We Are Randox | Bicycles, BBQs and Beijing: Joel’s summer in China
Working in a global company like Randox opens many doors for our 1400-strong workforce, one of which being the opportunity to travel. For people who want to see the world, experience other cultures and meet new people, we have LOTS of opportunities to do so.
It’s no surprise therefore that we value ambitious and enthusiastic employees who enjoy the excitement of a new challenge, and a new adventure!
And that’s just what our Marketing Executive, Joel Woods, did this summer. After spending his placement year with us here at Randox, and then completing his final year of studies at Ulster University in Jordanstown, Joel was offered the opportunity to complete an internship in Beijing, the capital of China.
The experiences, new perspectives, and understanding of a different culture that he acquired during his time in China are just a few of the reasons why we love to hear from well-travelled individuals like Joel.
Here’s his story.
Given that I work in the Testing and Toxicology division here at Randox, it’s quite ironic that while I was at school I actually wanted a career in Forensic Science, rather than in Business. I even completed my lower sixth work experience with the PSNI.
I went to Ballyclare High School and studied Business Studies, ICT, Geography and Biology for A-Level. An encouraging and interesting school teacher during my GCSEs had made Business Studies more appealing, and so I decided to take it at A-Level. When studying it in my final year my mind had completely turned from forensics toward business, so I then went on to study Marketing at Ulster University.
During my time at university I completed a placement year with Randox within their marketing team. I worked primarily on Customer Relationship Management; providing support for sales reps and other marketing teams, running reports for top level managers, developing marketing campaigns and writing blogs. It was a fantastic experience getting to work on such a wide variety of marketing activities and was a great insight into the operations of a global company. It set me in really good stead for my final year of university because I had a point of reference in the real working world for everything that I was learning.
Come the end of my final year at Jordanstown I was presented with an opportunity to go to China on a two month internship based in Beijing. To have a funded internship by the British Council was an excellent opportunity to enhance my CV with international experience, and I had never been to Asia before so this was a chance I wasn’t going to let pass me by.
For the two months I was in China I worked in a small firm based in the western district of Beijing (Sanlitun). The firm was called PAPP’S TEA, a small tea manufacturer. My job title was Marketing Intern which involved updating their website, creating blogs, engaging audiences on social media, working closely with graphic designers about brand guidelines and supporting events for the launch of new products. Everything I had learnt during my placement year in Randox was put to good use!
The weather in China was permanently overcast and very rarely dropped below 30 degrees. Most of the food that I tried was incredible, but portions were always small. One of the interesting things about Chinese culture is that you never order a single meal for yourself, but rather a few dishes are ordered and everyone shares. I therefore had the unfortunate experience of sampling chicken feet…not tasty at all and they were more cartilage than meat! The language was also very difficult to understand but gradually as my time went on I began picking up words – a few greetings here and there, phrases used to order food from a menu, and how to pay for the bill at restaurants.
During my weekends I was usually free which gave a great opportunity to do all the touristy things. One of my favourite memories of China was camping on the Great Wall during my second weekend there. A group of us, mostly interns from the UK, got ourselves a tour guide and camping gear, hiked to the great wall and camped overnight. We had a barbeque, a campfire and watched the sun setting and rising. It was absolutely stunning.
My other main highlight from China was seeing Shanghai. We booked a hostel in the centre of Shanghai, from which almost everything we wanted to see was within walking distance. Walking around Shanghai felt like walking around London. The whole city was completely western, and so it didn’t feel like I was in China. Nevertheless, it was still an incredible experience visiting one of the most populated cities on the planet (26 million people).
The best moment during my time in Shanghai was using the public bicycles to see the city. Three of us chose to see the city by night and so we started our journey at midnight when the city was totally empty. It was so surreal. We got to see more of the city in one night than we ever did during the rest of the weekend!
I thoroughly enjoyed my time in China and would recommend an internship with the British Council to anyone who is thinking about gaining international experience. It can only ever be a good thing to see more of the ever-advancing technological world we live in, especially if you are working in a global company like Randox.
Upon returning to Randox as a permanent member of staff I now deal with clients all around the globe, and so the experience gained from my internship has been of such great benefit. My time there has helped me understand how business is dealt from another culture and I can’t wait for my next big adventure.
We’re so delighted Joel had a positive experience during his time in Beijing and has returned to Randox full of enthusiasm and exciting ideas! Welcome back to the team Joel.
For current vacancies in our team, visit careers.randox.com