Young people share their experience of the mainland Name Jennifer Lam Wai-mun Age 29 Job Market research project director Location Shanghai When international brands enter the mainland market they need to know who they are selling to. Jennifer Lam's work involves providing intelligence and insights about consumers and advising clients on strategies for growth. After getting a business administration degree at Chinese University in 1999, Ms Lam gained valuable skills working with blue chip clients in Hong Kong. In 2005, she got an MBA from Bradford University in Britain, which led to attractive offers from companies in South Korea and Singapore. But the chance to work in the rapidly developing luxury brand market with Oracle Added Value in Shanghai appealed the most. 'Many of my clients are foreign companies planning to enter the China market or to expand the business geographically. Clients need market entry strategies. There are many opportunities to work on new projects in China. These are all challenging and interesting projects that rarely exist in mature markets such as Hong Kong.' Ms Lam manages a team of locally recruited staff, mapping creative business visions and converting research into solutions. 'All of my team members are newcomers, very green,' she said. 'I spend quite a lot of time training the team to a certain standard, which is a continuing process. They are fresh graduates, well educated, and very willing to learn. We do long hours.' The office environment and atmosphere was not much different from Hong Kong, she added. The initial adjustment involved relating to her new colleagues and clients. 'Communication skills are more important here, not only with Putonghua but also in the way you express yourself. You can't be as direct as we are in Hong Kong. You have to share ideas tactfully.' Adapting to the mainland way of thinking is an important skill to master. 'Clients rely on our knowledge, but you need to deal with relationships carefully,' she said. 'Shanghai people are more commercial and flexible, while people in Beijing are more conservative and have a stronger ego. You have to learn to think like a local. This is the secret to developing strong relationships.'