Our next recently arrived intern is Mike Watson from Glasgow, UK. He’s 26 and has both a bachelors and masters in computing. He will be interning in Shanghai with a company that specializes in strategic communication research.
Mike, what sort of things will you be responsible for at your internship in China? “A variety of things from Help-desk support and maintenance to researching new and upcoming technologies as well as possibly assisting a global IT team on different projects.”
Mike told us he’s looking forward to the opportunity to learn from an international company that has a wealth of experience working with a number of different industries.
However, learning new skills at work is only part of the experience as the Shanghai internship also offers a chance to explore a completely different culture and experience the traditional and deep historic roots of China as well as explore it's position as one of the biggest economic powers in the world and the exciting changes that comes along with that. He mentioned that meeting new people will be great as well especially as you're almost guaranteed to meet a wealth of new people from very different backgrounds.
Speaking of the deep historic roots of China, is that why you chose China to do your internship?
“China has a wealth of history that helped influence the world and being able to see some of that first hand has always interested me. The growth it has experienced in more recent times has made it a very intriguing place and allows for a great mix of new, modern ideas with more traditional foundations. The differences in culture is appealing too, everything from how people work, have fun, eat and learn will be different from what I'm used to. It'll be interesting seeing where cultures are similar and where they contrast, as well as what we can learn from one another. China is also home to some of the largest cities in the world and also includes large parts of scenic countryside, making it an attractive choice as it offers a wide variety of places to explore each with a unique feeling.”
What have you heard about China from the news or other sources?
“It's a very diverse country with lots of variation: it is both traditional and modern; it has busy cities as well as quieter countryside; it can be very fast paced at times but very relaxed at others. I think this ultimately creates quite a balanced feeling where many can find somewhere where they are comfortable or allow them the opportunity to experience something that is new and exciting for them.”
Why did you choose Getin2China to find a placement?
“Gi2C offered a good service that supported interns in both finding an internship and living in China. It also gives them the freedom to discover China their own way and allows them to tailor it to their own expectations.”
Mike expects learning Mandarin to be “challenging but worthwhile. I have heard it is difficult to learn but as one of the most spoken languages in the world, it will be great to start learning something new that will undoubtedly come in useful, both in the business world and for things like traveling as well.”
To prepare for his big move, Mike told us he researched his company, China and Shanghai and made sure he had packed everything he would need. He’s also been busy visiting with family and friends before he leaves. They were shocked but very supportive, believing it to be a good opportunity and a great time to explore more of the world. He told us, "some of my friends and family are now looking at taking a holiday to China now!"
Last question, Mike. What are you going to miss most about home?
“Ask me in a month! Probably friends and family but nowadays it's easier to keep in touch with them even if they are thousands of miles away.” That’s very true! Thank goodness for Facebook (if you have a VPN) and Skype to stay connected!