An interview with DITI graduate Xini Wei

Xini Wei had experienced many changes and excitement in her life before joining DITI.

She was a science student at high school, but chose to study German Literature in Shanghai Jiaotong University. Before graduating from university, she took part in an exchange internship at the University of Munich, Germany.

Afterwards, she became a volunteer teacher in undeveloped villages in West China and before joining the first intake of DITI in 2012, she was travelling the world.

We recently spoke to her about her DITI experience in Ireland and what she has been doing since graduation.

Why did you apply for DITI?
I had a passion for horses before joining DITI. When I was in college, I worked in a local equestrian club and learned how to ride. I did not believe that I could continue to work with horses because such opportunities are very limited in China.

I thought I would simply be able to ride as a hobby, until one of my friends told me about DITI. I was too excited to sleep that night because I finally had a chance to realize my dream of working with horses.

What was your most memorable experience from the DITI programme?
Too many! The foaling night shift was definitely a highlight. It was so cold in February even near the heater, but we had to work with the yard staff to check the mares every 20 minutes and do the night feed. But all fatigue evaporated the moment I saw the newborn foals and encouraged them to stand up. It is very special to welcome new life and witness their growth.

Another moment was trying to bring in horses from a huge paddock in the heavy rain. The horses kept running away from us, and we followed them everywhere trying to calm them down and catch them. We were all soaked in the rain. Then suddenly the rain stopped and the sun came out and a big rainbow arched across the paddock. It was so beautiful and peaceful.

What do you miss about your DITI placement location?
Kildangan stud of course! Joe as a mentor, our friendly Irish co-workers, the connection with horses and the wonderful nature that surrounded us. We travelled at the weekend to different parts of Ireland and Northern Ireland – the natural scenery, lovely people and Irish music gave so much laughter and many great memories.

What have you done since the DITI graduation?
I have been working with Falcon and Associates in Dubai since our graduation.

Tell us about your current job and the daily activities involved with it.
I work on Falcon’s digital projects and most of their China-related projects.

Vision is a magazine providing fresh perspectives from Dubai in business, culture, lifestyle and sports. Vision Mandarin is tailored for the Chinese audience. I look after the magazine, website and social media content, as well as digital campaigns and promotion. Basically my job is to tell the story of Dubai to our audience.

I also work on general social media management and website development for badminton and table tennis projects, as well as vision.ae social media. China-related communications are also part of my job, to ensure all the Mandarin marketing and communications materials are on message.

How does your DITI experience help you with your current job?
Luckily, I got a recommendation from DITI for my current job. The biggest surprise is that DITI’s unique experience on the stud enabled me to enjoy nature and learn how to engage with both stud staff and business leaders.

I also appreciated that DITI provided me with the chance to learn a new industry inside-out in 10 months from both practical and business sides. It helped develop my curiosity and many learning skills which are important in my current job.

What do you like to do in your free time in Dubai?
I have picked up many hobbies in Dubai, such as dragon boating, trekking, water sports, backpacking and horse riding. Due to the accessibility of Dubai, I have had the chance to spend weekends in nearby countries, such as Oman or India trekking, cycling and sightseeing. Dragon boat training and racing enables me to have a group of good friends from all nationalities and backgrounds. Of course, I still love reading as a habit gained from my time in the DITI programme.

I also follow the racing news, especially those about Godolphin and the Dubai World Cup.

What advice would you have for the current interns?
Enjoy every moment of the program and love the horses, especially the time in the yard with them. The physical work helps you to appreciate the efforts and work of the people behind the glory.

Have fun with the interns who you will share your life with. Then everything else will come naturally.

How will you recommend DITI to others?
If you are curious about the world and want to learn more about yourself, DITI will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, I would definitely recommend it.