Our graduates Valerie Zhang, China, Intercultural Communication and Global Business

BA ICGB graduate Valerie ZhangCan you tell me what you were doing before the BA in Intercultural Communications for Global Business and what led you to choose Strathclyde?
I studied English (with a focus on international law and business) at East China University of Political Science and Law before I chose the ICGB programme. I have always known that English is not the field I wanted to pursue, and in second year I didn’t find it difficult to achieve a high grade point average in English. Therefore, when I heard about the ICGB programme, I thought it would be an opportunity to try different subjects that were available through the course. From here I thought I’d be able to explore more in my postgraduate degree or my career.

What did you think of the programme overall?
Subjects such as leadership, politics and marketing have exposed me to a variety of interesting topics, and it can help you find out what subject you like best and what you want to do in the future. The programme is also challenging, as it is a completely different culture from the Chinese way of working in terms of classes and assessment. Even the Scottish accent takes some getting used to – it’s all part of the experience.

What have been the highlights?
When it was Chinese New Year, I led my five roommates who are from Europe and America in making dumplings, and we celebrated the festival together by enjoying cuisine from my hometown, chatting and play games all night.

What are your thoughts on the course in terms of content, academics, and other students?
The design of the course is great overall. Different subjects have different class formats such as seminars and workshops, and the assessment types vary too. This could take the form of an essay, team project or test. In the seminars and workshops, we have opportunities to interact with classmates from different backgrounds, which is fantastic. The industry engagement part of the programme included a real industry case to solve as an assignment and guest speakers in the industry who shared their insights and ideas.

What about Glasgow - how have you found living here?
Glasgow is not a massive city, but you can find almost everything you want from it. You can often see markets near the city center, and Kelvingrove Park is one of my favorite places in Glasgow. People in Glasgow are really enthusiastic and talkative.

What do you hope this programme can do for you?
I hope that I can use the flexibility of the programme to discover what I want to focus on in my future. I do not want to be restricted by the subjects that I chose in high school. The course also led me to explore the world of marketing and I have now selected to study this as my postgraduate degree.

Do you have any tips or advice for students thinking of studying this programme?
Take yourself out of your comfort zone! I mean this both in terms of your studies and in your daily life. At first you may feel nervous or embarrassed, however, when you look back, you will find you grow the most in this period and meet a lot of interesting people in these two years.

Would you recommend the programme?
Yes, I would, especially if you want to do something a little different in your undergraduate degree.