What position do you hold at TIC TWO? What has your career path been like so far?
Alastair: After working within commercial real estate in the buzzing city of Johannesburg, I returned to the UK and landed a job with a business to business sales recruitment consultancy, based in the city of London. I focused on graduate recruitment and helped over 60 fresh graduates secure jobs within a multitude of industries.
In 2008 I was approached by China’s largest project management consultancy, and consequently headed up their Business Development department, responsible for a team of business development managers, executives and interns in their Shanghai, Beijing and Tianjin offices. We had a internship program that ran year round which exposed me to who are now competitors and gave me the inspiration to head up a firm that provided the best possible internships available on the market.
Through the type of work I undertook at my previous role it gave me access to some of the world’s best and largest companies – this network meant I could truly provide some fantastic internship opportunities and in 2011 I set up TIC TWO.
What are the core principles TIC TWO strives to achieve?
Alastair: Our four founding principles are Business, Culture, Language and Career Development. The program has been designed to incorporate all of these in some form and everything we do, we make sure it’s fun too. Everything outside of the internship is designed to incorporate as much of China as it has to offer, the internship itself we want to make sure it’s one of the best opportunities available on the market, which is why all our partnering firms are vetted to ensure they are able to provide a truly meaningful and beneficial working experience.
What separates TIC TWO from other internship providers?
Alastair: There’s no fluff when it comes to this - I believe we have the most comprehensive program available. Our network is second to none with management having a rich contact list with some of the best and biggest companies operating in Shanghai. We also work with a lot of small companies that provide the entrepreneurs of our program the opportunity to learn how a business grows and operates. I play football with the CEO of one of the world’s biggest companies and a close friend heads up commercial finance at one of the world’s largest retailers, for example. So as well as having a really strong network and access to some brilliant internships we tell our participants who they are going to work for BEFORE they pay the final fee.
I think this is a really important point as it demonstrates that we’re targeted in our approach i.e. we listen to what our interns are trying to gain experience in and then we go out and get it for them.
Secondly it means we’re confident they’ll accept the placement because it’s a quality placement and it sells itself – we don’t need to go out and find an alternative placement for them, because we get it right the first time.
Lastly I think we’re the best value for money; competitively priced with the most included within the program and our senior management, including myself, actively get involved in the management and implementation of the program, ensuring a first class experience.
What will participants gain by participating in an internship through TIC TWO?
Alastair: First and foremost you’ll get to work within the industry of your choice, at a quality company, in one of the most exciting and dynamic cities in the world, Shanghai! Taking that experience and having it on your CV is invaluable and you’ll find that as soon as you walk into the interview room it’s going to be your unique selling point, differentiating yourself from the competition.
As well as learning from some of the best in the industry and boosting your CV, you’ll also get to experience one of the most fascinating and diverse cultures whist developing yourself professionally. Cultural trips, Mandarin lessons, cooking classes, volunteering days and a whole array of other TIC TWO and non TIC TWO activities are part of the program allowing everyone to gain something other than just the working experience.
What does the future hold for TIC TWO?
Alastair: The future is very bright for TIC TWO. We can’t tell you too much of what we’re going to be doing but for now we’re busy with the launching an intensive Mandarin program which we’re really excited about.