He handles communications with international business partners and manages negotiations to attract new global media players. He assists his manager with shaping the company’s worldwide marketing efforts and tries to uncover new marketing channels.
Andreas at a portion of the Great Wall of China just outside Beijing.
His name is Andreas Schönning from Skurup, Sweden, and during his China internship program in Beijing he’s doing all of the above.
The internship — at Reed Exhibitions, a world leader in organizing tradeshows and exhibitions – has taught 24-year-old Andreas “Personal development traits such as prioritizing work, multitasking, deadline management and communication skills,” as well as an “extensive understanding of the industry I was assigned, improvement of my marketing knowledge and increased cultural awareness of multiple countries, including China.”
Andreas, who graduated from the European Business School London with a master’s degree in Management and International Business, says the internship wasn’t all it was cracked out to be at the start.
“At first I was given undesirable tasks, but when I was dedicated and successful when completing the tasks, my superiors acknowledged my efforts and abilities and put them to better use, which gave me more desirable tasks and more important responsibilities.”
The Swedish national also learned that you can’t please everyone – even during an internship.
“I had three different bosses which assigned me different tasks at some point, which created major issues. All of the bosses wanted me to prioritize their work and they were sometimes displeased when [I prioritized] someone else’s work. In a few cases the task from two of my bosses contradicted each other, which forced me to make a judgment call and pick the best solution … and stand by it.”
Andreas says he took advantage of the networking events with his company and has made some invaluable connections as an intern in China. His networking paid off: Andreas received and accepted an offer. He'll head to southern China to begin his new job this spring.
Life outside work, too, has been enjoyable.
“Thanks to my roommates and Gi2C, I have got quite a large network of friends in Beijing, which includes other interns who I always meet for parties during the weekend or who join me for sightseeing.
“Work hours here are longer than in Sweden, but I could still have time to go e.g. shopping, restaurants, grocery shopping etc. after work since everything closes very late. People are very friendly toward foreigners and you feel very safe when walking on the street home at night.”
Beijing is a fabulous place to live, adds Andreas, with its endless array of cultural sites and title as the country’s food mecca, with cuisine from all over China plentiful in the capital.
But the city, like any other, comes with challenges.
“What I do not like about Beijing is not surprising for anyone watching the news, the pollution. (Also) [T]he fact that almost nobody speaks English in Beijing was a major issue in the beginning of my stay here. People in shops and restaurants speak no English, but it did force me to learn Mandarin Chinese immediately to be able to get by.
“After learning some basic phrases, life gets a lot easier.”
It certainly does. Good luck, Andreas, with the rest of your internship. We’ll check back soon.