Best of both worlds – when you’re connected, the opportunities are endless

It isn’t often you hear of a global firm taking on a foreign student who is still a year away from graduating.

With my final year of university on the horizon, I had to choose where I wanted to complete the rest of my degree. As an International Business and PR major at AUT University, it’s a requirement to spend a semester abroad on an exchange, and/or co-operative education placement. Despite advisors telling me acceptance into my university of choice was unlikely, I decided to apply for the exchange and see what would happen.

After a six-month process, I was delighted to find out I had been accepted into Korea University, as well as awarded a Prime Minister’s Scholarship for Asia to help financially support my exchange. Although I was ecstatic about this exciting new journey, I was also very hesitant to tell my boss and colleagues that I was leaving.

When I joined One Plus One in August 2016, I knew I was extremely fortunate to find an employer so understanding of the fact that I would need to leave after a year to do a placement overseas. Telling my boss that I was leaving five months earlier than expected was a very daunting prospect, and I deliberated at length on how to communicate my new situation.

I went into a meeting with my boss and began to ‘come clean’. Instead of being met with annoyance, I was genuinely congratulated and immediately asked if I wanted a job in Korea within our affiliate agency, MSLGROUP.

MSLGROUP is one of the world’s top five communications companies, with over 100 offices spanned across 36 countries worldwide. The Asia division is the region’s most awarded communications consultancy, with over 100 campaign wins in the last four years. They have a branch in Korea, as a wholly-owned subsidiary of KPR – a recognised pioneer in the Korean PR industry.

Following an initial introductory email from our Managing Director to Glenn Osaki, MSLGROUP Asia President, things progressed swiftly, and conversations began with senior staff at the Korea offices. A quick Skype meeting and a few emails were all that were needed to be welcomed into the Seoul team.

Just like that, I had an internship at MSLGROUP Korea, and my whole overseas experience transformed from a short four-month university exchange, to an incredible opportunity to network with international public relations professionals and develop my skill set.

Although I was aware of the long-term relationship OPO had with MSLGROUP, I was impressed with the quick and seamless manner of communication, and the collaborative culture between the two companies which allowed such an easy arrangement.

Since I began working for One Plus One, I’ve noticed that professional development is highly valued – and because the team encourages all learning experiences, I found my curious personality doesn’t hinder my work, but rather actively complements it.

With less than a week before my big move, I am excited to truly experience Korea – not just as a tourist, but as a student and employee. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to work with colleagues and clients from a different cultural background and understand the industry and market from a new perspective. Being able to experience international business first-hand while I am still studying is priceless, and I am honoured to be given an opportunity to develop professionally in a global context, thanks to the connection between One Plus One and MSLGROUP.

– Serena Low, Junior Consultant