The opportunity to work abroad can be both exciting and daunting. Samson, QA Technologist, from the Matrix Hong Kong office has spent the last 3 months here in the UK, working alongside the UK team to learn new skills to help with personal and career development and experience a new culture.
How do you think your trip has helped you develop in relation to your job role?
Being in the UK has helped in a lot of different areas; I’ve increased my knowledge by going to exhibitions, meeting suppliers, and spending time in cosmetic labs. The knowledge I’ve gained and the opportunities I’ve had are very rare.
Working with Dave (head of beauty) has given me a lot of insight into the business and how the tech team can help the business as a whole, and how my daily role fits into this.
I’ve gained a better understanding of how all of the different teams within Matrix work together. They are things that you will only learn by experiencing it in person, spending weeks in the office and talking to different people within the business.
What would you say are the benefits of doing a stay in another country?
Improving the language and getting a better understanding of a culture and their value & perspective.
I think it also helps to refresh your mind and learn about what your goals are; refocus on what matters to you, and your priorities.
Have you learnt any new skills that you’ll use when you get home?
Comp Shopping – I’ve realised the importance of getting out and seeing what’s in shops, what’s trending and what people are buying in the cosmetic industry.
How did you find living in the UK? What are your favourite moments from your trip?
I got to see lots of beautiful places including Bath, Stonehenge, Brighton, The White Cliffs of Dover. This is a very big country with a lot of different cities and people with different backgrounds. I found that it’s a much slower pace city when compared to HK.
Travelling to Amsterdam for the In-cosmetic Exhibition, Brighton’s Seven sister cliffs – amazing! Eating at the restaurant ‘Burger & Lobster’, Joe’s family gatherings & his moms cooking (I stayed with my colleague Joe during my time in the UK), and getting to know my team better.
What did you miss most about home?
Everything! People/ dogs/ food/ basketball. But I don’t regret taking the opportunity as it isn’t something that comes around often! And as I said, this trip has significantly helped my development on a personal level and a career level.
If someone is visiting London for 1 day, what would you recommend they must see and do?
It’s hard – 1 day is too short for London! If I have to pick one I’d say to visit Camden or Borough Market – lots of traditional British foods/cheese/chocolate/pasta/cakes etc.
A note from Samson:
“Thanks Matrix for offering me this lovely opportunity to experience and develop. And also thank everyone for helping me adjust to this new office & new country. Anyone who is thinking about doing a secondment, I highly recommend it!”