Hi-tech trip to China an eye-opener

Re­porter Tao Lin fol­lowed a group of AUT South students who trav­elled to China as part of their schol­ar­ships from telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions gi­ant Huawei. Lin trav­elled as the guest of Huawei.

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

IT’S been an eye-open­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for four Auck­land Univer­sity of Tech­nol­ogy students who have just come back from the trip of a life­time.

The bach­e­lor of com­puter and in­for­ma­tion science students were the first re­cip­i­ents of a new schol­ar­ship pro­gramme be­tween AUT’s Manukau cam­pus and Chi­nese telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions gi­ant Huawei.

Along with a new Huawei phone and $3000 to­wards study fees, the students also re­ceived a four-week trip to the com­pany’s head­quar­ters in Shen­zhen, China.

They flew to Bei­jing first, where they learnt some Mandarin, took part in cul­tural ac­tiv­i­ties and vis­ited the Great Wall and the For­bid­den City.

The Ki­wis then joined a group of Aus­tralian students and spent two weeks in Shen­zhen tak­ing part in lec­tures and see­ing the ins and outs of Huawei, in­clud­ing its ex­ten­sive re­search, de­vel­op­ment and man­u­fac­tur­ing cen­tres.

Michael Mul­doon, a thirdyear stu­dent, says he was taken aback by the sheer num­ber of peo­ple in China and the er­ratic driv­ing style.

But the knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ences he has gained far out­weigh the cul­ture shock.

‘‘Be­ing put in a sit­u­a­tion with to­tal strangers and hav­ing to spend time with them, it’s a big jour­ney through China ex­pe­ri­enc­ing parts of the cul­ture,’’ Mul­doon says.

‘‘It was an awe­some op­por­tu­nity and I don’t think there will be any­one who would say oth­er­wise.’’

Learn­ing un­der the tute­lage of Huawei lec­tur­ers has helped give more con­text to what he is study­ing, he says.

‘‘I’ve learnt more about mo­bile telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions, the up­grad­ing from the older sys­tems like from 3G to 4G, and just what was in­volved with up­grad­ing that.’’

Mul­doon’s favourite part has been ‘‘tak­ing what I do every day and see­ing how it is be­hind the scenes’’, such as what hap­pens be­hind the screen when he uses his mo­bile phone.

Fel­low schol­ar­ship re­cip­i­ent Mark Man­son says the trip has con­firmed and given more depth to his orig­i­nal ideas on how things work in the in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy world.

Man­son orig­i­nally stud­ied en­gi­neer­ing but changed to com­puter and in­for­ma­tion science be­cause he would be a bet­ter fit.

‘‘I’ve al­ways wanted to be a pro­gram­mer, I’ve al­ways loved games so I wanted to make them,’’ he says.

He says one of the best things about the Huawei


it ex­pe­ri­ence is be­ing able to see the­ory in prac­tice and un­der­stand­ing ‘‘ more of how cloud com­put­ing and soft­ware de­vel­op­ment works’’.

Huawei Tech­nolo­gies runs sim­i­lar schol­ar­ship pro­grammes with a num­ber of uni­ver­si­ties in Aus­tralia, Malaysia, Spain and the United King­dom and other coun­tries.

Its part­ner­ship with AUT is the com­pany’s first with a New Zealand tertiary in­sti­tute.

Pho­tos: SUP­PLIED

Aus­tralian and New Zealand students took part in ac­tiv­i­ties in Bei­jing in­clud­ing lion danc­ing, play­ing Chi­nese drums and learn­ing some Mandarin before head­ing to Huawei head­quar­ters in Shen­zhen.

Cul­tural ex­pe­ri­ence:

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