(A group of 49 UEA students joined an exclusive field trip to Alibaba’s headquarter in Hangzhou on 29-31 March 2019.
The students are currently studying the UEA programmes in cross-border eCommerce at Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT), NorthwesternPolytechnical University (NPU) and Shanghai University (SHU), with full support from Alibaba’s Global eCommerce Talent (GET) Network.)

GET aims to inspire, inform and enable 1 million young digital talent worldwide by 2023, sharing positive impact of the new business paradigm through inclusive development. Therefore, as the inaugural cohort of UEA students studying the GET modules, they are offered with a number of opportunities for immersive industrial learning with exposure to successful entrepreneurial practices within the Alibaba ecosystem and the most cutting-edge digital technologies that drive the development of digital economy globally. 
 

With implementation of the GET initiative for UEA eCommerce programmes, it was the first time for Alibaba to have opened its door to UEA students in China. Moreover, the whole field trip was tailor-made for UEA students, offering an eye-opening journey with a range of carefully designed activities including visits, workshops and group projects.

The visiting students were addressed by Neo Cai, Senior Manager of Global Initiatives, Alibaba Group, Cathy Hu, member of GET team, Alibaba Group, and Yong Zhou, Secretary-General of Alibaba GET Network.
Neo gave an in-depth introduction about Alibaba, providing students with an insightful picture about Alibaba's defining moments, key milestones and the company value. Cathy extended a warm welcome on behalf of the GET initiative. Mr. Zhou explained the blueprint of GET and its vision and mission. He said: “It is truly an honour being part of the Alibaba GET Network, which will provide you with a golden ticket when you start to build your business network."

 

Chen Maineng and Jiao Peng, two successful student entrepreneurs from Alibaba Business School and Yiwu Industrial & Commercial College, shared their entrepreneurial experience with the students. Jiao Peng, who was born in a poverty rural area in North China, started to sell locally-grown apples online when he was a university student. By applying his knowledge of eCommerce platform operations and eCommerce marketing, he has achieved huge success, benefiting not only his family but also the entire village. The sharings were so inspiring and encouraging that students in the audience expressed that through eCommerce, they will be able tochange people’s lives in their home countries as well. 

Apart from visiting the Alibaba Xixi campus and the flagship Hema store for a market survey, students were invited to visit Booster, one of Alibaba’s very first SME partners in China, providing online platform operation services to over 100 global companies now. 

What’s special about this GET field trip is that it’s task-bearing. All students are assigned with group projects that require intensive discussion and reflectionthroughout the two-day event. Each group is expected to complete a market analysis for a local product that is imported from their home country and currently sold in China. 
 

From preparatory studies, interviews with Chinese customers in Hema and PPT design to final group presentations in Chinese, the students have greatly impressed the GET judges with their excellent Chinese proficiency, skills for public speaking, data analysis skills and strong ability for research and teamwork. 

The Secretary-General of Alibaba GET Network Mr. Zhou said: “We are very pleased about what our students have achieved during the two-day trip. We will continue to enable them to grow with entrepreneurial advice and support for their future success globally through eCommerce.”

What students say about the field trip: 

  • “Through the trip, I have a further understanding of digital economy, Alibaba ecosystem, Alibaba culture and future trend as well.”
  • “The sharing from each speaker’s stories was so inspiring. They are normal people like you and me, if he can make it, I believe I also can make it happen and give back to my home country.”
  • “Thank you for the field trip to provide me the opportunity of making new friends from various cultural background and study together. It makes me realize how important team work is.”