Digital Marketing and Davidson

I am a Digital Marketing intern for Hatton Studios and Melville Jewellery, although I have never studied anything directly related to marketing of any form. In spite of this, my employer made me feel more than comfortable in taking on this internship. Hatton is the epitome of teaching and learning and that is exactly what my internship has been. Because my internship is not a program, I was prepared to experience the fluctuations in my specific job duties. Many days I arrive and do not know exactly what I will be doing but I have several ongoing projects. I often come in and do a bit of jewelry benchwork- something that I immensely enjoy because I have started my own jewelry business before and am also learning silversmithery (for free!)- a not so popular study in the U.S.  While here I have learned to make several pieces (lockets, rings, chains, cufflinks, etc) and techniques such as gem setting. My first “real” project was to put together a document of new marketing enhancement ideas for the company and also for the company’s students who are creating their own brand. While Davidson did not directly teach me the area of marketing specifically, my experiences both inside and outside of the classroom at Davidson prepared me with enough marketing and learning skills to be able to perform my job effectively.  My leadership experiences at Davidson that included planning, organizing, and publicizing events equipped me with basic marketing skills that have proven to be transferable to any place. This project also included a lot of research about international business. I believe that all of my Davidson classes adequately prepared me to be able to do research and also the comfortability to take on projects that I otherwise would not have been comfortable doing.

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Another project for my internship is creating webpages for all of Hatton’s press releases. I was slightly nervous about this at first because I have never had to create a website before but after quick instruction I was able to do exactly what they asked of me. I believe that both of my work study jobs at Davidson were helpful in preparing me for this because they both involved me working heavily with new interactive websites during their trial and improvement phases. Therefore, I was able to know how to create user-friendly webpages that captured the most important aspects of the press releases.

Overall, both with my trip abroad and my internship, I think the liberal arts studies and experiences at Davidson were instrumental in my overall independence, communication skills, and learning successfully while in Hong Kong. Of course, the typical person would appreciate more direct guidance but I would not change the experience I have had for anything, the good and the bad.

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Hong Kong Hatton Studios

I am interning at Hatton Studios/Melville Jewellery in Sheung Wan.  Hatton Studios is a space dedicated to teaching the art of silversmithery and providing workspace for professional jewelry designers.  My boss, Nathalie Geary, is an entrepreneur and certified goldsmith from London. She owns her own jewelry business, Melville Jewellery, and upon moving to Hong Kong with her entrepreneur husband, she realized that there was not one company or space that existed in the area for jewelry making. Not only did it not exist, but it also was not considered a valuable trade or skill. She then decided to open Hatton Studios and it now functions as a jewelry making academy, co-working space, and gallery.

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There are several students who come during the day and take week long courses- they are mostly housewives looking to learn a new “side” trade, some college students who are enhancing their goldsmith studies, and those looking to start a business of their own. Many professional designers come in to rent a bench to work on their pieces to market for their own business or clients.

Hatton Studios employees consist of a small group of about 5-6 people, about half of whom are professional jewelers themselves that teach the courses.  The environment here is great and it is refreshing and exciting to see up close people enjoying creating pieces such as the ones you would see in the expensive jewelry stores in the U.S. I work closely with one of the course instructors here, who is also from London and a professional goldsmith. After hearing my fascination with the diamond pieces that are created at Hatton, he explained to me that it is literally almost nothing to own diamond pieces here in Hong Kong. Everyone (relatively) loves to extravagantly flaunt the amount of money they have so much to the point that diamonds are a commonplace thing. To a certain degree, this actually helps their business as many people like to come in to repair expensive pieces or create their own unique pieces with diamonds.

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Hatton is unique not only because of its individuality and being the only such studio in Hong Kong but also because the owner built this company on the foundation of ethical jewelry practices. She is “one of the leading authorities in Asia on sourcing precious materials (metals and gems) through ethical, environmentally friendly, safely produced and fairtrade supply chains”, an issue that is very important not only in the jewelry world but also in manufacturing and business functioning in Hong Kong and China.

 

My First Hong Kong Impressions

After arriving to Hong Kong after a 3 day flight nightmare, my first reaction was that I just chose to intern for a month in a repeat of New York City. There are tall buildings, tons of cabs, traffic, and people everywhere. Most of the streets were lit up with a plethora of restaurants and bars. Upon my landing, a Davidson alum greeted me and took me to the student apartment that I am currently staying in. Being from Charlotte, EVERYTHING was completely different…different but easily efficient. We took a cab directly from the train stop from the airport and I was initially worried about my language barrier and taking a cab so late at night. Luckily, the cab understood every direction that my Davidson guide gave him and we made it to our destination (sort of) safely. We were blocks from where I was staying and my next concern then became, is walking this late at night safe? It turned out to not only be safer to walk in the neighborhood I was staying in than in my own home town but also a grueling workout to carry my luggage up hills that one can only dream about. The air was New Orleans humid times a thousand and people were everywhere.

I am staying in what I was told is a relatively popular neighborhood called Sai Ying Pun. My apartment room that I found through Airbnb is the size of a small walk-in closet with just enough room for me to stand up off the bed and walk out. I am sharing the apartment space with a student who recently graduated from Hong Kong University. The Davidson alum tells me that I am lucky to have found an affordable space with Aircon (a much needed luxury here), a washing machine, and an actual shower.

20160622_183008   Ocean view of Sai Ying Pun

My intimidation about exploring new territory all on my own was outweighed by my excitement and curiosity- in addition to the fact that I was assured multiple times by various people that Hong Kong is one of the safest places to be. So far it is an exciting place to be and relatively easy to navigate. I find it funny that there is a McDonalds and a 7-eleven or Circle K (that function as convenient stores, not gas stations) around every corner and multiple on one street. There are an endless number of restaurants and very few chain restaurants. Many of the restaurants are independently owned and have an existing period of about 1 year until they can no longer afford the expensive rental rates. The people here love to shop and eat.  The malls, markets, and popular shopping centers are massive and full of people. Hong Kong is definitely consumed and centered on the exchange of large amounts of money.

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2 of some of the most popular malls

My first weekend I went to see the Big Buddha. I had to catch the ferry to Lantau Island, the bus to Tai O –one of HK’s last remaining fish villages- and then the bus to the tourist site. Traveling to HK’s other islands has proven to be beautiful and breathtaking experiences but also provides a deeper glimpse into the true culture there. Not as many people speak English so well on the other islands and life is a little bit slower and enjoyable outside of the Hong Kong city life.

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Hong Kong Island

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