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Gi2C Testimonial: Katherine Harris (Glasgow, UK)

As a leading provider of China internship placements, Gi2C takes great pride in connecting students and graduates from all over the world with valuable work and learning experiences in some of China’s most attractive industries. Over the past six years we have placed more than 2,800 interns across a wide range of positions in Beijing and Shanghai.


We continually tell our interns that to be successful in their China internship placement, they must approach their position with an open-mind and a willingness to learn. In addition, we cannot stress enough the importance of proactively developing your personal and professional network during your time in China.

This advice is featured a previous post titled, Intern Advice: 7 Tips For A Successful Internship In China.

At Gi2C, we also understand that it is important to practice what you preach. As such, we have made it a priority to reach out to individuals who have successfully completed their China internship program in an effort to not only learn from their experience, but also to bolster our personal and professional relationships with former interns.

For our own benefit - and also for the benefit of all of you potential interns - we will begin to periodically post previous intern testimonials on our new blog and website.

The following testimonial is from Katherine Harris, a former intern from Glasgow, Scotland.

GI2C = Getin2China

KH = Katherine Harris

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Please respond to the following questions concerning your internship placement in Beijing, China:

GI2C: What industry did you choose for your internship in Beijing? Why did you choose this industry?

KH: My first choice was Finance since that is my major. However, I was placed in a general business internship, not entirely Finance related.

GI2C: What company did you intern with in China?  Please provide some details about your position.

KH: I interned with the China-Britian Business Council, a partner with the British Chamber of Commerce. My job position was a "research specialist." It was a lot of traditional desk research. I researched information related to creating OMIS Reports, OMIS stands for Overseas Market Introductory Service. I assisted the staff in creating these reports, which consequently involved a lot of proofreading.



GI2C: What was the most challenging part about your time in China?

KH: Getting used to the food. Seriously, just the thought of street food still disgusts me.

GI2C: Did you participate in any of our Mandarin Chinese language programs?  If so, did you find the program worthwhile?

KH: Yes. I participated in a 2-class per week Mandarin Chinese language program. The classes took place after working hours. The program was a huge help and definitely worthwhile.

GI2C: What was the biggest benefit of your internship placement, both personally and professionally?

KH: Personally - As bad as it sounds, I learned to not be so judgmental. You have to approach living and working in China with an open mind and being able to interact with so many different people from places all over the world has taught me to not be so quick about my judgements of people. Professionally - I learned to work in an office environment. I have had previous employment, however none of my past work experience has been confined to an office environment. It also taught me how to work with a team of people.

GI2C: Did you face any intercultural obstacles (i.e. communication issues or misunderstandings) at the workplace during your internship in China?

KH: Given the fact that everyone in my office spoke English, the only real communication issues I had were with the Gi2C staff. Prior to arriving they were not very clear about certain parts of the program and I needed to press them to clarify things. But once I arrived the staff at Getin2China was happy to work with me to try and resolve any issues that I experienced.

GI2C: How would you rate the support provided by Getin2China during your stay in Beijing?

KH: As referenced above, there were initial communication problems. Once I arrived, I gained a better understanding of Chinese culture and the Chinese mentality and it helped explain some of those initial problems. If I had to rate them on a scale of 1-10, I would give them a 7. The staff is incredibly easy to get a hold of for support, but it was difficult to get actual answers sometimes. Despite some miscommunications, the staff was great with mail delivery and they also allowed me to have a flexible payment plan. Overall, I am glad I decided to choose Getin2China.

GI2C: Has your experience in China directly led to any career opportunities for you? If so, elaborate.

KH: Definitely. G4S has offered me an internship in Beijing for the Summer of 2013. For those who don't know, G4S is the world's leading provider of global security solutions and is also the world's second largest employer, behind Wal-Mart.

GI2C: Give your impression of Beijing as a city.  How does it compare to your hometown?

KH: Way more interesting than my hometown but way more unstable! There is more poverty here than I am used to, I have never really been around this kind of poverty. The nightlife here is better than back home. It is more casual and fun in Beijing, there is not such overt pretentiousness here. You can go get a beer after work and you will always be dressed appropriately, no matter what you are wearing. The vibe is very laid-back and I like that.

GI2C: What, if anything, would you change about your internship experience with Getin2China?

KH: I would have taken more time to find an internship more relevant to my degree.


GI2C: Would you recommend an internship placement through Getin2China to any of your friends?

KH: Yes, I would.

GI2C: Based on your experience, what does it take to succeed in an internship abroad? Which personality traits do you find most important for someone who is researching this opportunity to possess?

KH: You must have a really open mind! You won't survive here without one. Also, I'd say patience. Keep a positive attitude as well. Things don't always go as planned but they almost always turn out alright. With an open-mind, a bit of patience and a positive attitude, you will do well.

GI2C: Thank you for your time Katherine. Best of luck to you in all of your future professional pursuits.

Check out Katherine and some of her fellow interns participating in an event organized by Getin2China, T'ai Chi at Ritan Park!

Keep up with our new blog and website to see more testimonials posted in the coming weeks!
Gi2C Intern Quickfire: Katherine Harris [Video]
Gi2C Testimonial: Peter Wall (London, UK)

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