Ethnic Entrepreneurial Motivations and Learning: The Case of Chinese Entrepreneurs in Northern Ireland
In my years of studying in University of Ulster, my undergraduate degrees in BSc Business with Computing and MSc Applied Management had provided a strong foundation for my personal and academic career path.
Through my undergraduate degree, I had the opportunity to undertake a one year work placement in Tourism Ireland as Direct Marketing Student. Furthermore, as part of the master degree, I carried out a three months placement in a software solution company, Unitas Software Limited. After graduating with a master's in 2010, I encountered my first proper job in the world of work as a business analyst in a foreign direct investment company, OCO Global Ltd in Belfast. However, it was apparent that my heart lies in a career in academia, which made me have the courage to apply for a PhD back at University of Ulster, the home of my bachelor and master degree.
My interest in pursuing a PhD in Ulster stems not only from an aspiration to develop my knowledge of business further from my previous studies, but also the interest in understanding my cultural background in a business and entrepreneurial context. I come from an entrepreneurial family, originally from Hong Kong, with experience of several SME business start-ups, both here in Northern Ireland and Hong Kong. Consequently, I have gained some insight from observation in terms of entrepreneurship, both theory and practical. Through work experiences within the family business, I've recognised the importance of entrepreneurial learning, on an individual's level and learning through others. I am therefore keen to develop an understanding of what attracts Chinese ethnic entrepreneurs to a foreign country to start up their businesses, how they learn and who from to ensure business survival.
Being born in Northern Ireland but with a different cultural perspective, I was raised within two diverse surroundings. Being fluent in both English and Cantonese also offers me the unique advantage to communicate with Chinese ethnic entrepreneurs in Northern Ireland to carry out the research.
Although I am still at an early stage of my PhD experience, I believe that undertaking a PhD in Ulster can provide me the opportunity to explore my interest as well as contribute new knowledge to the subject area. In addition, the support from Ulster can develop both my professional and personal skills and knowledge. On a personal level, the PhD can broaden my perspective and I can learn from different people in different academic fields. On a professional level, it will build upon my experiences and enrich my potential in the academic world.