Celebrating the End of 2021
Welcome to the YA's newsletter, December edition!
2021 has been quite a grueling year, with numerous lockdowns and restrictions, especially in Auckland. For this month's newsletter, we figured that a wonderful way to celebrate the closing of the year would be by taking you all through a recap of the awesome events and initiatives YA has delivered in 2021.
#1. YA 2021 Recap
YA In-Person Events
2021 was a minefield when it came to organising physical events, however we at the YA navigated it admirably and succeeded in hosting two in-person events. Attracting more than 100 attendees throughout the year, these events gave young professionals the perfect opportunity to meet and network with other members interested in this space!
The two events we hosted were introductory sessions into some fundamentals that underpin NZ-China trade, with topics from policy and our two nations’ Free Trade Agreement to innovative solutions being used in disciplines like green technology and sustainability.
Our content covers of broad range of topics to help get people of all levels and backgrounds get involved, and our offerings this year epitomised what being involved with the YA looks like. With a clearer understanding of Aotearoa’s direction under Covid, we’ll be sure to bring you bigger and better events moving forward!
YA Professional Development Online Series
The YA Professional Development Online Series was created for YA’s growing audience of tertiary students. However, we also know that learning doesn’t stop even after graduation, and continuing to develop oneself is important, hence the benefits many of YA’s young professional members will receive from the sessions. In 2021 we had speakers from PwC take us through some critical financial skills, then a subsequent event with David Nottage, who gave very insightful tips on gestures and how to use them efficiently in networking events. Lastly we had Poncho Rivera-Pavon of NxtStep, who shared some important advice concerning standing out from the crowd during your job search.
Zoom Into China
As with 2020, the YA adapted to the continuing online nature of 2021, hosting three incredible Zoom into China webinars featuring outstanding speakers. The topics encompassed international trade with John Cochrane (Facteon) and Professor Siah Hwee Ang (SEA CAPE), Kiwi start-ups expanding to China with Angus Brown (Arepa), and policy for young professionals in New Zealand with Leonard Hong (The New Zealand Initiative).
A reminder that the recordings of any YA online events can be accessed through Patreon by becoming a member here.
The YA wanted to continue its YA Connect initiative into 2021 and help students and young professionals gain first-hand insights into various industries they aspire to work in.
Through YA Connect we matched up young professional Libby Gane with Rachel Maidment, the Executive Director at the New Zealand China Council.
“The YA Connect program was incredibly valuable in providing real-life insights into where my interest in Chinese and business can go. It was lots of fun to hear from Rachel’s experience of both challenges and highlights when working in the NZ-China relationship space, especially working and living in China and navigating collaborative areas such as climate change.” - Libby Gane on YA Connect
#2. 2021 Committee Farewells
2021 saw seven committee members wrap up their time with the YA for the next stage in their lives and careers. Below you can read farewell messages from each committee member, some of whom were with the Young Associates for nearly four whole years! Thank you, and we will miss you all!
Minji: I initially joined the YA because of my newfound interest for NZ-China relations, which had been sparked by my own Chinese language journey. I wanted to share my passion by creating a space for others to see the same opportunities I did. Little did I know it would eventuate into the fostering of my leadership and communication skills and that I would walk away with a brewing network of individuals of all backgrounds who were all so invested in this space!
Katie: YA has not only given me the opportunity to learn about China and New Zealand's business relationship in a variety sectors, but has also helped me grow leadership and professional skills. It has been a very rewarding time to be a part of a committee that strives to educate and provide opportunities for youth that are interested in the Sino-NZ space.
Alan: YA is all about connecting with like-minded people to create a community discussing NZ and China business and relations. It is an amazing environment to expand our perspective and to enjoy times with the awesome people that I met! I joined because I was looking to learn about NZ-China trade and to meet great people, which I certainly did.
Sichen: I really enjoyed my time at YA meeting a group of likeminded and passionate young people who liked China and enjoyed sharing their knowledge and connections with others!
Sonja: I joined the YA as a committee member for two reasons: I had an Asian Studies degree but no friends that shared my interest in the area, and I had some other extra curriculars finish up and had capacity for a new challenge. The YA doesn’t just give an opportunity to learn new skills, but provides a whole new social group and great friends. (This is) not to mention how YA work and projects are a huge plus on a CV and as a leadership talking point. Three years on the committee almost seems like not enough time! #YAallday
Isabella: The YA has given me so many transferable skills, most notably leadership. As someone who isn’t from Aotearoa or China, I also learnt so much about the NZ-China space from YA. On top of it all, I’ve met so many amazing people and expanded my network. It’s been a very memorable time and valuable experience in my (almost) three years as a Committee member!
Antoine: YA has been the best co-curricular that I could have asked for to support my studies in communications, business and Chinese, and in life post-degree. I have developed a plethora of skills and experiences including in social media, database and project management, working in diverse and talented teams, and innovating in the face of challenge. YA’s people are the best part of it and I am so grateful for my network that has grown over our many (and seriously lit) projects. It has been a wild almost four years in the Committee and I look forward to staying on as a YA member in 2022. See you at the next event! 😉
#3. 2022 Committee Recruitment
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Editors: David, Isabella, Melanie and Nick
Disclaimer: Opinions expressed in this newsletter are the sole opinion of the NZCTA Young Associates and do not represent the opinions of the wider New Zealand China Trade Association or any of its executive committee.