"I have been given a lot of responsibility and definitely felt apart of the company within the first week,” he says.
One major responsibility during his China internship program at BG Capital in Beijing includes, “finding a client an injection of capital, whether that be from bank loan, venture capitalists or merger/acquisition.”
The London-native, who’s studying engineering and business finance at University College London, says he’s also learning those all-important soft skills, particularly when it comes to composing himself for shareholders presentations and social events.
“China is the second largest economic powerhouse in the world and predicted to overtake the U.S in just several years, experience here in the business industry will be undoubtedly helpful and extremely relevant,” Ilyas says when asked why he chose BG Capital to do an internship in China.
He describes Beijing as “hectic,” but he isn’t complaining.
“What would make me most keen to live here is the lack of crime in the city, it adds to the welcoming atmosphere and puts you at ease from your very first day.
Sampling the food on offer in Beijing is something Ilyas fits into his schedule.
“I think I have tried a lot of Chinese food in the last few weeks. Although it all looks the same, the food in Beijing is definitely unique and the flavors are diverse. I really enjoy their seafood dishes as there is always a mixture of things you just aren't sure of what they are.”
Diverse is an excellent way to describe Beijing’s food culture. The city is no doubt China’s undisputed food capital, with cuisine from all over the country and from around the world calling Beijing home.
(Visit TimeOut’s Beijing Food & Drink page for the latest on food and restaurants, including their picks for Beijing's Top 100 restaurants.)
One question we often ask our interns is what they find most surprising about China and about their internship. Ilyas provided us with a list. Are you ready?
- The friendliness of the Chinese people
- The number of foreigners
- The number of locals who speak English
- The cost of living
- The volume of pollution
- THE SUBWAY
- The clubs
- The lack of any type of crime
- The markets
- Government control
- The problems with Internet
- The mix of social and business life in Chinese culture
Now there’s a list if there ever was one!
Government control is often synonymous with China, and Ilyas sites “the difficulty of getting onto Facebook” as a challenge. China blocks Facebook (and Twitter and Youtube and makes using other Google products, like Gmail, troublesome at times).
But there’s good news: logging onto Facebook (and other blocked sites) is not impossible and simply requires the use of a VPN, or virtual private network. As part of the All-Inclusive international Internship Program, Gi2C provides you with a VPN, allowing you to never lose touch with friends and family on your favorite social media sites. If you chose our Only Internship Placement Plus Orientation option, which does not include a VPN account, you can simply purchase one from a provider like Astrill at a low monthly cost.
Ilyas says that that friends and family were a bit surprised that he chose China to do an internship.
“I myself wasn't that sure what to expect. They have all been very supportive and I have been lucky enough to see a few friends from back home while I have been here.
“With China being such a different part of the world, they all gave me words of caution, but until you have been here yourself you cannot make the differentiation between reality and myth.”
That couldn’t be any truer.Good luck with the rest of your internship, Ilyas. We’ll check back in a bit.