We continually tell our interns that to be successful in their China internship, 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 interns' blog and website.
The following testimonial is from Sarah P, an intern from Sydney, Australia.
Gi2C = Getin2China
SP = Sarah P
Please respond to the following questions concerning your China internship in Beijing, China:
Gi2C: What industry did you choose for your internship? Why did you choose this industry?
SP: I chose media publishing. My degree was in Communications with a major in Public Relations so I thought it only fitting. Plus one day I hope to be an editor in chief for a great publication.
Gi2C: What company did you intern with in China? Please provide some details about your position.
SP: I am interning with a bilingual lifestyle magazine called MetroStyle. My job entails writing, editing and also assisting with marketing. I currently write for the technology, fitness, food and nightlife sections of the magazine. We frequently attend major hotel events and networking at media events is crucial in this role.
Gi2C: What was the most challenging part about your time in China?
SP: Crossing the road! In all seriousness I only cross one major road to get to work, yet it seems to be the most stressful part of my day.
Gi2C: Did you participate in any of our Chinese language programs? If so, did you find the program worthwhile?
SP: No. (I do however attend a different Chinese language school, closer to where I live and I find it very beneficial and interesting.)
Gi2C: What was the biggest benefit of your internship placement, both personally and professionally?
SP: I still have a few months to go till my internship in China ends; however I already feel that I have learnt a lot in a short period of time. Personally, the little things do not bother me and I have more patience. I also think that learning Mandarin Chinese and working here has assisted in my confidence. Professionally I have had the opportunity to meet many different and interesting people, so my networking skills have improved immensely. Having the opportunity to write and be published is also very exciting for me, and will benefit my portfolio greatly.
Gi2C: Did you face any intercultural obstacles (i.e. communication issues or misunderstandings) at the workplace during your internship?
SP: No not really, everyone at my workplace is Chinese and only two of them speak English. However I am able to communicate with the others well enough by using hand signals and a mix of simple English and simple Chinese. It’s been great for them to improve their English and for me to practice Chinese.
GI2C: How would you rate the support provided by Getin2China during your stay in Beijing?
SP: It’s been very good, whenever I need something I am able to call or Skype (which is easier for me). Everyone I’ve dealt with has been very nice and accommodating.
Gi2C: Has your experience in China directly led to any career opportunities for you? If so, elaborate.
SP: It is too early in my internship for me to answer this question.
Gi2C: Give your impression of Beijing as a city. How does it compare to your hometown?
SP: Beijing is BIG. I knew it would be busy before I got here, but I didn’t grasp the magnitude of it until I got here. I live in Sydney where there are only 4 million people spread out over a large area, here there are 20 million people crammed together. There are only 20 million people in the whole of Australia, so that really says something about the space that I am used to having.
I’ve found that there are often amazing architectural structures standing alongside very traditional buildings. And I’ve also noticed a sense of community, residents of all ages often gather in a large square in my area every night, and sing, dance and play games together.
Gi2C: What, if anything, would you change about your China internship experience with Getin2China?
SP: I wouldn't change anything.
Gi2C: Would you recommend an China internship program through Getin2China to any of your friends?
SP: 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?
SP: I think that if you’re willing to take a leap of faith and immerse yourself in the culture, it’s a good place to start. You’ll need to be intuitive and driven and not afraid to share your ideas. The internship will only be as good as you allow it to be.
GGI2C: Thank you for your time Sarah. Continue to challenge yourself during the rest of your stay in China!
Keep up with our new blog and website to see more testimonials posted in the coming weeks!