Shanghai universities offering real work experience for students
Universities in Shanghai are trying to help students practice what they've learned from books and engage them in more real work experience to better prepare them for their future careers.
On March 8, which is celebrated as Women's Day, American luxury fashion brand Coach launched its Caring Catty series designed by students from Donghua University.
It's one of the successful fruits of the joint "China Cool" program between Donghua and Coach.
The program aims at promoting the brand among young consumers in China while helping young Chinese designers get hands-on designing experience in the luxury goods company.
It's a course delivered online and offline by teachers and guest professors from Donghua, as well as creative design, marketing, retail, merchandise and visual merchandising teams from Coach.
Students are guided to design products based on their understanding of Chinese culture and fashion lifestyle and compete for opportunities to put their ideas into real businesses.
The Caring Catty series, designed by four female students, emerged victorious this year.
"We feel so proud and also grateful that our designs can be put on shelves," said Li Jifei, one of the young designers. "We hope people will seek the lifestyle and life attitude of young Chinese people. We also want young women to be more confident and brave with the strength of love."
"The 'China Cool' program connects the international fashion brand with the creativity of China's young generation," noted Li Jun, director of Donghua's Shanghai International College of Fashion and Innovation. "It helps cultivate a generation of talent with global vision and interdisciplinary competence."
Yann Bozec, president and CEO of Coach China, revealed that he was impressed by the inspiration and creativity of young Chinese designers and that the company would continue with its commitment to work toward empowering young Chinese designers.
The School of Business at East China University of Science and Technology has also realized that teaching students business management is not merely a bookish matter. It has launched various action-learning programs with several companies such as Shanghai's time-honored brand Bright Dairy.
Action learning is an education approach featuring real problem solving. It involves taking action and reflecting upon the results.
Last year, students were divided into seven groups to take part in an eight-month action-learning program involving Bright Dairy. The problems they faced included researching consumer behavior, refreshing time-honored brand Bright Dairy Ice Cream, developing new brand White Bear Ice Cream and digital marketing of its offline chain stores Niu Peng.
They needed to develop reports or provide solutions under guidance from their teachers and professionals of the company and present their outcomes to senior executives of Bright Dairy.
Eventually, two groups won with feasible development plans for Bright Dairy's Ur Bakers and White Bear brands.
The school said such programs connecting education with industries was an important part of its reform on educational approach and has become one of the most important ways to cultivate talent really needed in firms.