On June 8, 2012, Get in2 China welcomed a fresh batch of wide-eyed interns into our Dongzhimen office in Beijing for their Internship Orientation Meeting.
About twelve interns joined us on that Friday afternoon, some of them having arrived in China only a few hours earlier!
This month we are fortunate enough to provide placement for interns from countries such as the U.S., Spain, Ukraine, England, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Sweden. We gathered the group in a conference room for a meet and greet as well as a brief introduction to China.
Vivi, our Internship Program Coordinatior, started things off by presenting a number of facts about Beijing, highlighting major attractions and statistics. Did you know that Beijing has a population of more than 19.6 million people? That's more than twice the size of the population in New York City.
After Vivi provided the historical and cultural introduction to Beijing, our Business Development Manager, Ben Cao, offered advice to the future interns on how to make the most of their internships.
There are a number of cultural considerations that come into play when working in China. As a Chinese national with previous experience working for HSBC bank in China, Ben understands the ins and outs of the sometimes complicated business environment. He emphasized the importance of building a professional network in China, as the significance of forming personal relationships within the workplace should not be understated.
Other internship tips included;
- be punctual,
- show respect,
- work as a team,
- dress smartly,
- and say "thank you."
After wrapping up his presentation, Ben passed the time to Get in2 China's General Manager, Yuri Khlystov. Having lived in China for more than four years, Yuri understands what it takes to make the transition from clueless foreigner to successful entrepreneur.
Coming from outside of China, new interns may be a bit surprised at how certain things work in this country - it is not like what you have grown accustomed to back home. Some behaviors may seem flat out unfathomable and illogical to those who don't understand China's complicated, homogenous culture. However, gaining an understanding these cultural differences will give the interns the opportunity to succeed in the Chinese workplace and advance their career prospects.
Below is a photo of Yuri explaining the concept of GuanXi, something that must be understood when doing business in China.
Finishing off the formalities, Yuri then presented all of the new interns with a few welcome presents courtesy of Get in2 China. Army green carrier bags filled with useful goodies were distributed to each intern.
The bags contained most of the essentials for getting set up here in Beijing. All interns received a city guide and map to help them navigate their way through this gargantuan city. We also gave out subway cards to each intern, allowing them to effortlessly ride the metro all over town.
Like most European countries, China uses SIM cards to provide service and add value to mobile phones. We gave each intern their own SIM card and even had mobile phones on hand in case any of the interns wanted to purchase them on the spot.
Lastly, each intern received a Chinese language handbook - something that I imagine will get a lot of use over the next few weeks. If I didn't have my iPad when I first arrived in China, I would not have been able to get anything done. For those of you who do have iPads or iPhones and are heading to China with no knowledge of the language, I recommend downloading both Google Translate and an app called Learn Chinese.
We have a really great feeling about this new batch of interns. All of the participants seemed motivated, capable, down-to-earth, and exhibited an extreme willingness to learn from this experience. And that's what it takes, an open mind and an open heart, a willingness to embrace the unfamiliar and better yourself by stepping outside of your comfort zone.
Finally, we want to send a big thank you to all of the interns who showed up to orientation - you guys are awesome! If you ever need anything, be sure to contact the Get in2 China offices and we will take care of any problems you have.
Best of luck to all of you!
Get in2 China Group