06 March 2017

New Colombo Plan (NCP) Mobility Program recipient Kate Archibald has just returned from a four-week internship at King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) in Shanghai following her exchange semester at Tsinghua University.

Always up for a challenge, Kate chose China for her exchange, a country she knew would put her outside her comfort zone.

“I was certainly outside my comfort zone signing my first lease agreement overseas and trying to deal with Chinese landlords, however, difficult times such as these taught me resilience, resourcefulness, and that sometimes, you just have to go with it,” she said.

Kate had the opportunity to attend day trips to various firms, arbitration bodies and events, such as Clifford Chance, the Beijing Arbitration Commission, and the 2016 China Arbitration Summit.

“I loved travelling around China, with some of my favourites places being Shanghai, Nanjing, Tianjin and Xian. Learning about the history and culture of places all over China, and witnessing the amazing diversity of the country, was an enlightening experience. It was also great to be challenged daily by the reality of living in a bustling city where English isn't commonly spoken.”  

As part of the New Colombo Plan, Kate undertook an internship in the Corporate Group in the Shanghai Office of KWM, an experience she deems “invaluable.”

“These opportunities highlighted the important role China has played, and will continue to play, in Australia’s economic future. Also, the financial support I received enabled me to have the freedom to explore and take up these opportunities, and this made for a very enriching experience,” she said.

Throughout the internship, Kate worked on a variety of tasks including researching and writing advice to clients, assisting in writing a publication to be distributed to clients, undertaking due diligence, reviewing translations from Chinese lawyers and working on intellectual property law matters, including petitions for trademark invalidations.

“Most of this work was in relation to Chinese firms acquiring overseas companies and I particularly enjoyed attending client meetings and participating in these complex cross-border matters,” she said.

Having completed her internship, Kate now has a better appreciation of how the law operates within an integrated global network and believes she is now better equipped for any potential future opportunities.

We asked Kate what she thinks she’d like to be doing in the future.

“While I have not made a definitive decision on the area of law I would ultimately like to pursue a career in, I could see myself working in the field of corporate law. The opportunity to work on matters across jurisdictions, such as at a firm like KWM, is enticing. However at this stage I still have 2 and a half years of my degree to complete and remain open to any opportunities that may come my way.”

 “I also hope to be significantly more proficient than I currently am in Mandarin!” she said.

The QUT Faculty of Law has an exchange agreement with Tsinghua University which allows our students to study in China as part of their Law degree. Tsinghua University is one of the highest ranking law schools in China and is an important strategic partner for QUT in building our reputation through the Asia Pacific region.

QUT Faculty of Law

Kate exploring Shanghai during her exchange at Tsinghua University.

In between studying and working at KWM, Kate still had the opportunity to make the most of her time in China.


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