Q&A Ask Alumni - Focus on Claire Price

Monday, October 11, 2004

Claire Price, a 1997 graduate of the communication management masterís program, works in the Hong Kong office of Jack Morton Worldwide, a brand advocacy firm which employs 600 in offices in the U.S., Europe, Asia and Australia.

Which SCSU experience best prepared you for your career?
Of course, most of the mass communications and business classes helped in some way, but my graduate assistantship at KVSC 88.1FM particularly comes to mind. It was a fantastic experience: working on a team, developing as a professional, taking pride in oneís work, learning new skills and dealing with workplace issues such as budget cuts(!) and policy.

Who was your most memorable
college professor?

Marjorie Fish ó she is an amazing professor who inspired me to think for myself, to question common assumptions and to really analyze things. Open-minded, intelligent, positive, interesting and mentor are words that come to mind when I think of her.

How is it that you were hired by Jack Morton Worldwide in Hong Kong?
I left my job doing corporate communications for Airbus in France at the end of 2000, and decided to move to Hong Kong. I knew the place a bit and had always been interested in working in Asia. I spent a few weeks networking and job-hunting, and quickly found out that Jack Morton was one of the best brand communications/event management agencies in Hong Kong, and that they were looking to hire a producer. I went through a typical interview process and was fortunate enough to be offered a job quite quickly.

What made you interested in an overseas assignment?
I have lived overseas most of my life! Iím English, but have lived in France, the U.S., and now Hong Kong. I would encourage anyone interested to take the plunge and try working abroad. It makes you more open-minded and tolerant and gives you confidence. Of course, from a professional standpoint, people respect you for it.

What is a typical day for you in Hong Kong?
I travel a lot throughout the region for my job, running corporate events such as conferences or social events.

If Iím in Hong Kong, I often go for a run or to the gym. I get to the office around 8:30 or 9 a.m. and will generally review e-mails that have come in overnight from Europe and the U.S., then divide my time between the projects Iím working on. I usually work on three to five projects in parallel ó they typically involve people in a few different countries. There might be some client meetings, a review meeting, or a pitch. We also have internal production team meetings to review progress on each event: reviewing event content, creative designs (print and staging), looking at entertainment for a specific event, reviewing technical matters like staging/av/lighting, etc. As a producer, Iím responsible for overall project management, which also includes negotiating contracts and managing the budget and suppliers. I often leave the office about 7:30 p.m. to meet friends for dinner or a quick drink. Hong Kong is a work-hard, play-hard kind of city.

How long do you foresee yourself living and working overseas?
I donít have a fixed plan ó Iím very happy in Asia.

How do you cope with living so far away from family and friends?
I get back as often as I can. We are fortunate to have 3-4 weeks of personal holiday time in Hong Kong, plus quite a few public holidays, so I get back around three times a year. E-mail helps, too. Of course itís never enough, but itís a choice to expatriate oneself.

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