East meets West-The reality of the culture shock

When I think of Hong Kong, I think of three things: bright lights, freshly made noodles and packed trains. All of these things combined into an island with a population of 7 million people creates a perception of a living invested hub. No doubt the well-developed infrastructure and low taxation over weighs the very high real estate prices of the city, but it does not stop the expats migrating into the city as it continues to grow into the third largest financial hub in the world.

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I currently intern as a Marketing specialist in an events management firm. There is only 15 people on board excluding me, so it is pretty small. We also have an open office structure where were are allowed to see each other all the time and just talk across the room to get each other’s attention. I help my agency build marketing plans, including social media strategies and do competition research. My agency although small, is made up of people from all around the world: locally from Hong Kong to expats from Australia and the United Kingdom. Being in such a diverse environment gives the benefit of having an open mind as well as to explore different perspectives in executing an event. Not only was I able to chip in with international strategies, but to find the balance between tackling it locally without miscommunication was a exciting challenge to experience.


Working in Hong Kong as far as I have experienced is very fast-paced— at least in the Events industry. My co-workers are constantly on their toes attending meetings and away making site visits but still being able to come up with a full on 70 slide presentation proposal for their clients in less than two weeks; however I have also heard of them staying in the office until 11pm, and it happens a little more often than you think. Even though I am an intern, I do sometimes offer my help and is willing to stay an extra bit with the hope of,”It’s okay, you don’t have to,” but the reaction I usually get is the opposite, not that I mind if I can help them.

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On the bright side, not everyday is extra hustle day. I noticed we keep a calm environment. Even though we might get stressed sometimes, the whole team is there to help out and will definitely get things done. I’ve learnt that in my agency, everyone works very independently in their own time, as long as you get the job done by the due date. My boss also encourages ‘work-from-home Wednesdays’ to increase productivity and to watch away the hump day blues. I can concur with this idea— sleeping in and waking up not gloomy for once helps me focus better and very much motivated to work.


I chose Hong Kong because I saw the city as a gateway between the Eastern and Western culture. For example, the events industry is growing as many financial companies seek us to execute their conferences and summits. As Hong Kong continues to be dominant in the financial sector, it will bring about ripple effects to grow the other various industries that would like to venture into Asia, and I for once am very glad to be able to be part of this venture.


Melissa Lim Yi

Melissa is pursuing her masters in Strategic Public Relations. She has a keen interest in Events and Social Media Management. She’s intrigued by the concept of ‘East meets West’ and was able to experience that through her internship this summer in Hong Kong working at a Creative Agency.