Tamara is beginning her Gi2C China internship program in Beijing and we had the pleasure of hearing her story.
I grew up in a small town pretty much in the countryside. The closest large, well-known city is Zurich, which is about 30 minutes away. Switzerland is infamous for our cheese and chocolate and I guess that's what foreign people identify Switzerland with and of course having great banks!
I am 22 years old and something interesting about myself is that I have won the Swiss championship in Badminton when I was 13. Other than badminton, I also love travelling a lot. I am currently working on my Bachelor's degree in Business Communications. I chose to study this field because I like to learn languages and I think one of the most essential departments in an industry is the communications department as it represents the company.
I will be working at the European American Chamber of Commerce, which is based in Beijing. As far as I know, I will be interning in the PR area, so that means a lot of communication between China, Europe and America. In addition, I will assist with the organization of events as well as market research. I am hoping that with completion of my internship there will be more doors open for me in the communications field so I can start working in this area. It is quite hard to find a position in this industry when you haven’t had any work experience. I also hope to expand my professional horizon and maybe even get a position in the end of this opportunity to intern in China.
I decided to do an internship in China because China is growing very fast and I can imagine it is a very challenging environment especially for European citizens. I have never been in Asia so it will be a great time of personal development for me too and a once in a lifetime opportunity to not only work in China but also learn something about Chinese culture.
As far as preconceived notions of China, I know that China is developing fast and is taking on the role of being a business partner for many European companies nowadays. China came up a lot with the company I was previously working for. There is also a lot of interesting history behind this huge country so that is fascinating of course. China is not yet that well known in Europe but I expect that we will get to know it much better in the upcoming years.
I chose Getin2China to find a placement after I found the job advertisements on LinkedIn. The whole concept sounded very interesting and clever and it gives you the opportunity to experience something new and challenging like interning in China which I don't think many people have the chance to do in their lives. That's why I am very happy and glad to be part of it.
Before leaving, I made sure to speak with a lot of people who have already been to China and some of them even to Beijing. I asked them about life there and about the differences between Europe and China. I contacted one of my sister's friends who is Chinese to teach me some of the basic words. But I must admit that learning the language is very tough!
When I told my family that I’d like to do an internship in China, their reaction was astonishment! My family knows that I am a person who travels a lot but going to China for a couple of months to work was a huge step for them. They were of course a bit scared to let me go away for quite some time but once they thought about it they very proud that I had the chance to go to China. And they are already looking forward to coming to visit me while I am there. This is the first time for me to go away for such a long time. I have only been on holidays for at the most 3 weeks so far. What I will miss most about home is of course my beloved family, my boyfriend and all of my friends.