UQ Idea Hub

PhD student Michael Mersiades spent a month in Shanghai working for a startup company, thanks to the China Mobility Program.  A self-confessed language geek, Michael found his skills were in demand.

I was both excited and worried. I had just found out that my application for the China Mobility Program had been successful and UQ Idea Hub was sending me to Shanghai for a month to do an internship in a startup company. It was a wonderful opportunity for me, especially as I had my own startup ambitions. However, the startup world is usually associated with business, IT and engineering students. I'm doing a PhD in Applied Linguistics at the UQ School of Languages and Cultures. What could a language geek like me possibly contribute to a startup in Shanghai?

Several days later, I found out that I had been placed in a company called Rikai Labs. Their website told me that they specialise in making chatbots.

Chatbots? Really? But I don't know anything about chatbots!