Xinghua Tong is an MSc Management student at Durham University Business School who had the opportunity to experience the International Study Tour, one of the many international study opportunities available at Durham. Keep reading to learn more about this interesting project at Volvo in Stockholm and her time in Sweden. An experience of a lifetime!
Find a program that meets your expectations
It’s no secret that, in order to build an international career, the key is to find a specialized program that gives you the chance to learn by doing with experience abroad. This is the case with Durham University Business School who offer a wide range of opportunities to study abroad, including the International Study Tour which visits a range of European cities each year, such as Stockholm, where Xinghua’s five-day study trip took place.
Enhancing both knowledge and skills
In Xinghua’s words, the best thing about this experience is that she was able to apply the knowledge and skills through taught modules such as Strategy, Consulting, and Economics at Durham: “As an international student, I worked hard to absorb these analytical and strategic tools, but was still not assured of my ability in business practice for my future career. Thankfully, this module alleviated my worries about how to transfer this knowledge into my own practical use through a consulting project with Volvo around a new service offer. Throughout the six weeks, my dedicated group members analysed Volvo’s marketing position and capability following many different academic models such as Five Forces, PESTEL, and VIRNE to investigate potential problems and opportunities”.
About the project with Volvo, Xinghua also appreciated the chance to work in an international team: “With the guidance of our module’s extremely knowledgeable and supportive leader, Associate Professor Zsófia Tóth, we enthusiastically proposed strategies in both sales channels and digital marketing. Despite having previous experience, I was still excited and proud while presenting our work at the Volvo Innovation Center. This was my first time working together with a group of people from western countries, which made me think more reflectively and cooperatively. Our group members communicated with each other with very inclusive minds, so, my sincere thanks to them (Miles MacLachlan, Gabriella Cairns, Benedict Rotchford, Mengyue Chen)”.
Fantastic learning tour in Sweden
Xinghua’s Study Tour also gave her the chance to visit other companies and grow an even bigger professional network: “Alongside the project with Volvo, we also visited several successful companies in different industries, including HP, Husqvarna, Fenix, and Einride, which significantly helped us expand our horizons in global business. For example, Fenix, an outdoor products company, has developed a variety of methods and materials to transfer into more sustainable production”.
Not only work and study
“I’m very grateful for our International Study Tour Team, especially Jamie Weston and Leigh Woods, who coordinated the trip to Stockholm. Our trip was perfectly designed, and even though the itinerary was full, we still had some time to view the city with a local guide. Together with her for five days in Stockholm, we learnt a lot about local culture and heard some interesting historical stories”. Says Xinghua about the relationships she built during the Study Tour experience.
This program left her not only with some international experience, networking and knowledge but also some great memories she will treasure forever: “Overall, the International Study Tour in Sweden has broadened my view of global business and left a golden memory in my studying life. Although the study visit was some time ago, the experiences of that trip are still vivid in my mind, as if I’m still talking and laughing with those lovely people. In other words, it really is one of the best experiences I’ve ever had in my academic learning”.
Would you like to live an experience such as Xinghua’s? Click here to learn more about Durham University Business School’s postgraduate programs!