“Currently I work as a trade marketing assistant. I communicate and negotiate with potential customers, do social networking with Western countries, participate in business meetings as an interpreter and complete market research.”
Julia says that she has learned some of the ins and outs of marketing and trade, how to reach out to customers, specifics about the metal industry and also the key elements of the company’s organizational structure.
But a work place cultural difference between the West and China was something she noticed immediately.
“Surprisingly, in the 21st century the trade and process is done by internet research. Whereas in the West, ‘business mixers’ are popular where buyers and sellers negotiate face to face – it’s very common in Russia and Central European countries."
Julia added that she was surprised some of her co-workers went to sleep during their lunch hour. In China, the noontime nap – usually done at the worker’s desk – is quite common, particulary for those companies with a two-hour lunch break.
Surprises aside, life outside work has been quite the thrill.
“I have been to some amazing places like a traditional Buddhist temple, an observatory tower bar, the Bund and Pudong and also experienced some night life in Shanghai. It’s all thanks to my new friends from Spain and China.”
Julia mentioned the Bund, a waterfront strip of European colonial architecture. The Bund is an absolute must-see in Shanghai, both during the day and at night when the buildings are lit up.
“I am in love with this city!” says Julia. What exactly is she in love with you ask? The “amazing views from the office and the apartment, nice weather, friendly people and a lot of things to see!
I feel in the right place, even though it is thousands of miles away from my lovely home and family.”
But like any city, there’s at least one drawback.
“I won’t be original on this one … the always crowded metro!” And the large subway stations – especially the transfer stations where it can take 10 minutes to reach your connecting train – make it “impossible to wear heels.”
We hear you on that one, Julia!
Thanks for the update. Enjoy the rest of your internship in Shanghai. We’ll check back for a final update.