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Thrive in a nurturing culture

Published on Thursday, 23 Jun 2011
Trainees help assess the 70 unique designs for Vitasoy’s product cartons to mark its recent 70th birthday.
Rosemary Li

Vitasoy, Hong Kong's iconic leader in the beverage industry, is looking for high-potential graduates as management trainees who can help power the company's international expansion. The 30-month training programme will take one fresh or recent graduate who has a degree in business administration and marketing for training in the sales and marketing stream, and another graduate with a degree in engineering for the manufacturing operations stream.

This is the third year that the company is offering this programme. The two hires will join eight colleagues already in training.

"The company is looking for people who believe in and practice integrity and trust, have strong leadership potential, possess excellent interpersonal and communication skills, and who are passionate to succeed," says Rosemary Li, Vitasoy's group senior director of human resources.

The job-attachment training will see trainees exposed to different functions relevant to their specialisation, helped along by mentors and buddies.

"In addition to our on-the-job training, we had the opportunity to take part in other company activities [where] we assisted the project teams. This helped us build good relationships with colleagues from other departments, and appreciate various ideas on improving efficiency," says Gary Cheung, who was in the first batch of trainees.

Since the company has production facilities in China, the trainees also received coaching on the mainland for three weeks. "They have learned about cultural diversity, different management styles, and different specialist functions. An overseas learning programme of longer duration has been planned for the coming years to provide greater opportunities for the trainees to absorb international experience," says Li, adding that the company also has business operations in Singapore, Australia and North America.

However, trainees do not get spoiled. They have to learn from the ground up, and pull their weight in production areas and laboratories, including lifting heavy loads along with frontline workers. This helps them understand their colleagues at all levels, and the entire work process.

"I have never thought of working as a frontline maintenance staff, but this was a valuable experience and I learned a lot from it," says trainee Raymond Yeung.

Kevin Yeung, another trainee, says he was responsible for the production of Vitasoy's 70th Anniversary notebook and corporate gift-box last year. "I visited the printing house in Shenzhen three times, and twice I had to stay there until midnight. This was a challenging, exciting and unforgettable experience."

Trainee Timothy Hassan, meanwhile, handled online marketing promotion. "When I saw the positive comments about our campaign on the internet, it made me proud of what I and the team had achieved."


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