I live in Birmingham, United Kingdom but I grew up in Brazzaville, which is the capital and the largest city of the Republic of the Congo. It is a small country in central Africa with a population of 3.5 million.
Something unique about where I grew up is that my dad used to take me and my brothers fishing every Sunday. So until now, fishing has been my second passion after football and I have always supported Arsenal Football Club since I was a kid. But I moved to Shanghai in 1995 when I was 23 years old to pursue my post-graduate studies, so it's been over 19 years since I left Africa. Brazzaville is a big city with 800,000 inhabitants and I still have good friends and good memories there.
I am 42 years old and I love travelling. I have been to many countries of the world. Actually, I go on holiday every three months with my family and each time we go to a different destination.
As mentioned above, I completed my Bachelor degree of Applied Macroeconomics in Brazzaville in 1995 and I moved to Shanghai to do my Master's degree in Business Management. I chose this field because I was so obsessed with calculations. Mathematics, Statistics, Accounting, Econometrics, etc., have always been my favorite courses. I decided to do Economics and Management because I wanted to be my own boss.
I will be interning at an International Trading Company based in Shanghai. As far as I know and from what I have been told, I will be interning in the Marketing department, dealing with overseas markets research, promoting the company's products and services and also making a lot of contacts with external and potential customers.
I am hoping to get more familiar with trading operation procedures, including export document operations and also to learn about how Chinese manufacturers work. But my big hope is to get more job opportunities in marketing and sales, and then accomplish my dream of working in an international company in Asia or in Africa. I am sure that this internship will open more doors for me, so I am very optimistic and confident.
I decided to do internship in China for many reasons. First, I fell in love with China 19 years ago when I first went there for my post-graduate studies at Fudan University. Secondly, my wife is from Shanghai and we visit China almost every year as my in-laws live there. Thirdly, China is the world's fastest growing economy and all eyes are on this emerging market and I could not find a better place other than China to do my internship.
As I said previously, China is like a second country to me because it is my wife's country and we go there almost every year to visit her family. I would say that before I went to China in 1995, I made a lot of assumptions about the Chinese culture, but it was completely different back then. Now I am more familiar with Chinese culture as I have been speaking the language since 1995.
I chose Getin2China after I found the advertisement on a top jobs website. After speaking with Max, I finally decided that Gi2C was the best company to help me find an internship and when I reflect on that first conversation I had with him, I now know that I made the right choice.
To be honest, I am a bit nervous about meeting new colleagues for the first time. It is not the first time for me to work in China, as I used to teach French there in 1997 and 1999, but it is more to do with my family not being part of this adventure. My Gi2C internship is placement only as I do not need accommodation and Mandarin language in China. I am not an expert in Chinese language but I speak it on a daily basis with my wife and also in my previous jobs I have used both Mandarin and French.
When I told my family, especially my wife and my daughter, that I would like to do an internship in China, they were very excited and encouraged me during the whole process as they are also planning to visit me in Shanghai during Christmas. I am going to miss them a lot, especially my daughter who is already complaining about the length of time that I am going to be away from home. It is going to be the first time that I will be away from them for more than 6 weeks, as we always go on holiday together but I will be happy to see them in a few a months. Right now, I am just excited and looking forward to taking on this new challenge!