- Course studied:
- Advertising and Brand Management BA (Hons)
- Year of graduation:
Calvin Ip is the fourth generation of his family to work at their battery manufacturing company, Chung Pak, in Shunde, China. Calvin came to the UK to study Advertising and Brand Management so he could follow in his father’s footsteps, and his grandfather before him, and help the company continue to prosper and grow.
“It’s my honour to work in my dad’s company after finishing my degree,” Calvin explained. “I’m the fourth generation at my family business and I wanted to study a course that would give me business and marketing skills, as well as involve my hobbies of art and being creative, so I can benefit the company.”
Now back home in Hong Kong after graduating, Calvin continues to visit the UK and recently returned for Staffordshire University’s Show and Tell exhibition – the art and design degree show – which he sponsored through Chung Pak.
He said: “I think I will continue to return if not retire in the UK. I think this is the best country I’ve ever stayed in and visited. And I made a promise to my mates in the UK that I will come back to visit once a year. That’s another reason why I came to the degree show. I saw so much amazing work from the students.”
Hong Kong to UK
Having grown up in Hong Kong, Calvin first came to the UK when he was 16. He studied in Perth, Scotland, for his A-Levels before beginning his degree at Staffordshire University in 2012.
“The reason my parents sent me to the UK is because of the Royal British Education,” Calvin said. “Apart from gaining knowledge from books and studying, I also learned proper British manners and etiquettes.
“I chose Staffordshire University because Stoke is surrounded by some busy cities, such as Birmingham and Manchester, but it can give me a nice, quiet atmosphere when I need to study. It’s so central I could always go to the big cities for shopping on the weekends if I wanted.”
He continued: “My tutors, John and Paul, are the reason why I really enjoyed the course. They are the most motivational guys I’ve ever met in my life. The course helped me with my communication skills too. When I was in my first year, I was really bad at presenting. After three years, people told me that I had improved a lot.”
Calvin was able to take those skills back to Hong Kong after graduating in 2015. He initially joined his friend in a distribution company for six months, to build his work experience, before joining Chung Pak as a production trainee in February 2016.
“My dad wants me to start from the bottom and learn production first,” he said. “I’m also doing a bit of marketing work and facing the customers, so I get to travel a lot and meet different people and suppliers around the world. Personally, I love meeting new people and making new connections.
“My dad has always been my mentor and I really want to make him proud and be part of the family legacy in the company. I want to make sure that legacy continues into the fifth and sixth generations. In future, I want to make sure that when they see the word “battery” they think of Calvin and Chung Pak. I want to build a reputation in the industry.”