Shanghai Intern Joe from Canada

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Joe F. recently landed in China, let's see what he thinks about his new internship adventure!

I am from Vancouver but I also grew up in Calgary, Canada. Vancouver possesses an allencompassing geography ranging from mountainous terrain to sandy beaches thus providing an enriching active lifestyle. Growing up in Calgary was fantastic due to the huge amount of snowfall you get during a prolonged winter season and good old quality Alberta beef!

I am 25 years young turning 26 end of this year. Something interesting I’ve done so far is being fortunate enough to have traveled to various places in North America and China such as: Seattle, L.A., Chicago, Toronto, Shanghai, Nanjing, and more. I still intend to tackle Europe in the coming years.

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I studied at Simon Fraser University with a Bachelor of Arts in the Faculty of Communications, Arts & Technology. (FCAT). I chose to study Communications because it captivated my desire to interact with people. Communications essentially is all about building a bridge between audiences. Whether your medium is through digital or analog, in person or electronically; the desire for empathy and human connection is what will ultimately make the message come across.

I am currently doing my internship in the public relations industry in Shanghai. It only has been a week (and counting) but the tempo of work is fast and non-stop. My responsibility thus far is to proof read all English materials; polish them up to be sent to the client. The client we are working with is in the automotive industry. I work in tandem with the translator team members. Proof reading duties aside, I have been taught how to create clippings from scanned articles to be made presentable for the clients. This is part of the editorial process in which I am learning about. I have been told I will have more duties & projects to balance in the coming days.

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I hope to gain any and all experience communications-related whether that is gaining experience in the editorial process, taking part in creating or judging images and text, giving presentations to clients, or anything else that may arise. Aside from that, this is realistically my first office environment for work, as my previous jobs all were in the customer service or sales industries. This will be something I will need to adjust to and wish to thrive in.

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Being that I am Chinese but grew up all of my life Canada, I felt like there was another side of the coin that I have yet to have experienced. Doing this internship felt like hitting two birds with one stone. On the one hand I will be gaining professional work experience (along with international work experience) as well as appreciating a way of life completely different to that of Vancouver. Overall I know this will further my individual growth in an exponential manner.

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In the past, I thought of China as somewhere with closed walls per say. In terms of communications, I’d imagine it being strictly monitored by a “big brother” type of institution. As for day to day life, I would guess the lifestyle, activities, and people’s priorities are all different. That being said, I relish the chance to gain first-hand experience to see if my cultural pre-conceived notions are accurate. I was referred to Gi2C Group by family and friends and after doing research and seeing what Gi2C was all about, I felt it prudent to go with a company which has a winning track record in servicing existing and potential interns. In terms of the language, my mandarin is conversational fluent but I sorely lack reading and writing skills. It is a very awkward polarity.

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All my family and friends who know about this endeavor of mine are extremely supportive and happy for my decision to take a leap on the other side of the world. So far I haven’t been home sick yet but I am sure as time progresses I will be missing American diner food, blue skies, and my friends & family.

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