Since a young age, Ellis always had an interest in Chinese and after attending an open day at the university, he knew that the Business Management and Chinese course at UCLan was for him. “I was impressed with the language facilities and Chinese learning environment, also the wide range of activities the Confucius Institute offers throughout the year won me over.” Following his studies, Ellis comments: “My lasting memories of UCLan are the social events organised by the Confucius Institute and Chinese Language and Culture Society.”
Ellis talks about how his year abroad in China really opened his eyes to the business opportunities that lie internationally. “I was not only able to use my language skills on a day-to-day living basis, but I was using them every day in a business environment which made me realise entrepreneurialism might just be for me.” He used this experience and took it as motivation to open up his own business, making use of the connections he made during his time in China.
After graduating in 2015, Ellis, along with his business partner, went on to open an education business, Edunion UK. The company works as a bridge between UK and Chinese education institutions, arranging partnership schemes, student exchange programmes, and CPD training. Ellis is Director of Operations at Edunion UK, aiming to develop and strengthen relations with both UK and Chinese partners. He also coordinates the exchange programmes that run throughout the year.
Edunion UK is Ellis’ greatest achievement since graduating, running a profitable business that looks to go on and grow. He tells us how his degree made him realise he could in fact open his own successful business. “It prepared me with the skills needed to do business in China, whether it being interpersonal relations, cultural differences, language or even business strategy, Business Management and Chinese has it all. If it wasn’t for this course, I would never have thought Edunion UK could happen, without a doubt it broadened my horizons.”
When asked what advice he would give to prospective students, Ellis said: “Business Management and Chinese is a well-designed course that incorporates an equal amount of business knowledge and language learning, a perfect choice for anyone thinking of possibly working in or around China, or if like myself are interested in eventually going into business themselves. The internship side to the degree is what made the course so unique, during the 7 months at the company I was using Chinese to conduct meetings, negotiate with suppliers, and deal client complaints, all of which you can’t really learn in a classroom.”