths and weaknesses while handling my work. Moreover, in accordance to CCIP's purpose, I felt that the most important takeaways from the experience would be the cultural and practical perspectives developed while working in a foreign country. I saw for myself the importance of balancing soft and hard skills in the modern workplace during the CCIP and the 7 weeks gave me the chance to properly prepare and train myself in becoming a true global professional.

Moreover, to get the best out of any experience, I firmly believe that the best way would be to immerse oneself in the activity. Hence, upon acceptance into the CCIP, I immediately signed up for the Student Board and was subsequently nominated as the Core Member of the Marketing team. This gave me a chance to hone my leadership and organization skills as I became involved in many aspects of the program, such as event management and taking charge of initiatives such as the basketball tournament during the end-session gathering. The enriching events, the rare chance to take charge of the activities, coupled with the opportunity to interact with 67 of my fellow interns while communing in Flushing YMCA, offered a very enriching experience throughout my term.

The work and social aspects of CCIP was able to offer beyond what I had expected when I first signed up for the event. The lessons I learnt during the 7 weeks were something that can never be taught or learnt from our textbooks. The experience has further inspired me to make full use of my strengths and improve upon my weaknesses, and has solidified my desire to start my own business when I head back to Singapore. I am deeply honoured to have been given the STAR Award and I am just glad that I was able to contribute to the program in one way or another. On behalf of the 2011 CCIP Session A students, I would like to thank Ms Elizabeth Kay for putting in so much effort in ensuring the success of the program. I will be looking forward to work hand-in-hand with the company on the newly formed CCIP Alumni Network in the near future!

LAI, Chuk Man (Ronald)
The University of Hong Kong | GC B
My name is Chuk Man Ronald Lai, majoring in Economics and Finance at the University of Hong Kong. With my vision to launch my career in financial industry, I find this foreign working experience particularly beneficial to my personal growth and career development. Driven to prepare for my future career, I signed up for CCIP to acquire working experience in which I can develop my soft skills, such as communication and problem solving skills. On top of those skills, as an intern to assist the financial controller in an architectural company, I had numerous opportunities to interact with my colleagues and learned the operation of a company.

Not only did I acquire skills and professional etiquette, I have also enjoyed my stay with my peers in the program through frequent interactions. Those of us interns from various backgrounds and countries formed a team and entered a Dragon Boat Competition. Motivated, we trained ourselves in the gym after work and practiced outdoor on weekends. On the race day, there was a pouring rain and our race was postponed. It was certainly not the most cheerful weather to celebrate, yet as a captain I am very proud of our team as we peddled against the rain to the finish line in persistence. Thanks to the rain, our memory of the race was marked by bravery and cheers.

I am very glad that I have made the choice to join CCIP. It offers a wonderful platform to elite students from different universities and disciplines to meet and inspire one another in New York City and acquire professional skills through internships. Also, situating oneself in a metropolitan city like New York is on its own a very broadening experience. I am grateful that CCIP, my host company and my peers turn this summer into such a wonderful memory.

LI, Cheuk Him
The University of Hong Kong | CMC A
Interning at CMC Development Group, my job duties were to assist in daily operations, develop detailed spreadsheets using MS excel and financial analysis.

As a student with limited working experience, I find that this program develops not only my practical working skills, but also giving me the chance that for me to accept new cultures and working style. Moreover, the program trains up my conservation skills between colleagues and supervisors. During the internship period, I had a chance to streamline the working system of the company. Through frequently discussion with my supervisor, I learnt more about the operation of a company and gained different insight on a particular issue. My supervisor spent time with me to discuss not only the real estate industry, but also how and why the company makes decisions on different issues. In Asia, we seldom have chance to focus on improving our training skills because the company in Asia focus much more on hard skills. But, In the US, it's a totally different story. This difference is instantly noticeable when you begin interning.

Throughout the internship, I was able to work independently and prepared to learn and open to new experiences. If you have nothing to do at work, never sit down and wait for someone to give you work. Each supervisor will appreciate your strong initiative in the workplace, and those who showing themselves eager to learn. Never complain you don't have work, but try to find tasks which are helpful to your company. Even a small task, your colleagues and supervisors will appreciate the effort you paid.

Thank you, my bro and sis :D !

LI, Amy
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University | HMH B
I am a second year student majoring in Accountancy at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. I am currently interning at the Finance Department of Hamilton Madison House (HMH), which is a non-profit organization that focuses on the development of humane policies and programs.

Under the internship program, I am responsible for assisting my supervisor in handling day-to-day financial transactions, preparing year-end financial reports and performing other office routines. In HMH, I have the opportunity to learn how to operate the computerized accounting system. I am now well verse with the operational guidelines and procedures, and can deliver results to my supervisor satisfactorily. I am glad that I have maintained a very close working relationship with my colleagues who perceive me as their partner rather than a summer intern.

Apart from the above, I am an active member of SAB and also a member of the dragon boat team. This is definitely another kind of experience that I have gained in the past few weeks. We were given the chance to get involved in the coordination of different student activities and it was enjoyable to meet and work with people from different schools.

All in all, I am glad that I made the decision to join this program. It has given me an excellent opportunity to travel around and experience different cultures. I made the most out of my time here, I met a lot of interesting people and this has been a meaningful and exciting experience. I am deeply honored to be nominated as a candidate for the STAR award and I would like to thank everyone who has been part of this journey of mine; and a special thanks to Ms. Elizabeth Kay, who has been helping us out throughout the whole program.

MIAO, Huiting (Tracy)
Lingnan University | CS A
My name is Tracy Huiting Miao, I am a Finance student in Lingnan University. I interned in China Sprout, an online bookstore selling Chinese educational books and cultural products. I am always very curious about daily business operational management. Before I came to the US, I said to myself try to learn as much as I can and my whole experience in China Sprout indeed very fulfilling. I am very impressed by my boss Xiaoning, her working style and her persistence and all those good qualities inspired me a lot.

I also got the chance to help out writing Press Release to CCIP in the early of the program, I would always like to join any CCIP's events and activities, interact with different students and gain more valuable experience.The Cross Culture Internship Program (CCIP) provides a very good platform for me to reach out to different people and be exposed to different situation, learn to understand and be flexible. I would like to take the chance to thank China Sprout and CCIP, you give me wonderful experience and it becomes my precious memory.

SIT, Hoi Wai Nathalie
The University of Hong Kong | LANCMAN A
It will take a bit of courage to step out of your comfort zone and land yourself in a foreign country for 2 months. Get through that little barrier and you will find it totally worth it. I'm Nathalie, a first-year law student from the University of Hong Kong. This summer, I joined the CCIP and interned at Assemblyman Rory Lancman's Office.

June was the craziest time of the office because of the end-of-session rush. It stressed me out in the first week, but then I gradually took advantage of the busy setting and was proactive to ask for more work, which equals more learning opportunities. I did legislative research, wrote reports and replied letters from the constituents. While working on these, I gained an insight into New York State's legal system and their current legislative debates. Also, to make use of my dual language skills, I represented the Assemblyman to reach out to the Asian American community and translated local papers to update him on the latest issues in the Community.

It wasn't all smooth throughout the internship though. I had had mess-ups and I'm grateful my supervisor – Jane and my colleagues were supportive and encouraging all along. So I put aside my Asian mindset of being afraid to make mistakes and be confident and receptive to new opportunities. As the office quieted down after the Session, I got to interact a lot more with my colleagues. We learnt about each other's culture and had a great time together!

A tip for new CCIPers: don't take this as merely an internship experience. You're in the Big Apple!! Go and explore this place, try out their food and everything. Immerse in the American culture, and I'm sure you will gain new perspectives and insights.

I dare not say the CCIP experience has changed my life. But no doubt, it has helped shape a better me. I always believe that when you're in another country, not only could you learn about a new culture, but you learn about yourself.

Now let me take the chance to thank EK and the SAB for your effort in making this Program run successfully, the Assemblyman, my supervisor and colleagues for coaching me throughout the internship, and last but not least, my friends who were there to laugh and cry with me in the last 2 months!!! You will be missed.

WONG, Mun Teng
National University of Singapore | GC A
My name is Mun Teng Wong (Corlev) and I am a third year student in National University of Singapore (NUS), studying in the course of Mechanical Engineering. I am glad that I have made the right choice of participating CCIP in 2011.

Throughout the entire internship program in NYC, I could learn a lot of skills that related to my field of study. In addition, I could experience the different living styles and cultures in New York City. I would consider this experience as one of the most rewarding parts of my internship as this is something I could not learn otherwise.

I would say this program indeed give the great impact in shaping my character. At the beginning of the program, I had to travel to New York, a totally foreign country to me, on my own. During the journey, I managed to encounter all the difficulties and solve all the problems on my own; it makes me to be a tougher and stronger person.

Apart from that, during my internship in GC Eng, I was given a lot of opportunities to attend networking sessions, engineering workshops and I got to communicate with people from all around the world. All these practice enables me to become a more open-minded person and I've learned to face the challenges without fear.

All these trainings as mentioned above have equipped me with valuable life skills and it makes me to be qualified for the STAR award. I appreciate all the opportunities that given to me.

YAQUB, Muhammad Umar
The University of Hong Kong | GC A
The CCIP has been a wonderfully rewarding experience for me. I travelled to New York, one of the world's largest metropolitan cities with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds. I met a lot of interesting people here and made some really good friends, both from CCIP and outside. Interacting with them broadened my horizons and gave me a deep insight into cultures, values and histories. I got familiarized with the similarities and learned to appreciate the differences, which is the key to living in peace and harmony in a multi-cultural society. Being a CCIP participant also gave me an excellent opportunity to travel around USA which would not have been possible otherwise.

Being a student of mechanical engineering, my internship in GC Eng & Associates, PC turned out to be a great learning opportunity. Before coming to New York, I was very anxious about the nature of my work and the attitude of my supervisor and colleagues. However, my concerns did not last very long as I quickly got familiarized with the workplace which provided a nice and comfortable environment for learning. My boss and colleagues were all very friendly, approachable and willing to help. I learned the basics of heating, ventilation and air conditioning through various seminars and sharing sessions. Thereafter, I worked on a number of engineering projects for my company which involved site surveys, research, planning and drafting. It helped me a lot as I understood how HVAC works, the rules and regulations and the safety considerations. I also worked with plumbing and fire protection. My work taught me how little I knew about the practical engineering world and how much more I had to learn. This self-reflection instilled in me a sense of humility and taught me to take constructive criticism positively. I learned about work ethics and engineering practices throughout the world and those specific to America. My time at GC Eng & Associates, PC was a very fruitful one as I realized that the key to success as an engineer was to be determined, patient and hardworking, and never to get deterred by difficulties.

Bombarded with long instructional emails throughout the application process, my first impression of the CCIP was that of an extremely tough and demanding program. Little did I know, however, that it would turn out to be a life-changing experience for me. Looking back now and considering the knowledge I gained, the places I visited, the friends I made and the fun I had, I can confidently say that joining CCIP was one of the best decisions I ever made! It is also a great privilege and honor for me to be one of recipients of the prestigious STAR Award. I would thank the organizers, especially Ms Elizabeth Kay for providing this excellent opportunity and guiding me throughout. It would be an absolute pleasure for me to be able to contribute to this program in the future through the CCIP Alumni Network.

YEUNG, Chun Hoi
The University of Hong Kong | LANDAIR A
When I found out that I receive the Star Award, I was shocked. Honestly I think I am the luckiest people in the program-I am so grateful.

I worked for Landair Project Resource, Inc-the star company among the list of Host Company in FUSIA as a Project Manager. It offered me a chance to contribute into several important projects. This helped me to build up a global mindset and practically enhance my professional knowledge in business sector. Throughout the 7-week program, I was like a self-starter to complete my works, as well as being part of the team, cooperating with other intern to finish the jobs with efficiency.

I can still recall the memory when I first applied the Cross Cultural Internship Program. With a branch of documents to submit before the deadline, I look like a disorientated bird. But things became better when I am much familiar with the program. To pitch-in the program was not an easy task, and it required your preparation, determination and selflessness to go through all the stages. But at the end of the day you will find out that it is worthwhile and the experience is really unique and valuable. It was like mixed with tears and sweats, but also happy and joys.

Chilling-out after work is definitely another topic that everyone is interested in. For me, New York is like a community with fusion of different cultures. You can go to museums, shopping malls, Broadway shows, Baseball matches, etc as you wish. At the same time, you can organize events and meet new friends to have fun together. Just take your time to do whatever you enjoy! And to be able to fully utilize your time, don't hesitate to do what you want. Opportunity is like a Meteor, so be proactive and get prepared.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thanks FUSIA and my supervisor. They both help to sharp me into a better person and get motivation to me to complete the works. This 'adventure' is going to be part of my memory. I will miss all the things in New York!

YIN, Hanzhang (Dave)
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University | DJAM B
First of all, I’m really appreciated that CCIP nominated me as the STAR Award Student candidate. It is a great honor for a CCIP participant and I couldn’t win it without the support from my peers, my supervisor and EK, the program organizer.

After completing this meaningful internship program, I will become a final year student of Hong Kong Polytechnic University. During the past seven weeks, I worked in DJAM insurance brokerage Inc., which suits my major perfectly. Besides the strong support from everyone around me, I tried my best to earn the STAR Award both as an intern and a program participant.

As an intern, I equipped myself with professional knowledge from academic study before I came to New York. I had no difficulty in understanding the jargons that appear on the paperwork. Therefore, I showed my professionalism to the host company at the beginning. Later, I realized that academic knowledge only helps me better understand the context. When it comes to getting the real business done, I need to learn new skills such as how to approach client over phone or in person. So I maintained a positive learning attitude by accepting the critics and suggestions from both the supervisor and my peer. In addition, interning in a small firm gives me a strong sense of responsibility since what I do is closely connected to company’s profitability. I always tried hard to get the lowest quote in a timely manner. I helped my company gained many new clients.

As a program participant, I kept taking part actively in different kinds of activities, which enlarged my social network. On the other hand, I made contribution to the promotion of CCIP by sparing time practicing in dragon boat team and helping in the SAB for various events. I also helped establish connection between PolyU Alumni Association and CCIP. What’s more, I always communicate with EK when there are possible confidentiality issues related to host and school communication. In this way, I maintained a professional manner for both myself and CCIP.

2010 Award Recipients

LU, Yongben (Ben)
Macau University of Science and Technology | HARRY B
Make the most of my experience... I stood in front of the poster about the CCIP for a while when I saw the program first time. After serious thinking about the scene in New York, I decided to apply for the program. But that it was indeed not easy to get through the selection process.

First, I had to pass the writing test and meet the GPA requirements. I needed to meet the personality trait requirements. After all, I attended an interview given by my school's Register (Mr. Morrison).

Luckily, I was selected. After learning that I was placed in a healthcare company, I did so much research about the industry. The entire healthcare system was different from that in China. I tried my best to remember all the terms. Aside from this, I read so much information about the city, ranging from people, lifestyles, transportation system, living standard, etc.

In New York, everything was fresh to me. In the beginning, I was under so much pressure. I hoped to accomplish my assignments in a timely and quality manner. But then the more focus, the more mistakes I made.

Then I started to adjust myself. I talked to my coworkers and made friends. They were curious about my background. The more I talked, the more I learned about the business. I gradually understood the business and do better.

Once I got used to the business, I began to explore about the culture and people's lifestyles. Nice and friendly, people here were so focused during work hours and leave on time. Even sometimes I couldn't express myself clearly, they can guess your meaning.

Aside from the internship, I proactively joined in the activities and helped other students. The experience was wonderful and I enjoyed it very much.

The program is a great opportunity to experience the culture and gain work experiences. For me, I met friends and learned how a business functions in the real world. For future students, make sure you possess the right attitude and open yourself up.

WONG, Esther Chi-Ting
The University of Hong Kong | ENVIR A
Make the most of my experience... Interning at Envirolution, I was exposed to a plethora of information on energy efficiency and weatherization. As my project for the summer was to develop the education curriculum for training sessions, I was constantly involved in the training process by creating practice questions and schematics for Powerpoint presentations. I was also able to attend numerous conferences and events related to aspects of the green industry, which provided me with a more complete understanding of what my host company did.

As a student with limited working experience prior to CCIP, I feel that this program has been monumental in developing my practical working knowledge. My internship placement has provided me with many opportunities to learn new things and build upon my conversational skills. Additionally, I have also had the chance to improve my leadership skills, both by being involved in the Student Advisory Board and through opportunities and assignments presented over the course of my internship.

While being able to experience the working life in NYC, I have also been able to absorb the cultural aspects of the city when not in the office. Had I not applied to this program, I believe that I would not have had such a comprehensive experience.

During my internship period, there were times when I had to travel around NYC to attend training sessions. At these trainings, I was able to talk to people participating in the sessions (students, teachers, and other training staff), where they learned that I was an intern from Asia. These interactions often led to interesting conversations about cultural differences between the East and West, and even travel recommendations in both Asia and the US.

Throughout the program, I have represented myself in a mature manner, always being conscious of my actions and words. I have tried to set a positive example for other students in the program by being thoughtful and considerate -- both in the office and in our living accommodations.

From my participation in the Student Advisory Board, I was able to gain insight on the importance of the involvement of students in the planning process of activities. The program aims to meet the needs of the students, while also helping them to learn and develop practical skills in the working world -- without input from student representatives, it is difficult to achieve this.

An internship experience in the US is certainly different than the experience you would get from interning in Asia. In Asia, the focus is placed on the work and generating an end product, whether it be a report or a project. However, in the US, the office environment calls for the development of communication skills and networking abilities. This difference is instantly noticeable when you begin interning.

The advice I would give for future participants is that you need to keep an open mind. We are all here to learn, and without being open to new ideas and experiences, you may miss out on opportunities. Furthermore, students should be proactive. If you have nothing to do at work, don't sit around and wait for your supervisor to come around and ask if you have enough to do. I believe that supervisors appreciate students who take initiative in the workplace, and those who ask questions to clarify assignment details.

Lastly, the most important piece of advice I have to offer future participants is to take every opportunity you have while living in NYC to go out and explore. The city is waiting for you!

ZAMAN, Aisha (Ai or Shasha)
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University | KNOT B
I have become a better ME...

Before arriving at Big Apple, I had mixed feelings. I was so excited to be coming here, but I was nervous how my work is going to be and how monster my boss might be. Yes, exactly that what I was thinking during my flight. I had been to my workplace before starting my internship. And despite leaving 2 hour early to work, I was still lost due to the train change from local to express. It made me more nervous. But my supervisor was such a charming lady that within few second of meeting I was calm and relaxed. I always thought some people have talent to make other people comfortable, but actually maybe. When I met my mentor and other staff and other friends for the past month, I realized it is the socializing skills of how to make other feel comfortable around you. I think by the end of this month, I have pretty much master this skill as well.

When I first started this internship, I had high expectations. I knew that it would be different than the other jobs I have done so far. I knew this job was definitely about a subject matter that I enjoy which is design. And I have to say, I was pretty much right, except the part that I didn't get to have product design supervisor. but it seems to have helped me gain much more benefits. First of all I get to practice my design skills, secondly I get to make decision on my own as in school mostly the decision comes from a tutor, thirdly I learnt to work independently, and final benefit I gain is learning a little bit about editor's word and marketing. There is another benefit that I hope might come true, are the products or packaging that I design really get to be produce and becomes real stuff. It may not be soon, but it might in half or one year time.

When you're working within the company that you really like, you might not know who everyone is and the best thing to do is just be nice to everyone, regardless of whether they deserve it or not. No one likes the snobby intern who thinks she's better than everyone else. And, trust me people talk a lot; whatever reputation you have will spread quickly. That's what I observed from the girls gossiping about other interns. People in Hong Kong companies, are really different. They don't care about who the intern is or what they are doing, unless you try and catch up with them for every other lunch or gathering. Supervisor or seniors hands in all the ridicules stuff to the juniors. And let them do the overtime. But here seems, everyone leaves office on time except you have your own work that you want to finish it before leaving. I observed, here you volunteer for overtime.

The best things in NY that are rare to find in HK are the great Broadway show, the Yankee games, the huge central park that you wish you could go there and get some fresh air everyday, and never-ending museums and exhibitions which are very inspiring, relaxing and a great enjoyment.

Culturally and professionally, this place and people have made me a better person. What I gain is the confidence of speaking up, learning to socialize for better relationships, helping out others people, going out in big city on own, getting lost and finding my way back, eating healthy (tons of flavors of salads, and fruit boxes) much more. The whole experience have made me so independent and made me feel so confident about doing any job at anywhere.

Thank you Fusia!, :)

2009 Award Recipients

CHEAH, Wen Sing (Chole)
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University | FUSIA B
I was given opportunities to practice my soft skills. An internship in Asia will just focus on hard skills rather than soft skills. I realized that soft skills are important in business when talking to people. Since then, I wanted to improve myself in this area and started to observe the tone and style of my colleagues when they were having conversations with others.

Experience: I never thought the U.S. was full of gratefulness until I saw people starting conversations by greeting others. This situation could never been found in Asia. I also found that there are lots of different cultures living in this country; I am surprised that it so harmonious and that people respect others' cultures. Before coming to States, I thought that America only has burgers and fries so I packed a bunch of instant noodles in my luggage, however, this is not the case. When I arrived in Flushing I found that there are lots of Chinese and Korean delicacies and the price is quite reasonable too!

Gain: Since this is my first internship, I made lots of mistakes during the first day of my internship and had been scolded by my supervisor. I felt very disappointed by not being able to manage simple tasks such as photocopying and scanning documents. Moreover, collecting forms from students was one of the issues that I was frustrated with since students would give a lot of excuses. However, I tried to do my best and began to use different techniques in dealing with them. I told students to submit hard copies of the instead of sending them via email since most of the students didn't keep their promises.

I was glad that I had a supervisor who always acted actively during the whole internship. I would not push myself so hard without the pressure given by her. The greatest lesson during the entire internship was learning from my mistakes and others' judgments. It will further lead me to another stage of my life.

Advice: In my opinion, students should not be limited to the goal they had set for themselves. They should try to be proactive and learn a variety of knowledge in order to build up a strong base before entering their career in the future. For students who want to focus on practicing hard skills instead of soft skills, I would strongly suggest them having their internship in Asia.

CHENG, Siu Ting (Sapphire)
The University of Hong Kong | CHARMING A
In this summer, I was given a great opportunity to apply what I have learnt under a real-life situation as being an intern at TOTO Group. My boss Andy does not hesitate to provide chances for me, which indeed takes me to a higher and more professional level. I can work with real clients to solve their business problems and assist in my company’s projects. By exposing to a wide range of jobs, say initiating press conference, event planning, translating documents and making presentations, I am able to abstract different skills from marketing to administration aspects as well. When I am assigned with new jobs, I have to become solution-driven as there can be no direct instructions for you to follow step by step. After several weeks of intern, I can thus understand how to best use my strengths and encounter new challenges.

Besides my host company TOTO Group, I really thank the Cross Cultural Internship Program (CCIP) for including me into the program. CCIP is far more than an agency helping students to look for internship, but also emphasizes interaction between organizer and students, host and students as well as students themselves. It never lacks opportunities if you are willing to take initiatives and be eager to learn. In CCIP, I have taken part in Student Advisory Board (SAB) which greatly nurtures my soft skills when handling different issues of the program. I am even glad to get familiar with my fellow CCIP participants who are all elites from renowned universities and forge a bond of friendship with them.

All in all, this seven-week summer internship brings me an amazing summer in meeting lots of friends and enjoying the lovely sides of New York City!

FUNG, An Ty (Anty)
The University of Hong Kong | YU A
I had a chance to participate in weekly meetings where I was involved in formulating strategic policies for the company. I was particularly involved in a sustainability project. It allowed me to evaluate the company's capabilities in sustainability practices and eventually came up with suggestions and policies that the company should consider in the future to attain sustainable growth.

Experience: The experience of being in New York for seven weeks has been most memorable and enriching. Even after seven weeks, I still am very much fascinated and attracted to the dynamism of this city. Unlike Hong Kong or Singapore, New Yorkers normally spend an hour commuting to work every day. It allows me to see how United States is like in a nutshell of time. Every day, I would pass by the dense parts of New York City, all the way to mixed land-use region like Union City, to suburban residential area like Little Ferry, and finally to my workplace: Elmwood Park. To me, seven weeks are really barely enough for you to experience a real New Yorker's life.

Gain: YU is the most diverse company I have ever been in. I had colleagues who were Russian, Korean, Italian, Chinese, German, and Indian. It really felt like working in a miniature United Nations. I got to brush up my communication skills by interacting with people of drastically different cultural backgrounds.

Advice: An international internship experience gives you the chance to be in a completely foreign environment, improving your adaptability and flexibility. Being open to different things would also maximize your experience here as you would be able to try more things if you are less conservative. I would proudly say having interned in New York is one of the best decisions I made during my university life so far.

GUO, Ji (Stefanie)
The University of Hong Kong | KLILI B
I didn't know what an internship looked like and I didn't expect too much. But things turned out much better than I thought. I practiced my Photoshop skills and I learned a new software call QuickBooks to create invoice and manage clients. I also handled managing inventories and answered business phone calls.

Experience: Internship is not the only place to learn. I volunteered to be a reporter in the WOH activity. I investigated the background of the event and the guests, and prepared a lot of questions. I realized I couldn't always control the topic because guests had their favorite topics. Some were difficult to interview because they gave indirect answers and you must react fast to continue the conversation and manage the interview time without letting the guests feel offended. I even became Facebook friends with some of my interviewees and I keep in contact with some others by e-mail. I'm glad I got the chance to interact with business people. And also, I know that next time I shouldn't prepare too many questions and I won't be that nervous.

Gain: What I did something, no matter how big or small, I always thought further and tried to deliver beyond expectations. It's not about what you work on; it's about how you work it out. Be open and you can learn more. I volunteered to go to a tradeshow to help out. I learned how a tradeshow works and how to promote a product. Because it's a small company, people work close to each other. I also learned how to run a small business by watching others work. This is the most valuable thing to me. In the past, I was always unsure of what I wanted to do or who I wanted to be in the future. Life has so much possibilities, I didn't want to limit mine down to one before I met my favorite. But this internship gave me the clue! I want to start my own business and be the boss. Everything is clear right now and I'm so happy and grateful.

Advice: First, take the opportunity to see more and experience more. A must see is a Broadway show. I went to see the Phantom of the Opera. I was so moved that I just couldn't stop crying after every scene. Such a small stage has such a huge power to touch somebody's heart. In the Subway, there were so many different kinds of people speaking many different kinds of language. I could understand none of them except English. Second, be open-minded, considerate and creative in work. Last but not least, have fun!

HUNG, Wing Yan (Trista)
The University of Hong Kong | SCO B
I work closely with staff members who live and lay their root in Brooklyn. I gained a new understanding of the land. It led me to see beyond the "glamorous New York ". But that's where the powerhouse is— with people striving to rise, where the American dream was grown.

Experience: New York is diverse and cool. It can be viewed in multiple personalities and discovered from various angles. I feel lucky that I chose the angle that led me to its depth and enriched my journey in a way that I took so much pleasure from and will never fade out. I went to Hip Hop classes. My limbs could not be clumsier but I was delighted with every move of the cool dance. I learned to cook Italian food. Before I wasn't even able to chop a tomato but now I see Americans' huge passion for food.

Gain: New York is like a mixture of everything. It's a big apple with multiple textures and layers. So what I did is to taste a bit of everything from its waxy skin to its juicy core. It's especially good for people who love a variety of taste, like me. I went to Broadway shows, classical music concerts and dancing shows to get a taste of this. I ordered free trials of Time, People, and Time Out New York to catch up on current affairs and entertainment of the city. My increased knowledge of the city enabled me to experience it more fully while fusing my interest with it.

Advice: So I have completed my one-and-a-half-month internship in New York and headed home with a 40 kg luggage and a full head of great memories. I took home not just the new handbags, clothes and food but lots of new thoughts on living a different culture. But my journey to the great city has not yet reached an end. And here is my advice to anyone who will take on the journey: stay hungry.

LAM, Hoi U (Betty)
The University of Hong Kong | HJL A
As a legal assistant in a small firm practicing immigration law, the clientele was mostly Chinese. The majority of my time was spent on building a website. Although it sounds totally unrelated to my major, I still learnt a lot of immigration knowledge through preparing the website and listening to my supervisors during their consultations with clients.

Experience: Surprisingly and fortunately, I had a chance to feel the diversity in NY. My supervisors were Chinese and had come to New York many years ago. When we were chatting with each other, we compared New York to Hong Kong: the food prices, languages, housing, entertainment, education, medical system, reaction to the recent swine flu. This kind of cultural exchange provided me a lot of insight of how New York life is, which can hardly be known as merely sight-seeing.

Gain: The soft skills I learnt were mostly from interacting with my supervisors and clients. "Think before you act" is always the rule of interpersonal skills. Put yourself into others' shoes when you do anything. This can give you a lot of insight. The warm and loving environment of the company provided me with more chances to take the initiative and work closely with my supervisors. It provided me with a lot of opportunities to speak English; though I speak English during tutorials in the university, chatting in English is totally a different thing. I polished my oral skills so that I can converse casually without sounding too literal.

Advice: A favorable first impression comes from appropriate appearance, politeness and work attitude. Hard skills are usually the last thing that can be seen. Things will go a lot better when you gain trust from your supervisors. To conclude, this overseas internship experience was the best and most memorable experience in my life so far. I treasure it a lot because I think I will never have this feeling again. Even when I go to NY again sometime later, things will be different. I would like to thank this program for giving me such a once in a lifetime experience.

LIU, Xiao (Lewis)
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University | HMN A
I was able to concentrate on the job and build good relationships with my supervisor, colleagues and other interns. The outcome of this internship, in fact, exceeds my expectations because the job is closely related to what I have learnt in university.

Experience: This internship helps me build my confidence and get a full image of myself. I was quite confident in my oral English, for I am one of the best in class. However, when I was here, I started to realize my English is not as good as I thought and there is still a lot of space to improve. The internship is a good stimulant for me to improve my English.

Gain: I am a programming intern, and the nature of my job allowed me to take advantage of my knowledge in C++ programming. It only took me less than one week to complete my first software, called Chemo Calendar, which allows patients to input notes and events to remind themselves and enter white blood cell count to track their health condition. My second project was based on the iPhone platform. Although the new programming language is not as easy as I expected, I was making progress everyday. After my supervisor, Alex, and other colleagues gave me many positive feedbacks, I become certain that I am able to finish the task independently. Eventually I was able to complete this task in three weeks.

Advice: I feel very lucky that I met my supervisor, who gave me many suggestions on study and career that will benefit my entire life. He told us many interesting stories in his young age, such as how he designed and sold 3000 blouses, and earned a great fortune. I think there is a similarity between us: we both have tons of ideas. But I may think too much and not make a move, and as a result, I lose my passion and interest in it. On the contrary, he was always unafraid of carrying out his ideas that let him grasp every possible opportunity.

SUPPIAH, Jeevaraj
National University of Singapore | FUSIA A
My supervisor has thought me to think and analyze before making comments. I gained an understanding of work place culture and how to act appropriately. I learnt the importance of observing and developing a keen eye for detail. Through the internship I have learnt that it is by making mistakes that I can learn and improve.

Experience: Overall my experience with CCIP has been positive. The program itself has thought me to be more independent and I was able to interact with many people from a variety of backgrounds. It was challenging to handle cultural differences, but you tend to get the hang of it. Through discussions with my supervisor, she thought me to view a problem from different angles. For example I was coordinating CCIP and initially I had the perspective of a student. However, my supervisor thought me to view things from the angle of the employer as well as the program organizer. This allowed me to understand how difficult it is to coordinate a program.

Gain: This was the first time I was working under a female supervisor and her micro management style was a bit different. I gained a better understand of how a PR/advertising firm is run and the importance of networking, PR skills, and personal relationships. If I am to run a business on my own, my personal contacts will be extremely useful. This is the key thing I have learnt from my supervisor.

Advice: Always participate with an open mind and try to have fun. If you constantly think the program is not good and you are not learning, you will not have a good experience. The choice of the company is also extremely important and can make a world of difference to your internship experience. Sometimes it is not about being in the same company as your friend.

TAN, Li Shan Caroline
National University of Singapore | FUSIA A
Caroline interned at FUSIA Communications.
Caroline TAN: I had been given significant exposure to the work and procedures behind CCIP and was allowed a privileged role in helping to run the program itself. It was perhaps near the end of my internship when I had to tie up loose ends and ensure that everything under my job scope was passed over properly before I left when I realized how much I had been included in the company in the running of CCIP.

Experience: Being in the company exposed me to the way organizations are run and how to be significant member within it. I was learning to be more observant to my surroundings. Certain stuff might not necessarily have been my responsibility at that time but everything became relevant in the end. Sometimes this meant simple and basic stuff such as listening to how people answered the phone and conversed with others.

Gain: More than anything else, I think I learnt more about myself. I've started to see myself as more of a hard worker than a smart worker. Too often, I tend to immediately start on a task as opposed to sitting down first to plan or think about getting things done more effectively. Often I would seek help immediately when facing a problem instead of working it out myself first. I feel that learning and recognizing my faults have been an important gain for me in CCIP.

Advice: As cliché as it sounds: Give it your all, ultimately what you get out of that experience is how much you put into it. The internship challenged me to take an introspective look at myself, to think about what I want to do and where I want to go in life. I've realized the huge assumptions I've made with little or no knowledge. CCIP exposed me to the field of journalism; something I always thought I wanted to do but realized that I knew almost nothing about it.

THIAN, Niin Mun
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University | HMN B
Sarah interned at Healthmonitor Network.Niin Mun (Sarah) THIAN: I am pleased to tell that my host company valued my effort so much. Instead of giving the interns some not-so-important tasks, my supervisor was able to assign jobs which were useful to the company's operation, based on our knowledge fields.

Experience: This experience has certainly brought my life to a new milestone. My supervisor was a reliable and knowledgeable person, and a MIT graduate. Apart from that, he taught things out of the books. I remember when he said, "We'll never know what's in front of the road, unless we take our step. " This is the most inspiring encouragement for me. We will never know what a mistake is, unless we take our chances and discover it for ourselves.

Gain: Surprisingly, I was given the option to choose my tasks according to my own interests. I chose to develop flash applications which have its own developing kits to build the application. I had to learn from the beginning and despite my insufficient skills, my supervisor encouraged me to take the challenge and provided me with all the tools I needed. The experience was different, from what I gained from my study in university. I had to understand the user requirements more precisely, and the information presented has to be officially legit. I learned that working in a company has far more complicated challenges.

Advice: No matter what you are doing, there are always chances to grab or ignore— it all depends on you. Never complain about what you encounter or acquire, all you need to do is experience and learn from it. You can only gain by possessing a positive attitude. Always be aggressive and eager to learn, so you can get something useful from the experience because "The key of success is to show up ". Think about what you could do with the opportunity after you have grabbed it!

WONG, Chun Nok
The University of Hong Kong | ACTLLC B
I worked under the direct supervision of Dr. Arnold. We worked on several projects, where Dr. Arnold was the principal investigator (PI) for one. I was assigned with full responsibilities. I had the opportunity to work for both government bodies and private corporations which broadened my horizon very much.

Experience:I was fortunate enough to be given an opportunity to practice writing professional business reports. Dr. Arnold taught me well; whenever she saw something that could be corrected she would let me know, so I could make corresponding changes immediately. I experienced learning from mistakes. She also shared with me her story of becoming a Pharmacy Doctor, to teaching in universities and to setting up a pharmaceutical business, which gave me insights on how to plan and what to do in the future.

Dr. Arnold was surprised by the speed I pick up things and the efficiency of my work. What surprised her was the fact that I am only an undergraduate, but my working ability even outshined some of her graduate interns. Since Dr. Arnold and James are both not a chemistry major, when talking about recent chemistry development and the syntheses of drugs in the pharmaceutical field, I could share more. From this internship I could really see the different cultures of the US people and HK people.

Gain:This internship opportunity was really precious to me, because I gained first-hand experience in both workplace and to conduct clinical trial research. This is one of the most precious and eye-opening lessons and the most unforgettable summer that I have ever had in my university life, or maybe even in my life, and it is definitely not too late since I still have my final year to explore even more based on what I have learnt from such a great exposure.

Advice: In order for CCIP participants to gain the most of it, I think they need to participate in all programs organized by Fusia. Be proactive in the workplace, because it is where you can learn the most by working in a foreign environment, speaking in foreign languages (Mandarin and English), observing how others work, and etc.

Don't hide yourself in your room. Always walk around in YMCA. Besides students from HK and mainland China, you can also meet a lot of students from Spain, Japan, Korea, and etc. I learned a number of Spanish too from the Spanish students.

WONG, Yu Him (Timothy)
The University of Hong Kong | HMH A
I worked in the Hamilton Madison House, a non-profit organization that helps lots of people in New York. My supervisor taught me about the situation of poor New Yorkers, which would definitely not be in tourist books. On my last week of work there, she took me lunch and dinner, and even gave me a bag of presents.

Experience: I felt the difference between Hong Kong and New York. In Hong Kong, people are hard working, but they don't have the time to enjoy their lives. In New York, the pace is slow, but the people know how to enjoy their lives. For transportation, people will usually take the subway, either for work or for a walk. But the New York Subway is a bit messy, so they should not expect too much from it. And if they are traveling on the 4 or 5 lines to work, they should be aware of traffic. There are great parks and lifestyles, and the city is divided into different regions; I really like the lifestyle here.

My company had more than 50 staff, and in these 7 weeks, I knew many of them. We exchanged our contacts as well. So if they plan to visit Hong Kong, I can be their guide. In fact, many of them are planning to visit in the coming Christmas, so I think it will be a busy Christmas for me!

Gain: During the internship, I mainly worked for Chinatown Resources Center and the fiscal office. I also helped out the IT Department to help because I am studying Information Systems. I gained fiscal knowledge, data management and computer skills in the IT Department. Luckily my supervisor trusted me and gave me the chance to do translation for a press release and put it in the newspaper. I cut it out and made copies after it had been released to the public. I could tell others that I had made a press release in the New York newspaper!

Advice: For the future participants, they should plan their trips right before they come to US. For me, I went to some places outside New York City, like Washington DC and Philadelphia. I went to see the Niagara Falls during the holiday as well, and it was fantastic. Additionally, they should research their host companies. The internship only lasts for 7 weeks, so if you do not know what your company does it would be hard for you to understand your job. Last thing to remember is enjoy more. Do not try to challenge things in New York, but admire how the people live and how the city works. If you keep looking for the bad things in New York, you will waste his trip here. Make more new friends in New York, and you will find that they are quite friendly and they will become a part of your internship's memory.

Say cheese! Photos taken in 2008 at the Flushing YMCA. Celebrating our seven weeks of success.

Photos taken in 2009.

Photos taken in 2010.

Mike (2011 participant), we love the song you wrote for CCIP!
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