New perspectives on the international student experience

As an international student doing the Master in Business with a major in Strategic Advertising at QUT, I can say that enrolling in the project unit has been one of the most enriching academic experiences I have had in Australia. One of several reasons I chose QUT was its promise to deliver highly relevant knowledge linked to industry level practices that students will face once finished their courses. Read more

Smart cities and temples: the real-world experience in China

A city made to make the world turn faster, the roads lined with cars powered by thunder. Thousands of startups work around the clock, more than in Silicon Valley. Shenzhen is the tech capital of Asia, situated in China along the Hong Kong border.

The QUT alumni we met spoke of Shenzhen in awe, vast factories churning out the latest drones and greatest gadgets, while the entire “smart city” was saturated in all kinds of new-generation technology. Australia, our home, seemed totally backward in comparison.

I wanted to see the brighter future before it hit us.

Zai Jian!

Ni Hao!

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That Jen feeling

Returning back to our old friend, Hotel Jen, for an industry visit was a great way to finish the Hong Kong leg of our QUT advertising and public relations study tour. Marisa Aranha, Vice President Sales and Marketing for Hotel Jen, provided a detailed insight into the creative branding of Hotel Jen (a rebrand for many of the Traders hotels) in 2014, and the subsequent launch of the new brand into the global market.

IMG_8717After experiencing #thatjenfeeling during the beginning days of our study tour, we were able to view the key objectives set out for Hotel Jen’s brand through our own experience. The objectives of the brand were met, and exceeded all our expectations spectacularly.

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Island adventures: beaches and hikes in Hong Kong

The Hong Kong Island skyline

Along with industry visits and workshops, our two week Hong Kong advertising and public relations study tour had time to explore Hong Kong. And I still find myself amazed by the extraordinary diversity that Hong Kong has to offer. Within minutes you can go from wandering along the cluttered, neon-clad alleyways of central Hong Kong, to sitting on the coarse sand of an undeveloped island beach. We endeavored to discover as many of these hidden gems as we possibly could, with the following three standing out as “must do” experiences when you’re in Hong Kong.

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The art of transformation according to DigitasLBi

For our last industry trip on the 2015 Hong Kong tour we visited QUT graduate Dean Vowles, the latest featured face in QUT’s ‘Graduate Success’ campaign. Dean works at DigitasLBi (DLBi) in Hong Kong, a digital agency with many highbrow clients including Disney and Cathay Pacific. Dean and the team at DLBi were kind enough to educate us on the function of a digital agency and their unique roles. Here are a few of our highlights:


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Culture and casinos in Macau

The final Saturday of our study tour to Hong Kong, we set out as a group for a day trip to Macau. Like Hong Kong, Macau is a special administrative region of China, and until 1999 it was under Portuguese rule. The region is renowned for two things: culture and casinos.

While the short taxi ride to the Tsim Sha Tsui ferry terminal in the morning could not have been simpler, the same cannot be said for purchasing a ticket. Read more

QUT goes global: Catching up with the Hong Kong alumni chapter

Picture this: frantic waiters race a variety drink orders across the room while a group of assorted QUT alumni introduce themselves, and one of my study tour colleagues Angus (“Aussie Angus”) bellows a G’day greeting to them at the top of his voice. If you’ve ever wondered what happens when you mix a bunch of excited Australian students with a group of eager mentors whose brains they can pick, the answer is best summarised with one word – noise.

James, William, Anna and Fiona enjoying dinner with the team.

James, William, Anna and Fiona enjoying dinner with the team.


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Dude, where’s my wallet?

There is nothing quite like reaching into your bag for your wallet in the middle of Hong Kong’s Times Square and coming away with nothing. Trust me, I know, because it happened to me on the second night of QUT Business School’s advertising and public relations study tour.  We had just departed the Bauhinia Harbour Cruise boat where we’d been treated to a buffet dinner and a stunning view of Hong Kong’s “Symphony of Lights” laser show. Somewhere in between playing the odds game over some fishy—literally—buffet dinner options and dancing the Macarena, my wallet had fallen out of my bag. The boat was hours behind us, and it was 10pm. Business hours were well and truly closed, and I had no idea who to call.

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Hong Kong high life

At 6’ 2” l knew I was going to be big in China, but height is translating into celebrity status. That’s what I’m running with anyway. And I’d like to think my vertically gifted peer, Dom will run with it too, because ‘freak show’ is so passé.

In fact, we’ve got an unofficial challenge running about who gets more photo requests from locals. So far I’m winning, with brave requests from visitors to the Hong Kong Harbour and the Sky Terrace at Victoria Peak where a queue started forming. I should have charged.


Being tall on the steps to Tian Tan Buddha, Ngong Ping Plateau. Photo credit: Idam Adam


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