Today we all set off for a visit to Wuzhen, an old traditional town in Hangzhou. It was clear that this place was a popular tourist attraction as it was extremely busy. The town was so picturesque that I had my camera out near enough the entirety of the trip! Once again several of us were approached by Chinese people who requested to have photographs taken with us, but by now most of us were used to it.
A lot of the area was beautiful but it also appeared to be a museum, and most of us were not particularly interested in the museum parts. However, it was interesting to be shown buildings and room where medicines were kept and where silk was woven. We also spent some time in a courtyard where large sheets of silk were hanging from wooden beams, this of course struck me as wonderful photography setting.
Despite the beauty of the majority of the village, some areas were fowl smelling, particularly the street where the restaurants were. One of our Chinese friends informed us that the smell was a type of food being cooked and that although it smelled bad the taste was very good. However, this did not exactly stir up our appetites and many of us ate very little at lunch. We were not enjoying being herded through busy streets and bad smells, so many of us were much happier when were able to browse the area by ourselves after lunch.The shops had many beautiful things and I bought a couple of scarves and a lovely hand made keyring of a rabbit (which i found appropriate as it was apparently the chinese year of the rabbit).
After we left the village of Wuzhen, we commenced our coach journey back to the ZUMC campus. On our trip home we stopped at a place that was selling chrysanthemum tea. We we all given free samples and a woman gave a short presentation about the tea and how it is made, which was translated by our tour guide. Many of us tried the tea but none of us were compelled to buy any, as in my opinion it was a flower floating in hot water and tasted like such as well!
It was now time to start our long journey back to the UK. Many shed tears at the thought of leaving the new friends we had made, but most of us were eager to retur home to our families and the comfort of the familiar. We arrived at Hangzhou airport in plenty of time so I spent an hour relaxing in the departure lounge reading a book. We were all much happier on the return flight as we were able to sit next to one another, this made the flight time pass far more quickly that the journey there. Much of the journey was spent watching movies and playing games, sleep was attempted but I found myself merely dozing. We arrived back in the UK at around 10pm so I was very happy to get home and go to bed.
Today we were given the day off, so it was a nice opportunity to have a bit of a lie in. When I got up I decided to take the opportunity to catch up on some blog posts, and have a bit more of a play around with re-editing our video, so the majority of my morning was spent in the hotel room. In the afternoon Fathima and myself went walking around the local shops as it was a lovely day, perhaps a little too warm in fact. We found some lovely little trinket shops, and a fantastically cheap shoe shop where I purchased some unique looking sandals. It was relaxing and rejuvenating to have this day to ourselves and to catch up on any work we wanted to do, and we felt refreshed as a result of it.
Today we all convened in the usual work room to put finishing touches on all of our pieces. I was keen to re-edit the video after receiving feedback from te first edit, and although this took most of the day I was very happy I had done it. We also made some changes to our Buzz issue and overcame some difficulties we had with the chinese typing characters when we first created it.
The day was long and dreary due to the nature of the work, but it was good to have improved the standard of our work as we had a visit from the president of the university in the afternoon. He came in to look at some of the work we had produced and to thank us for visiting the university. He seemed happy with how the exchange had gone which made us all happier with ourselves and ur work.
From April 13th to April 28th I attended an exchange trip to the Zhejiang University of Media and Communication in Hangzhou, China. I chose to go on this trip as my professional experience because it was a fantastic opportunity to visit China and learn to work with people from other cultures. The deciding factor for my visit to China was that the dates coincided with that of the Shanghai Formula One Grand Prix, which I was eager to attend since I knew I was able to receive free entry to the paddock via existing contacts. The trip was made possible by the both Universities and the International Education Maintenance Funding which paid a large amount of my airfare. The trip was designed for us to work with Chinese students on projects and to experience China.
Before I started my professional experience module I already had some skills that I felt benefited me for when I entered my profession. I was capable of adapting well to different surroundings and to different people, which made it easier for me to work within groups. I also had the basic knowledge of my chosen field, including the ability to write well, to edit, and how to use several different types of camera.
During my professional experience I have learned that many of the skills I felt I had before were challenged. Being thrust into a culture so different from my own, and being asked to work with students who I share a language barrier, was far more difficult than any other group work or adjustments I have had to make in previous projects. I felt that I learned a lot about working as a team, due to the fact that in our group of three we all had different skills. Yoyo, our Chinese friend, was a Public Relations major in her third year, Kim was a Journalism student from Coventry University, and then I am a Media Production student. This meant we learnt to utilize our individual skills and apply them more efficiently. I feel I have also learned a lot about the culture of China and that their work ethic is far more pro active than that of British students, which was somewhat inspiring.
Also, while I was at the Formula One I learnt a lot about it with regards to media access. I was told about the restrictions that the FIA set upon the races, and I was there while several different media companies interviewed all of the drivers after qualifying. Watching how this was organized was a useful insight considering this is what I aspire to do.
In our group of three we created several media artifacts. Our first project was a Buzz news issue consisting of two sides of A4 with stories printed in both English and Mandarin. I wrote my story about my hospitality experience at the Shanghai F1 GP, which I was very happy with and received positive feedback for. Our second project was a short video, for which we encountered some technical difficulties. We did not have a quality camera to film with so all of the filming was done through digital cameras and an Iphone 4, which had surprisingly good quality. Luckily I was equipped with all the software we needed for our projects such as Adobe In Design, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe Premier Pro, therefore we were able to make sure our projects were edited to a high quality. I did all of the video editing myself, and assisted with the page layout and editing of the Buzz issue. Despite the fact that there are several things I would wish to change about our final products, I am happy with the concepts we created and the way in which they were executed.
This experience has not affected my career plan in any large way, aside from that I was able to view first hand what it is I wish to do in the future. Being able to witness the media in action during the F1 qualifying was invaluable to me, and I was lucky enough to have a knowledgeable member of the Virgin F1 team answer any questions I had with regards to media restrictions.
I am sure that my experience will serve to be a great benefit to me in the future as it is rare to gain the opportunity to work within other cultures and to see and do a lot of the things I have been able to during my trip. I consider everything I have learned to be extremely valuable to my education of the media industry, and how competitive it is. Some of the equipment that the Chinese students had to work with makes me very envious of the standard of education they are able to receive, and this makes me aware that when I graduate there are going to be others who are far more experienced and far more qualified than I for the jobs I wish to do. This has made me more eager to work hard and to gain as much relevant experience as possible.
On reflection I feel I have gained a lot from this trip, and I am appreciative of being given the opportunity to do something that would have been highly difficult and highly expensive to achieve on my own. I have become more aware of the diversity between cultures, and have learnt how to overcome difficulties in a diverse group. I don’t feel I took best advantage of my experience and I wish that I could change that, and I also appreciate that my work was not of the standard to which I would normally set for myself. However, due to the difficulties that were faced my overall feelings towards the experience are that it was thoroughly enlightening and valuable. I made friends I would not otherwise have known, I saw things I would not otherwise have seen, and I learnt and developed things about myself, which altogether makes an extremely successful experience.
Ewen Honeyman: Marussia Virgin Racing Formula One (Hospitality)
Tracy Novak: Marussia Virgin Racing Formula One (Media Rep)
Cara Harding: Mentorn Television (Intern Recruitment)
Karen Davies: Mentorn Television (Production Manager ‘Question Time’)
Simon Melluish: FIA Formula Two Championship, Formula Palmer Audi Championship (Media and PR Officer)