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Leeds alumna Marie Tulloch shares practical tips and inspiration

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The Business Confucius Institute (BCI) welcomed Leeds graduate Marie Tulloch back to campus during Global Careers Week 2024. This was an inspiring talk filled with practical insights about making a career using Chinese language skills. 

Marie graduated with a first-class degree in Chinese Studies from the University of Leeds, and also holds a postgraduate degree in International Business from the Business Confucius Institute’s partner university, the University of International Business and Economics (UIBE) in Beijing. She is experienced in digital marketing both in China and the UK and currently works in sales.

After introducing her story so far by sharing pictures from her studies and career, the majority of the session was spent in conversation with BCI host Frances Noble and attendees. This ensured that the event could address a wide range of topics that were of interest to the group - most of whom were current students of Chinese themselves.

Marie's friendly and approachable style meant that this Q&A format provided many opportunities to go 'behind the scenes' of a career using Chinese, uncovering simple details that illuminated the reality of Chinese working styles and more.

Top takeaways

Attendees shared the key messages that they took from the event, including:

  • It is possible to study in China for free!
  • Be shameless about practising your language.
  • The importance of networking.
  • Immerse yourself in the language and don't be afraid to make mistakes.
  • Information on what life could be like in China.
  • Showing up and constantly monitoring opportunities while being flexible is key.

Asked to describe the event in a word, attendees said it was "insightful" and also chose words such as practical, relatable, inspiring, informative and interesting.

Reflections

Current BCI intern, Emilien Luigi, summed up his reflections on the event.

I found Marie's talk insightful in two regards. Firstly, it illustrated the extent to which a language degree is still very relevant, especially when paired with a different subject. Marie was awarded a scholarship to do a Masters degree in International Business in China, which not only contributed to perfecting her Chinese but also allowed her to acquire skills that are in high-demand on the labour market at the moment. Secondly, her talk highlighted the importance of intercultural communication and its worth in the workplace. In a world where language studies and abilities are too often dismissed in the name of AI or other "useful subjects", Marie's experience in China showed the value in cross cultural communication and having people who can bridge between countries.

Further reading and resources

 

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