Intern Update: Tom James

If there’s one thing Tom James learned during his month-long internship in Beijing in August, it was using his initiative to perform well.

Tom James at Work


“Once I had understood this, I did much better work. And my coworkers were very quiet, which seemed like they weren't interested in me, but when they saw my work, they congratulated me well.”

Tom finished up his China internship program at the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales, where he created marking plans for 2014 and built a new and improved company website, among other things.

But there were challenges.

“To start with, understanding their business model when most information on the Internet about them was written in Chinese. This was vital to creating the marketing plan. But a lot of browsing and piecing together information helped me overcome this.”

His time in Beijing, however, was anything but.

It was amazing,” Tom says of Beijing. “I didn't think I would like it so much and now I will struggle to get on the plane home. The only problem I had was not having enough time to do everything I wanted to, which often resulted in very little sleep.”

No surprise there! Beijing is one of the world’s largest cities. Having been China’s capital for much of the past few centuries, the sites to explore – temples, palaces, alleys and laneways – are endless.

If Tom had to choose one thing he liked most, “I have to be honest, the nightlife” and also “the warm weather, the food, the low cost, the amount of things to do and the fast transport.”

One thing he was no fan of – and many would agree – was the crowded subway.

For those considering an internship in China (and with China become the new back door for job opportunities, there are plenty), Tom has this to day.

Just do it! Because you will enjoy it so much. It is probably best to do it longer than one month so you have more time to do more.

“Also, it is really good to stay with a host family as they have local knowledge and they are another contact if you need help. It is probably better to learn Chinese too.

“Finally, Elements in Sanlitun is the best night club!”

For the upcoming year, Tom will begin university in England, and he plans on spending his summer gaining more work experience. It might not be too long before China’s capital sees the likes of Tom again.

“I want to come back to Beijing for summer 2014!”

Maybe we’ll see you again next year, Tom! Congrats on completing your internship. Good luck at uni!
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