3 minutes reading time (578 words)

Intern Testimonial: Tom James

It took a bit of arm-twisting, but Tom James managed to convince his parents to allow him to do an internship in China.

Tom James


“They laughed and said I can't! So I proved to them that there were no decent opportunities for me in England and that working in China would be really good for me as a person and as experience to help me in my career.

“After a lot of pleading, they agreed that I could go - maybe it was because I said I'd pay for it all myself!”

The Oswestry, England native will do a one-month internship in Beijing at the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW), where he’ll be responsible for organizing marketing projects for the company, arranging meetings and interfacing with other businesses and organizations.

Tom hopes to get five things out of his internship. First, learning how Chinese operate an accounting agency. “This will expand the knowledge from my studies and allow me to compare differences in English and Chinese practices. It will also be beneficial to gain more knowledge of the developing world / BRICS economies.”

Second, to gain work experience in the Middle Kingdom.

Third, “to gain more independence as an individual by traveling by myself to/in a foreign country.”

Fourth, to network and build contacts. “This may include company employees, clients, other interns and anyone else I meet.”

Finally, “To impress ICAEW and enhance their performance through my broad knowledge, many skills and my strong attitude towards hard work.”

Choosing to intern in China was an easy choice, especially because an internship in the world’s second largest economy is now becoming the new back door jobs to gainful employment.

“First and foremost, it is a huge and fast growing economy where there seem to be endless business opportunities,” says Tom. “I therefore, wanted to get a grasp of the country and the way it operates. This would hopefully give me an advantage over others when looking for employment as it shows I was adventurous from a young age and would be a good candidate to send on global business trips.

“Also, China is very interesting and extremely different from England, and so I am very excited to explore the culture and ways of living of the Chinese.”

Tom also has an idea of what the work environment in China will be like.

“I believe that people will be less ego-driven in the workplace than in England. I also think that Beijing will be very busy and crowded but also efficient. I like the work ethic of the Chinese if what I have read is correct, and so I am looking forward to working really hard for ICAEW.”

To prepare for the big move to China, Tom is reading 'Think Like Chinese' to get a better sense of a Chinese workplace.

“I have also been trying to learn some conversational Mandarin but if I get stuck, I have an iPhone app which can live-translate for me!”

He also has a good reason for choosing Gi2C to find a placement.

“To tell the truth, I had come across the website years ago and so when I actually felt ready for this opportunity, I went straight to Gi2C. However, I checked the prices with other companies first and Gi2C still looked like the best deal!”

Tom says he’ll miss his friends and family, but doing something worthwhile abroad in China will make things easier.

I'm sure I'll find new friends and have fun with my 'adoptive' family in no time.”
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