One of China’s great advantages is its openness to foreign people and ideas. Even if you lack the education and experience of a particularly job field, many domestic and international firms are willing to take a chance with an intern who has a different background.
For example, it isn’t uncommon for us at Gi2C to place an intern with a legal or social science background in an art gallery if that’s what the intern would like – and the gallery is willing.
Twenty-year-old Nick Freer-Smith from London is another example. Although he studied History at the University of Exeter, he’ll do his internship in Shanghai next month at China BlueSky Ventures, an investment and advisory services firm.
“From the Skype interview I've had with the company, I believe I'll be meeting international clients of the firm, and helping them to enter Chinese markets, predominantly in the field of technology,” says Nick.
“I'm also hoping to get a good reference, as it's very competitive in the job market here in the UK.”
That competitive job market at home has also made it difficult to find a decent internship, says Nick, and “given the economic success of China compared to Europe recently I felt it was a good place to learn more about. I also wanted to push myself a little more outside my comfort zone, and China was a place that really excited me.”
He chose Getin2China to find an internship placement because “the more I read about it the more I thought that it was perfect for me. I particularly liked that they found me several internship opportunities so quickly, and it also sounded like they would look after you once you get to China.”
Indeed we do, both before your arrival and after. Gi2C helps you acquire your visa before you touch down in China. When you do finally arrive, we pick you up from the airport, hold an orientation session at our office in Beijing or Shanghai and even accompany you to your host company on the first day.
To prepare for the big move in June, Nick says he’s been learning some basic Mandarin, a smart move since learning some of the local language in any country goes a long way, although he admits it’s been “difficult.” He’s also buying “some new clothes, because I hear that it is pretty hot in Shanghai in the summer.”
He adds, “[I]t is a little scary arriving in a country where you don't know anyone, and don't yet have any friends or family to support you. That's all part of the adventure though I think!”
That couldn’t be any truer.
And what does Nick’s family think about his decision to do an internship in China?
“I think they were a bit surprised, but also impressed that I'd found something worthwhile and exciting to do in the summer. I think they might have been a little jealous because they would like to come with me!”