My name is Elizabeth Oxley and I am from Memphis, Tennessee, USA. I am a junior at Sewanee: The University of the South, located south of Nashville. I am a Global Studies Major, concentrating on global capitalism and culture, and an Asian studies minor. I chose Hong Kong because of its reputation on the global stage, the plethora of cultures that exist within the city, and that it is located in Asia! I chose to come work at Centre O this summer mainly because of its location in Hong Kong, but the small medium enterprise size and business centre aspect also aided in my decision. An internship at a company this size has given me a comfortable, intimate space to ask questions and learn about global business.
At Centre O, I am the First Impressions Trainee, which means I am doing mainly admin work and interacting with clients at the reception. This includes answering phone calls, customer service, and hand delivering documents to different locations in Hong Kong. I also act as a front desk officer, greeting customers and ensuring their time at Centre O is comfortable and pleasant. This has taught me the importance of face value and how important it is to smile and have lots of energy when talking to customers. This kind of work has helped me to get a hands on experience in the world of business in Hong Kong. I am really enjoying learning about the differences in office culture. The differences between here and the States are more than I expected. Certain things that I would say, do, or how I act do not translate over to the Hong Kong office as they would in the US office. Such as the difference between “please hold” and “will you please hold?”. In the States, it is the same thing, but in Hong Kong they believe that one is more polite than the other. In addition, I am also enjoying learning how different the legal aspect of business is here versus in the United States. Incorporation here is much smoother and painless than it is in the states and I can easily understand Hong Kong’s appeal to foreign business owners.
In conclusion, I believe my time in Hong Kong has been a huge learning experience. I’ve gained more independence, learned about business, and learned a lot about Asia. This has been a truly unique experience and something I could never learn in a classr