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Kittie Kan from Hong Kong SAR

Senior Brand Manager at Mattel Inc.

My degree at UTS helped open the door to the world of communication.

Taking on new challenges for boys toys in Hong Kong market

Kittie Kan has a challenge on her hands as Senior Brand Manager in Hong Kong working for Mattel, one of the world’s leading multinational toy manufacturers.

The toy industry is struggling worldwide with intense competition as children turn to digital devices. It’s also moving much faster, too, as consumers respond like never before to new products and trends in the market.

“I need to react very quickly to translate global strategies into local execution,” she says. “Mattel's portfolio is huge, but not every brand speaks for Hong Kong's target consumers’ expectations.”

Equipped with a ten-year working career, and an education from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Kittie says she is well-prepared for the challenges of her job.

More than a decade ago, she completed a Diploma of Communication at UTS Insearch and then transitioned into UTS in her second year to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication, majoring in Public Relations.

As well as teaching her theory and practice, Kittie says the UTS course also developed her communication and creative skills: “All the soft skills I learned are among the most valuable assets I now have,” she says. “My degree at UTS helped open the door to the world of communication.”

She enjoyed the wide cross section of students she met, who were different ages and nationalities. “We had to work in groups and do some projects and presentations,” she says. “This provided a very good networking opportunity. I found out how to collaborate.”

During her degree, Kittie also spent three years immersed in an internship at a Chinese-language radio station in Sydney. “I got to be a part-time program host and marketing assistant at 2ac Chinese Radio,” she says. “I never dreamed I would have my voice on air!”

After graduation, Kittie joined a busy agency specialising in events marketing. It gave her broad experience and after a year, she moved into a less frantic and more focused job as an in-house marketer with a global brand.

She found a junior role with Faber-Castell, the German colouring and writing instrument manufacturer, working up to an executive position over eight years. “I feel very grateful to the company because they really shaped my working style and gave me proper training and opportunities,” she says. She joined Mattel 18 months ago.

Kittie’s advice for career success is to have courage. “The world is full of excitement and opportunities,” she says. “Grab the chance. Don’t keep everything to yourself. Sometimes you can find solutions or open doors via a pleasant conversation with others.”

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