Stretching at TusStar in China

Hello! My name is Xiaoyu Jin. 

My stretch experience starts at TusStar, which is one of the largest business incubators in China. 

What is TusStar? What does business incubator do?

TusStar is the leading university science park incubator in China. Its holding company is owned by Tsinghua University. TusStar helps startups and scaleups to develop by providing incubation services, organizing entrepreneurship trainings, building integrated platforms, and connecting with angel investment. It helps startups and scaleups got connected to government, industry giants, universities, research institutes, finance agencies, and media from all over the world to support them with capital, technology, talents and industry chains. 

TusStar opened 100+ incubators in mainland China and 15 incubators overseas. It plays an important role in accelerating the regional and national economic development. My stretch experience starts at TusStar Shenzhen, which locates in the hardware capital of China and home to world-class Internet giants such as Huawei, Tencent, and DJI.   

What did I do in TusStar Shenzhen? 

While working at TusStar, I conducted meetings with clients working in diverse areas, such as entrepreneurs, investors, executives, officials, HR experts, professors, university students. My responsibility is to engage with them and establish the basis of cooperation. Since a lot of companies/organizations chose to co-organize an event with TusStar as our initial cooperation, my responsibility also includes organizing and facilitating events.

In May, I facilitated a conference that connected Canadian medical companies with Chinese medical companies and Chinese investors, in partnership with the Government of Alberta, TusStar Alberta, and TEC Edmonton. 

Also, I facilitated the opening ceremony of an entrepreneurship competition launched by the Government of Jiangmen in May. The competition would be held in 5 Chinese cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Ningbo, and Xi’an. Winners would receive financial and policy supports from the Government of Jiangmen.

In June, I invited a policy expert to be the guest speaker of an entrepreneurship training to educate entrepreneurs about how to apply for the Certification of National High and New Technology Enterprises in China. 

I also facilitated a workshop, in partnership with Indiegogo, which is an American crowdfunding platform, to educate entrepreneurs about how to expand the overseas market by crowdfunding as well as the differences of marketing strategies between China and the US.

In July, as one of the speakers, I introduced TusStar during the opening ceremony of an entrepreneurship camp launched by the University of Hong Kong.

At the end of July, I went job shadowing at TusStar Jiangmen for a week to experience the difference of working atmosphere between different TusStar incubators. I helped the Jiangmen team to welcome students from Singapore University of Technology and Design.

What did I do outside of work?

Travelling! I travelled to Shenzhen and cities nearby, including Chaozhou, Shantou, Hong Kong, and Shunde. 

I lived in a 30-year-old traditional house in Chaozhou and I was so impressed by its vintage-styled home decoration. 

I became friends with my Airbnb hosts in Shantou and we went to see the how the traditional beef balls get made by hand in a local hotpot restaurant.

I visited the University of Hong Kong and discovered a lovely café on campus that promote sustainability, fair trade, and healthy eating.

I travelled to Shunde, which is known as the Home of Cantonese Cuisine with my colleagues. We tasted a lot of local cuisines and we especially like ‘Dim Sum’ and deserts there.

Together with TusStar Jiangmen team, we visited a local tea village to learn the tradional and hand-made manufacturing process of a Chinese tea called Xiao Qing Gan.

Why did I choose to do an internship in China as my stretch experience and what did I learn from it?

China is growing so fast. Going back to China to do an internship provides me a chance to experience the rapid development happening in China nowadays. For example, when I just came back, I found everyone was using their phone to make a payment, instead of using cash or credit card. This pretty much illustrates the penetration of digital payment and cash-less nature of daily life in China. 

Working in China also helps me to learn Chinese workplace culture. There are lots of differences in regards of business culture between China and Canada. For example, the emphasis of Chinese business culture is on building strong social networks, so personal relationships play a crucial role in professional lives as well.  However, professional and personal lives are two completely different things in Canada.

As many companies and organizations open themselves up to China market, the ability to work across cultures becomes incredibly important. My stretch experience improved my adaptability, cultural awareness, cross-cultural communication skills, problem-solving skills and lots of other transferrable skills. I am so glad to make the decision to work abroad because it really forced me to step outside my comfort zone and opened up opportunities to develop new skills and have new experience.  

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