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7 Must Have Skills to Be Guaranteed a Job After Graduation

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7 Must Have Skills to Be Guaranteed a Job After Graduation

universitiy admissions are at an all time high.jpg

Once considered a path for the intellectual, enrollments to universities and colleges around the world are at all-time highs. This, of course, means that a record number of graduating students are finishing their degrees and searching for relevant jobs. Competition for such positions has never been so fierce. While obtaining such a sought-after position may be a little more difficult in the modern day, that doesn’t mean the opportunity is off limits to you.

With the right skills, you can drastically improve your chances. We’ve put together 7 must-have skills as viewed by management and recruiters across a range of industries.


Cultural Agility

In the modern day, the majority of businesses are often operating in a global environment. Whether through clientele, outsourcing projects or ordering supplies from abroad, it’s likely you’ll encounter foreign cultures in some respect. To succeed in such an environment, it’s necessary to have an understanding of cultural norms and to be culturally sensitive. Business practices invariably change from one culture to another. The understanding of these differences could mean the difference between obtaining or losing prospective business.


Communication Skills

Communication can take many forms and is viewed as one of the key attributes an employee must have by recruiters. The spread of ideas, the sharing of information and the resolving of conflicts are all part of communication that can take place both internally and outside an organization. This can also include the aforementioned cultural knowledge and communication across a range of cultures and business environments.


Perhaps the most important of all attributes for prospective employees to possess is the ability to work as part of a team. This means co-operating on projects and addressing issues as they arise, ensuring small problems don’t escalate. It also means managing conflicts. Not only conflicts with the work itself but clashes between personalities and personal agendas.



Perhaps a graduate fresh out of college wouldn’t expect leadership to be a trait they are judged on. They’d be wrong. Leadership can take various forms and isn’t solely reserved for upper management or ownership. The ability and confidence to make decisions is one aspect of leadership, as is encouraging and motivating fellow employees. This doesn’t have to take a verbal form, but can be demonstrated through commitment and dedication to the task. Delegation of tasks is another essential component of effective leadership, something new employees should already be looking at executing.


The ability to plan and prioritize work leads to efficiency in the workplace (a major corporate buzzword) and ensures the most important tasks are delivered first. Deadlines have to be met and how you demonstrate your ability to meet them will be taken into account. While organization comes naturally to some, there’s no doubt it’s a learnable/teachable skill. If you can demonstrate this effectively, starting with your resume, you’ll get a considerable jump-start on the competition.


Specific Technical Skills/Knowledge

Gone are the days where it paid to be a jack-of-all-trades, master of none. In our current day and age, corporations look for highly skilled individuals, with expertise in 1 or 2 specific areas. Obviously, it pays to build this expertise for the position you wish to apply for.

School specific training isn’t necessarily adequate to demonstrate this, practical and extra-curricular coursework/training is viewed favorably.


Ability to Analyze Data

The need to understand analytics is essential to most industries. Whether you are working in a field such as marketing, law or human resources, part of your position will involve data analysis in some aspect. Whether it be analyzing the performance of a marketing budget or understanding demographics of your target customers, numbers allow a more effective service or product to be delivered.

It is essential to give yourself an evaluation of the 7 areas listed above and determine where your strengths and weaknesses lie. Perhaps with the help of a trusted source who knows you well. In the areas you lack, it’s a good idea to take a course or study relevant material that will allow you to improve. While it’s better to excel in a few select skills rather than be average or above average at all of them, it’s also important not to forego competence in any.

By focusing on the 7 skills highlighted above, you’re drastically improving the chances of landing the job you’ve spent such a long time studying for.

Are there any other skills you’d add to the list? Let us know in the comments below.

Join our China Internship Program and Take the time to develop your professional skill sets. Contact Miranda for more information at or find more information here

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Fashion Design Internship in China


Fashion Design Internship in China

1.What is the difference between working in China vs U.S?

The main difference would be the mentality towards work and stress on the job. People work very hard but, are more patient. In the states it feels like it there is more pressure because there is less time in an overall work day to finish what needs to be done.

As workdays on average run 10-12 hours (with 1-2 hour lunch), most people are able to complete what they need to rather than rushing like how they do in the states (where there it is usually 7-8 hours for most jobs with a 30 mins-1hr lunch break).

2.How has your internship affected your perspective about your major?

As I am 3 months into my 6 months co-op my perspective about my major has not really changed. No matter where you go, any work that requires research, drafting, samples,  patterning, construction, scaling (grading patterns to different sizes ex: s, m, l, custom), and marketing will be very time-consuming.

My perspective has not changed, but I am now able to accept that it is a demanding career, even for people who are more experienced. However, it is still something I wish to pursue in the long run.

3. What is the typical work day like?

As a design intern, my duties are rarely the same on a day to day basis so I cannot really say. My boss creates assignments for me based on incoming orders or her new projects. But some assignments will be repeated every 2 weeks (when the materials I have prepped have run out).

4. What do you do at work?

At my internship I  make patterns by hand, make copies of patterns, making patterns on adobe illustrator, do retail analysis, cut pieces for assembly, design/make sleeping masks, take photos for my boss’ presentations, create reference catalogs (by taking measurements from her samples and from the finished patterns), and help her with anything else in the office in order to increase production.

5. New skills/ what I have learned at the studio?

At the studio, I have gotten some hands-on experience prepping and working with silk. As it is a new material I haven’t really worked with, getting a “fabric hand” for it is an asset.

As of right now I can loop turn the bias straps I have been cutting (as her straps are couture quality and a normal loop turner will not fit inside, I have to use a needle to do this). I have also learned a few shortcuts on adobe illustrator on scaling.

6. What product would you recommend to others?

At work, we use Chalko liners by Clover with a wheel dispenser. I feel as if it is easier to use and easier to take off from the fabric compared to chalk pencils. I have used chalk paper before which is very useful for pinwheel tracers but depending what color you use, it can be very difficult to remove the marks.

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8 Things I Have Learned About Living in China my First Month & Advice

Intern in China to Adventure to new places 

Intern in China to Adventure to new places 

1. Most Useful Apps For Getting Around- We found that the most useful Apps to have are Wechat (Weixin), Pleco,and Youdao on your smartphone.

Wechat - Is useful because everyone in Beijing has one, and will add you on there as a contact instead of giving a phone number. It acts as a platform for free calling, text, and video-calling internationally. You can also send someone your location with the app which is helpful since google maps does not work here without VPN(without a VPN, you cannot access many sites blocked in China like Google, Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, and some other sites, mainly social media platforms are blocked).   

Pleco- is an app that is the best Chinese to English dictionary I have used. For $10 US, you can upgrade (which is very extremely helpful) to get the camera option and translate right at that moment.  

Youdao- Is great if you have long paragraphs of text to translate. (Also alongside this, the way that my roommate and I get around, is that we carry notebooks in our bags with some key terms and phrases we have collected over time. While we have memorized most of these phrases and know what to say for some situations, it is nice to have something to reference.)

2. The Bathroom Situation- In China and in many other countries in Asia, the toilets are squatting toilets.

This means that instead of a toilet to sit on, there is (for lack of better descriptions), a stall with a hole that you squat over. While many of the newer buildings do have western style toilets, the less modern ones have these available. Also public bathrooms in the hutongs (the small streets/ alleys in china) will have these squatting toilets.

Also sometimes there is not any toilet paper in the bathroom at all and you are expected to bring your own personal pack of disposable tissues/ toilet paper (which most people do, so it is very important to have on hand in case) to these stalls. Sometimes there is soap but, it is highly recommended that you pack your own hand sanitizer bottle and/ or hand wipes for public restrooms. 

Parkview Green

Parkview Green

3. Language-  While I was told that I could take weekly language lessons during my co-op it is important that before you come you develop a basic understanding of Mandarin.

Not many people in Beijing speak English ( some young people can speak English, not so much the older generation). I have become comfortable with some basic questions and how to get around within a month with pinyin.

4. The People are Amazing- Within my short time here, I really have come to appreciate how kind, hardworking, and good-hearted everyone is here.

It is difficult when you first start out, without being able to express yourself to others because of the language barrier. It is sometimes a challenge to express your basic needs and wants at times, but most people in Beijing are very relaxed. They will work with you and listen when you ask for directions or have questions.

It is important stay calm when you get stuck, and if you make a mistake to take it easy on one’s self. Remain positive and take each experience as a learning experience, remember to smile and try to break down want to know in simpler terms in Mandarin. If you are corrected, simply take note of what vocabulary worked, and what didn’t prevent it from happening again.

5. Safety - If traveling through Beijing from 8am - 12pm you will be perfectly fine, it really depends where you are traveling( in my opinion).

It is fairly peaceful and not many pickpockets (especially compared to European countries I have visited). Just mind your belongings and don’t leave anything loose.

6. Cabs- Avoid black cabs (My coordinator warned me of this during orientation) because they might try to raise the price after you arrive at your destination. 

Personal Experience- About 2 weeks ago I encountered a black cab when I was trying to call a cab, the driver tried calling me over. He then show me a subway receipt in English, (he pointed to the word Taxation) and claimed it was his cab license..

Beijing Sight Seeing During your Internship 

Beijing Sight Seeing During your Internship 

7. Shopping- Large malls are usually for luxury items and have foreign imports.

Besides supermarkets or these malls it is fine to bargain if the store is outside or if you are in a touristy area. The prices are usually inflated. The only time people try to take your money (most people will not try to steal from you)is usually through inflating the price. There are many lovely streets and fun finds in China, you can find some really great finds. My favorite place so far is Qianmen.

8. Air Quality - I already knew about this one, but it is a good one to know.

 Living in the same city you become aware of the effect of air pollution and the source of the pollution becomes more noticeable.

Main reasons for pollution:

-It is densely populated.   

-The surrounding provinces manufacture and the wind brings the pollution. A lot of heavy manufacturing has been pushed out of Beijing in recent years.

-Many places use charcoal and burn firewood as both a source of warmth and to cook (the air quality drops significantly in the summer time because of this).

However, the people in Beijing are taking progressive measures to increase both awareness and improve the health of their environment through initiatives, and events found throughout the city. If you are interested in coming Beijing, bring breathing masks(I recommend 3M brand) to combat the pollution, and since the air is very dry, to bring pack or purchase (when you arrive ) lots of moisturizers (ex: lip balm, body lotion, face lotion).

Blog Post by Joan Suh- Fashion Intern from Drexel University 




Wangfujing Snack Street

It’s been about a month since I’ve been in China and I can confidently say that China has one of the most diverse food landscapes in the world.

From spicy Sichuan street food to extravagant Beijing duck, the phrase “Chinese food’ doesn’t even begin to cover the vastness of what you can find here. 

Backtrack to three weeks ago, when my roommates and I decided to embrace our inner tourists and go to Wangfujing. I remember once watching Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre Foods on the Travel Chanel and watching him eat Thousand Year Old Eggs, stinky tofu, and scorpions on a stick. “What an incredibly brave man. I’ll probably never do that in my life!” Little did I know that I would one day find myself in Beijing doing just that. 

Of course, the first thing we see when we enter the incredibly narrow and aromatic snack street was squirming scorpions on a stick, right next to the starfish, silk worms, and deep fried lizards. The scorpions were literally squirming to show how fresh they were. “NO WAY. I’M NOT ANDREW ZIMMERN.” I thought. However, one stick had three scorpions and my two roommates had already taken a scorpion for themselves, leaving the last one for me. After seeing their somehow complacent faces upon finishing their grub, I gave in. “What the heck.” I thought. “I’m in Beijing and it’s now or never.” To my relief, the scorpion tasted like very salty potato chips. I had to close my eyes, though. Would I eat it again?  Probably. Would I willingly order it? Probably not. But at least I have a cool story to tell. 

Although I forgot to take a picture that monumental moment of culinary exploration, I did manage to take a picture of myself happily scarfing down some stinky tofu. Stinky tofu was another must-try food Andrew Zimmern had the pleasure of tasting. Like durian fruit (which is one of very few foods I detest), it smelled of death and old feet but instead tasted quite savory and enjoyable. Topped with cilantro, peppers, and peanuts, the tofu was rather tasty. Immediately afterwards I downed two water bottles and five breath mints. The “stinky” part of stinky tofu is no joke. 

It seems that you can never go hungry here. There is food EVERYWHERE. If you’re hungry, the nearest restaurant is probably less than half a block away.

If you’re not in the mood for a sit-down meal, there are always smaller restaurants peddling their snack-sized wraps and kabobs. And for the truly adventurous you can try out the street food.