An interview with new DITI intern Zhou Qiuling

Zhou Qiuling from Sun Yat-sen University is currently undertaking the DITI induction in Shanghai with the other 2016 interns. With only a few days left before she flies to the UK for her placement, we talked to her about her DITI story so far.

How did you learn about the DITI programme?

I first heard about DITI from Zhuang Jingqian (Jack Zhuang), a graduate of Sun Yat-sen University.

He was one of the first graduates of the programme who completed the course in 2012.

I happened to see his microblog and found some of his posts on DITI pretty interesting so I followed his account and have been keeping track ever since. 

Why do you apply for the DITI programme?

Jack has provided me with great motivation with my DITI application. 

What he has posted about this programme has been fascinating and he has shown a great passion towards the programme. 


Before applying, I was working as a journalist in the News Center of the School of International Studies in SYSU and I came up with the idea of interviewing him because compared with other university graduates, he chose a unique path. 

Once I had spoken to Jack, I had a much deeper understanding of the programme and the kind of influence DITI can have on one’s career plan and personality. As I dug deeper, I found that this programme actually fits my future plan quite well so I decided to apply. 

What preparations did you make ahead of applying?

As I have mentioned, I have been aware of DITI since 2012 when I was still a freshman. I was not eligible to apply at that time so I waited until my last year of undergraduate study. During this time, I was not waiting passively. I have been keenly following this internship and gaining information about it from various resources. I gradually realised that this internship is not just about horse racing. but covers a wide range of subjects. 

Luckily, my “Translation and Interpreting” slightly resembles the nature of the DITI programme because both of them require me to cover a wide variety of subjects. Therefore, during my undergraduate study, I tried to study relevant subjects such as Marketing or Human Resources Management. I also signed up for online courses in subjects that I am interested in such as Veterinary Sciences.

I also took part in various extracurricular activities and volunteering services.

I did all of this before applying for this programme because I am very aware that even if my application was not successful, the journey I took to upgrade myself will always be worthwhile and will benefit me in one way or another in the future.

Did you have any previous experience with horses or animals?

Not really, I did not have a horse and had never taken care of a horse before but when I watched the 2 Broke Girls, I hoped I could have a horse with me just as Caroline with her Chestnut. 

I think dogs and horses are pretty similar animals, both are very smart and sympathetic. I am a dog person. I used to own a dog when I was a kid and I truly loved him so I can particularly understand why humans can build such a close bond with these animals.

How did you feel when you knew you finally got the offer?

I was very thrilled the moment I got the offer. On the other hand, I was fairly hopeful that I would get it because I had prepared well for it and I believe that the opportunity always favors the prepared.

However, I still feel lucky to be chosen out of such an outstanding candidate pool and am very excited about the new adventure.

How do your family and friends feel about your decision to apply for DITI, are they supportive?

Their opinions are pretty mixed. One big factor is that I have already been given offers by some prestigious graduate institutes for Master of Translation and Interpreting.

Some of them think it will be such a pity if I give up those chances. I truly appreciate every single piece of advice they provided and I also want to extend my gratitude to people who have been encouraging me to go after my passion and supporting me all along the way.

Do you have any plans or expectations for your forthcoming DITI experience?

I have been studying the training plan provided by DITI. It is a relatively comprehensive one so I think I will acquire plenty of knowledge relating to many subjects within the thoroughbred industry.

As previously mentioned, I still really love interpreting so I will discipline myself to do interpreting exercises on a regular basis to keep that part of my mind sharp.

Combined with the practical work, learning modules, and lectures/visits offered by DITI, I think by the end of the internship my exposure to the whole environment will help me find my career focus for the future.