Huawei ‘Seeds for the Future Programme’ – why you should apply, from someone who did!

You’re probably wondering…

“Is it really an all-expenses paid trip?”

“What is the ‘Huawei Seeds for the Future’ Programme?”

“What will we do?”

“Do you have any advice on applying?”

“Anything else I need to know?”


Is it really an all-expenses-paid trip?

To begin with, yes, this is an all-expenses-paid trip, so, if you are a STEM student and on the fence about applying, just do it! This internship provides you with an opportunity to explore China, Huawei and some of the country’s famous landmarks and culture. What other internship offers to fly you out to a country (you may not have visited previously) to benefit you and your career? Opportunities like this do not come around every day so, seize the moment!

Now that I have hopefully convinced you and inspired those on the fence, as well as grabbing the attention of those who were already certain they were going to apply, I’ll stop waffling and get right to the point.

 What is the ‘Huawei Seeds for the Future’ Programme?

The programme aims to give 50 UK STEM students the opportunity to gain an insight into China, Huawei and Chinese culture. Although the Huawei UK programme targets UK students, it is also a global programme offering students from all over the world the same opportunity. The month-long internship entails a fortnight in Beijing followed by a fortnight in Shenzhen, the tech capital.

 Huawei Seeds for the Future 2020 FINAL

What will we do?

A whole tonne!

Literally, I did so much in China, there’s no room in this blog for all the detail!

Student on placement in China

Whilst in Beijing, I got to know the other 49 fellow interns on the programme. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know my fellow interns despite being the only Reading student. During this 1st leg, I was able to undergo a week of Mandarin lessons at the Beijing Language & Culture University as well as visiting numerous companies such as Hyundai and the 3D Food Company. The Mandarin lessons proved very useful for the duration of the programme, especially for my speech at the Opening Ceremony. My short speech featured a few words of Mandarin and focused on the aspects of the trip I was most looking forward to; one being – conquering the Great Wall of China! I was chuffed to be able to visit this famous landmark in addition to The Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square.

Flying down south to Shenzhen, I was amazed by the Huawei HQ and the City in general. Shenzhen differed substantially compared to Beijing and resembled most major cities but with way more skyscrapers than I’ve ever seen before! I quickly became aware of how much they loved light displays after attending one of their weekly light shows. More importantly, I was able to learn more about Huawei’s 3G, 4G and the more recently talked about 5G base stations.

The programme was very well structured and featured Mandarin lessons, business visits, networking and landmark visit, but also left us with plenty of free time most evenings. Typically, I would use this time to explore and visit places like the Oil Painting Village or Huaqiang Bei (Electronics Market). On other evenings Huawei organised for us to have dinner together, some of the restaurants being quite prestigious!

The programme concluded with a Closing Ceremony where I received a certificate for completing the programme. I, along with a few others, used this opportunity to wear some traditional Chinese outfits that we bought from a tailor at the famous Luohu market.

Do you have any advice for applying?

Well… the best advice I can give is to be yourself.

I know, you’ve probably heard that countless times, but that’s the honest truth.

They are looking for enthusiastic students interested in technology and I’m sure a large proportion of students meet that criteria. That said, the only way to differentiate you from the next student is to be yourself and allow your personality to show. That seemed to work for me and was the feedback I received the following interview, throughout my time in China, and anytime I share the experience with others.

I would also recommend reaching out to Careers, placement coordinators, family, friends to proofread your covering letter and CV to make sure they are as good as they can be and a reflection of you. I got numerous people to review my application including Claire Newbold, Hannah Thompson, and my Mum.

Lastly, I would say determination and perseverance go a long way. Claire Newbold, my summer placement coordinator emailed this opportunity to me whilst I was on my placement year with the message “How about a summer internship in China?”  On reading the brochure, I recognised the programme as I had previously applied during my first year of Uni, but I was unsuccessful. Now I am sharing my experiences about the same internship I initially got rejected for 2 years prior. Oh, how things can change. Never give up!

Anything else I need to know?

Yes actually. This isn’t your typical internship. What do you mean? Well, this is much more than an ‘internship’. It is an all-round experience. During the first week, I experienced a flurry of euphoria. It felt like I was on a residential trip, relishing the experiences and getting to know new people – which I thoroughly enjoy. I was able to come back to the UK with some lifelong friends whom I’ve met up with a couple of times since returning.

Prior to the internship, I knew it would be a once in a lifetime experience so I decided to bring along my camera and record some important moments. These were moments, some of which words do not express and are hard to interpret for those reading or listening. I used the media I captured to create a short video highlighting my time in Beijing, which I hope you enjoy!

P.S: Part 2 is on the way! Feel free to subscribe so you’re notified when it’s uploaded.

If you have any further questions or would like to know more, feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn:

I hope this blog proves useful for those interested in the programme!

Over & out

Marcus Denton

BSc Mathematics with a Year in Industry