Rebecca Briscoe

Chinese-Speaking Investigation Specialist, Amazon

What motivated you to study a Chinese degree?

I always had a passion for foreign languages and knew that I wanted to study languages at university. Many people who study languages tend to opt for languages familiar to them. For me, it was the total opposite – the fact that the Chinese language and culture were so unfamiliar to me was exactly what made me curious and want to learn more. With its status as an emerging economic power and the symbolic ‘Made in China’ signs we see on many of the things we own, I knew that it would also make me more employable. With this in mind, I decided to embark on a degree in Chinese and German at the University of Leeds, which included a year abroad at Capital Normal University in Beijing. 

Where are you currently working and what is your current role?

I am currently based in London and work as a Chinese-speaking Investigation Specialist at Amazon.

What does your role as an Investigation Specialist entail?

My primary role is to work with businesses based in Chinese-speaking countries that wish to sell their products on the Amazon platform, ensuring they provide us all the required information and making sure the information is not only accurate, but also genuine. It relies on a high level of critical thinking and judgement skills, as well as confidence to make decisions that could impact sellers significantly – including whether they can sell on Amazon or not.

What does a typical day at work look like?

The environment is fast-paced and each day is usually a balance of investigating and driving projects. We conduct seller investigations and look for signs of suspicious activity and behaviour, which may pose a threat to the company and/or customers and make informed decisions about risk. I also own several projects geared towards faster detection of fraudsters and identity theft externally and career development internally. 

What skills did you develop as a Generation UK intern that align with your current role?

During my internship, I worked in the marketing (product and brand) team of a high-end travel company. My manager was sure to involve me in their rebranding and database refreshment projects, including making me responsible for some parts of the projects. From that, I learned not only about project management but also about user experience (UX), both of which are very relevant to my role today. 

How has your Generation UK experience contributed towards where you are now in your career?

Participating in the Generation UK programme aided me immeasurably in terms of post-graduation career development. By my final year, I did not know which career path I wanted to follow. The internship was the starting point I needed to kick-start my career journey and understand what type of role I would be suited to. Being able to do this in China made it even better, as it also allowed me to experience first-hand the dynamics of Chinese businesses and teams. 

What are your career aspirations over the next 5-10 years? Any plans to return to China?

At present, I hope to go into people and project management as I have really enjoyed working on the projects I have thus far and like working with people. I am also considering programme management as a step forward from there. Beijing is a second home to me, and I hope to go back as soon as it is safe to do so.

How would you sum up your overall experience in China?

My experiences in China shaped me as a person. Aside from being able to speak Mandarin, I am more culturally aware and understanding, am more willing to try new things, whilst at the same time have learned about a totally different area of the world and way of life. 

Rebecca participated in the Generation UK internship programme in 2018 working at WildChina, a travel and tourism company. Since returning to the UK, she has put her Chinese language skills to good use as a Chinese-Speaking Investigation Specialist at Amazon.