Friday, May 17, 2013

A 3-weeks project for me; approximately 2-months project for them - our X-Culture project has finally accomplished.
There were at least 326 international teams from 70 universities, 40 countries of 6 continents who took part in this project.
Yeah, my team comprised of Kevin (USA), Marti (Estonia), Victor (Spain),Waheed (Pakistan) and Zivile (Lithuania).
The detailed evaluations were just released yesterday.
Guess what, my team was one of the few who received additional positive comment from the panel of judges!

" Nice work to read, consistent idea throughout the entire report."

My team may not scored the highest for overall but I feel really contented for the overall marks.
Jaws-dropping upon realising the executive summary that I have did was graded the 2nd highest among the hundreds of submissions.
I still remember it was quite a long and draggy one till my team leader, Marti reviewed my work and suggested to make the it more efficient with some guidelines.
I even seek for my friend's help to refine on a paragraph or two so that it appears to be short and sweet.
Thanks Marti and Tuck Wai.

Hi, we are team #264!

Well, speaking of group assignment, being in a group with good team mates who are about your standard or even has better performance than you is really a bliss.
I love the way on how participants were filtered and examined by taking a pre-project training and readiness test to gauge the suitability of one to join in this project.
Then we were allocated to a team to get started.

Initially, I was kind of worry:
1. being left behind/ out since my batch joined it few weeks late due to the late commencement of our semester
2. same group with parasite/ sleeping members (yes I truly HATE that to the extent that I can do the whole thing on myself and exclude those people's name in the end of the report though it is suppose to be a group assignment; it's not that I don't value teamwork)
3. can't be accepted into the team due to the late joining while they might have almost in the finalising stage of the report

However, things seem to be turned out that the team was in growing stage and I was able to join them before the delegation of task.
While hearing my friends' moan of not having an official team leader, we were lucky to have a member to take the initiative and take the lead.
Tasks were divided and distributed fair and square.
One can clear his/ her doubts by posting in the group and members will help each other in responding to that (yes, you won't feel alone though you were burning the midnight oil and suddenly need to clarify your doubts in the dead of night).
We were fortunate to have a member, Zivile who was formerly working in the company in better understanding the company.
However, a friend of us: Waheed suffered from food poisoning, admitted to the hospital and then followed by having to prepare for his examinations at the university who eventually being inactive in the group.
This had resulted increased workload of other team mates who assisted in making up for his part in the report at the final stage.
You can really see the existence of team work at such critical point.
Efficiency and productivity of the members can be discovered too disregard of different time zone.
Since we have to adhere to the standard time zone: New York, Kevin from US did a good job in turning in our final report on time.
Yup, one can have his/ her post responded by the ever-active Victor from Spain.
It was just amazing that things worked out well regardless of where we are from.

To be frank, although this project was a course requirement for my subject of Export Practices and Management, my part was more about business to business (B2B) marketing upon task delegation.
As a matter of fact, we were working on proposal relating to beer industry and I find it challenging that little did I know about it since I don't really drink.
Plus, it was about B2B marketing that I just started to learn the subject few weeks ago.
B2B marketing is something that's internal and we can hardly find substantial corporate information on how it operates from the sheer internet.
Seriously, it was more challenging than the global marketing plan that I took part - L'Oreal Brandstorm 2013.

Therefore, I seek for help from a few friends of mine:
Ket Wei: who has been living and travelled to myriad countries and explained the types of liquor, culture, lifestyles and preferences from different continents to me; a fan of beer who has relatives operating liquor business. I can't remember when was the last time talking through the phone until it heats up.
Edwin: a beer devotee who been to Brazil, our targeted market! this allows me to connect the parts of information gathered to propose appropriate marketing strategies.
Joey: a beer aficionado who studied at overseas for more than past 12 years. He also has a broad travel experiences across the continents.
Jie Kang: not a fan of beer but has a father who operates business that serves liquor
Joon Kie: not a beer lover too but has a father who owns F&B businesses
and of course, consulted my new B2B lecturer - Dr Balaji from India.
Not to forget, my lecturer of this project and subject: Professor Nan Jiang from China.
I truly appreciate their big help in enabling me to grasp the industry and with some industrial insights that inspired me to propose feasible marketing strategies.
Yeah right, my questions were appeared to somewhat funny but thanks for bearing with me.
Really, it's about B2B where one can hardly gauge the way how they work unless with industrial info.
This has aided me and prevented me from suggesting funny and impractical strategies.
Guess what, most of the time I receive instant reply from them even though at the wee hours of the morning, birthday, and at overseas regardless of some of their real hectic & tight schedule. (I don't mean to disturb them at such hour but due to my whole-day long of classes, that was my free time upon reaching home).
Truly glad & lucky to have them with me.

Oh well, I admit that I am a person who treasure (particular, in a way) team work and team members.
I really love working with this amazing team mates who portrayed dynamism, efficiency, productivity, great teamwork & effort with good English language standard though some of them are not native speakers.
This has inspired me to work more in honing my English language skills :)

In spite of the fact that the winners of the top 10 business proposals are yet to announced, I am satisfied with our work.
My work was done when I was at the peak of my other university's individual assignments. Phew...
I really wish to meet the team and attend the conference at Turkey in July yet the expenses cost too dear for me.
Anyway, I hope we can meet in real one day, and work together again in the future!
Cheerio and...

Aitäh Marti! Ačiū Zivile! ¡Muchas gracias Victor! Thank you Kevin and Waheed شکریہ

X-Culture: enriching, exciting & extraordinary experience that's everlasting in my memory.

Friday, May 10, 2013

18th March 2013 (Monday)
... Victoria Peak > The Peak Galleria > Avenue of Stars > Symphony of Light > HK Cultural Centre > Fa Yuen Street > Tsui Wah Restaurant > leisure walk along Nathan Road
gateway to the peak..

Splendid view of Victoria Harbour and HK city from the Victoria Peak/ 太平山顶!

Madame Tussauds HK (Kelly was really tall!)

We didn't pay and enter as there were quite a number of wax figures on loan at other places.

filming in action by TVB!

say I ❤ you at The Peak

boarding soon.. bye! xD

Pearl on the Peak Restaurant 山顶明珠
dined at the best spot of the restaurant with stunning panoramic view, must bring my parents here one day!

bread & butter

mushroom soup

炭烧牛肉汉堡配薯条 (char-grilled beef burger and french fries) HK$145

意大利肉肠脆薄饼 (italian sausages on crust pizza) HK$125

panna cotta


taken at the vintage HK specialty beauty & cosmetics shop - Two Girls

look what I spotted! KIT 

Symphony of Lights show at Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront along Avenue of Stars and HK Cultural Centre

the show was rather disappointing that the music played was not loud enough though the speakers were right behind us and it's not well-sychronised with the light show.

finally got myself a new pair of Nike sports shoes featuring my favourite colours at the Fa Yuan Street; I can't get this back in Malaysia!

place to satisfy our grumpy stomach at midnight...

鹿儿岛猪软骨捞公仔面 (Kagoshima pork cartilage with tossed instant noodles) HK$44

 至潮鱼蛋片头滑 (Fish balls & fish cakes with rice noodles in fish soup) HK$31

 香滑奶茶 (milk tea) HK$17

19th March 2013 (Tuesday)
Australian Dairy Company > ShenZhen > Temple Street > Big Tomato Beef Noodle Specialist > Ladies Street

On the next morning, we headed to the Australian Dairy Company 澳洲牛奶公司 for our breakfast.

 the breakfast set inclusive of macaroni, milk tea, scrambled/ fried eggs with toast bread HK$28

their signature creamy custard milk 蛋白炖鲜奶 HK$23

look at the long queue!
all waiters and trust me, they were quick and efficient

Love the fact that the passengers can get themselves updated with weather and news time to time in the MTR!
We had random trip to ShenZhen actually.
No photos were taken and we can't wait to go back to Hong Kong after spending a few hours there.
It was not a place that we have expected.

Initially we were planning to visit the Temple Street night market.
However, the rain was heavy and ceaseless that the stalls cannot operate at such condition.
Thus, we had our dinner at the end of the street.

Big Tomato Beef Noodle Specialist 大番茄牛肉面专卖店

Pork bone tomato soup noodle with crispy pork chop (薯茄猪骨汤底吉利猪扒) HK$30

Pork bone tomato soup beef noodle (薯茄猪骨汤底公仔面) $30 crispy lemon honey bun (柠檬蜜糖脆脆猪) HK$12

it's a corner shop located at Temple Street

the owners were so kind and helpful that they both searched and copied the addresses of the famous dim sum shop that we were looking for! hospitality #1

a before and after view of refurbishment at the end of Ladies Street

20th March 2013 (Wednesday)
One Dim Sum > Yuen Po Street Market > Morning Market > One Dim Sum > Fashion Street > the Dragon Centre > Computer Shopping Centre > Heritage 1881 > Shek Kee Noodle Shop > Check out > HK International Airport

Alright, it was the last day at Hong Kong and of course, Michelin-starred dim sum for my breakfast - indispensable meal of the day. (you can call me a dim sum freak!)
We were there around 10am but it was yet to start operating.
Hence we went to Yuen Po Street Bird market and the morning market nearby.
Goods were sold at reasonable price and yes, I spotted some of the goods that were sold at Temple Street and Ladies Street too but they were ridiculously marked up the price.
So for those who wish to get better price, do visit their morning market first before heading to the night markets.

Soon after One Dim Sum 一点心 start operating at 11am, it was filled with customers.
An interesting feature in this dim sum shop was that they were all female waitresses and cashier; contrary to the Australian Dairy Company that I had my breakfast at the previous morning.

Steamed Siu Mai (蟹皇蒸烧卖) HK$18  Steam rice noodle with beef (香茜牛肉肠) HK$16

Steam minced beef ball (鲜竹牛肉球) HK$15  Steam shrimp dumplings 薄皮鲜虾饺 HK$20

Fried egg stick with honey (古法炸蛋散) HK$14  Egg Custard Bun (香滑奶皇包) HK$13

Glutinous rice dumpling (丰料糯米鸡) HK$22
err... their dim sums were really delicious except this.

Seriously, I strongly recommend the dim sums over here.
Fresh, succulent and scrumptious at reasonable price with good service, what can you ask for more?

Fashion street, Dragon Centre and Computer Shopping Centre were the places that we have visited after the breakfast. No photos were taken though, hee..
I still prefer the IT centre at Lowyat Plaza as compared to their Computer Shopping Centre.
There were 2 floors and it was real packed with narrow walkways.

Last stop of shopping mall: Heritage 1881.
I love the huge bear statues at Heritage 1881!!
Quite saddening that we were on hurry and didn't take a single photo of it.
Okay, this was the last meal that we had at a random restaurant near Heritage 1881.

锡记云吞河 Wanton Noodle Soup HK$25

Street view while we were on the way to Hong Kong International Airport...
I like the double decker bus that it offers free-wifi!

Hmm.. There were few things that I noticed at Hong Kong:
1. Music culture (orchestral ones I mean) is quite common over there.
2. They are real quick and efficient, reflects their well-known fast-paced lifestyle. (I like this!)
3. You can hardly find someone blocking your way (exclude the tourists).
4. They look good. Not only their attire is well-pressed, a man at his 40s can have better skin complexion than you!
5. Great accessibility with comprehensive transportation mode.
6. Clean, even the handrails at MTR stations are constantly disinfected.
7. I have never met a Hong Kong citizen who is out of shape; they are fit.
8. Their steam rice noodle, skin bun, rice noodles are real thick!

Oh well, I can't get to visit Ngong Ping as the cable cars were under maintenance during the period when I was there.
And and, other attractions due to time constraint.
Umm, my 12-pages planning actually worked! haha
I will definitely visit Hong Kong again (and buy the egg rollssss at Tai Cheung!!) :)

 last item that I bought at the airport: Kee Wah's egg rolls
y u no Tai Cheung bakery outlet :((