Gavin R. was born in a small town in Northern Ireland called Holywood. He just so happen to go to primary and secondary school with the world’s number one golfer, Rory McIlroy, so his claim to fame is playing golf on the same course as Rory!
Tell us a little about yourself, Gavin.
“I am 21 years old and recently I took part in a charity hitchhike with my university from Durham in the North of England to Amsterdam in Holland. I was in a team of three and we managed to hitch hike in people’s cars the whole way there for free in less than 30 hours. We were the quickest team and one of the only teams to spend no money on travel so it was a huge success and a lot of fun.
I am currently studying Economics in the UK. I am entering my third and final year in October of this year. I chose to study Economics as it an ever-changing social science, which is relevant to everyone in their lives. It is so wide ranging that I am always able to find something interesting to learn about within it, while also picking up important academic skills which can help me in future employment.
I am interning at the scholars foundation and will be working in the finance wing of an investment firm. The company is a platform dedicated to providing international start-ups and SME’s access to an alliance of investors and businesses.”
Gavin’s internship responsibilities will include evaluating potential investments, organizing Investment Events, and providing any assistance needed to his team. He told us, “I am hoping to be given a level of responsibility that I haven’t experienced before in a large company and learn skills that can help me for future employment. By interning in a foreign country, I also hope to take myself out of my comfort zone and see if I can thrive in a highly competitive working environment. I wanted to experience a different working culture than I had before. Throughout my studies of Global Economics, China has always been at the forefront of the fastest growing economies. It has always interested me from a cultural standpoint as well so this seemed the perfect opportunity to gain valuable work experience while visiting famous landmarks such as the Great Wall and Forbidden City.”
Gain told us, “I have very few preconceived notions about China and really want to arrive there completely open-minded. From reading about Beijing, I expect it to buzzing and full of life, with endless amounts of things to do ranging the history and culture to modern bars and restaurants. From a work aspect, I expect people to be extremely hard working and respectful of one another inside of a very efficient working environment.
Once I decided I wanted to do an internship abroad, I soon realized it would be near impossible to organize it by myself. Gi2C came well recommended online and after reading about everything they provide for you, it was an easy decision.”
To prepare for the huge move, Gavin has been reading anything he can get his hands on about China and Beijing. He has also spoken to family friends who have experience working in China, so he knows more of what to expect. Gavin heard that Mandarin is very difficult to learn but he is excited about giving it a go. “I would love to learn basic Mandarin to help me in business in the future and also since it is such a widely spoken language worldwide.”
Was it hard to leave home?
“My family was very surprised, as I had not mentioned it until the night before my interview! After getting over the surprise, they have been very supportive and know what a big opportunity this is for me. I live away from home when I go to University so I am not too worried about that. However, I have never been out of the UK for more than a week at a time, and never by myself, so I am hoping I adapt quickly and don’t miss many home comforts.”