Shuyi Liang has always had an international outlook on life.
Originating from China, Shuyi came to Bournemouth University to study her Master’s in Advertising and Marketing Communications. The course was a mix of students from a number of international countries – giving a cultural melting pot in which Shuyi developed her communication skills.
Explaining, Shuyi said: “My experience at Bournemouth University taught me skills that have been really helpful for my career. There were many international students in my class; my class was a very multicultural one actually. We shared each other’s culture as we worked in groups, it was very different to the education system in China and that system opened up my eyes, and helped me improve my English communication skills as we worked together.”
Shuyi made the most of her time in the UK, working to help support the London 2012 Olympic sailing events based in Weymouth and Portland, again deepening her international experience while on England’s South Coast.
Graduating in 2012, Shuyi is now back in China, based between Hangzhou and Shanghai working as Director of Membership for Greater China at the International Education Alliance for Creative Industries (IEACI).
Her aim is to build links between creative industries in China and across the globe, so the skills gained on the communication degree, coupled with the international links she built, have held her in good stead, something Shuyi acknowledges herself: “My time at BU increased my international experience and it is the reason I am working in an international career now.
“Bournemouth University is very impressive and I miss it very much. When I came back to China, my experiences in Bournemouth played a big role in how my career developed. I did a number of marketing roles and built links with the media – my experience at BU and the professors taught us a lot of skills that have been really helpful for my career.”
In fact, Shuyi was very grateful for those teaching on her course, and the mixture of learning from them and learning through the experiences of her course mates is what has helped Shuyi to develop in her role at IEACI today: “The professors were always very helpful and my classmates were really friendly, it was great to be able to learn from each other. Many of my classmates had come from other jobs so it was good to be able to take real working problems from our experiences and bring them into the classroom.”
She is even able to come back to Bournemouth to help foster links between Bournemouth University, the Arts University Bournemouth and creative organisations in China. As her time in England has given Shuyi a good level of conversational English, she is able to connect Western organisations and universities with some of her contacts in China.
She said: “We are willing to help Western universities especially, to help to link them in with Chinese universities, creative industries and develop connections with international exchange, both in terms of knowledge and people.”
While her career has taken her back to China, she has fond memories of her time in Bournemouth. She said: “I consider Bournemouth as my second home. It is a beautiful, safe and quiet place and I always enjoy walking along the beach. I miss the weather too, everything about it. One place I would recommend everyone to go to is the Jurassic Coast, it is so beautiful!”
Reflecting on her time at BU, Shuyi was able to offer advice to the current crop of students studying and learning skills that will enhance their career prospects too:
“My tip to current students is to engage more with your lecturers and classmates, enjoy your time, but learn from your community, that’s the most important part.”