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Gi2C Reviews: Chira’s China Internship at a Startup

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I’m originally from Nashville, TN USA. I grew up in Music City USA, so I was spoiled by living in a city full of musicians. Half of my friends were somehow involved with music. In terms of my background, I’m 32 and decided I wanted to get some international experience. I’ve had jobs in the design, tech, and marketing fields. So far, going to China beats anything I’ve done yet but some interesting things I’ve done in my life is traveling abroad and studying Italian in Italy.

In school, I studied Advertising and Graphic Design. I have two degrees:  B.S Communications and B.F.A Graphic Design. I enjoy the mix between creative work, research, and marketing. I like to keep my interests broad.

I will be interning with a US-based startup company that has an office in Beijing. They build apps and in-apps designed to market companies from the US to a Chinese audience. My job tasks will be related to the digital media realm specifically product development, etc. I’m excited to work in a startup environment. It will be refreshing especially after working for big corporations. I really want to get international marketing experience.

I came here because China is the place to be. It’s sort of the new frontier for me. I’ve never been to the far east. All the economic growth these days seems to be in China. It would be nice to witness it personally. Before I came, I often heard a lot about censorship in China. I heard many sites are censored but I’m not sure what to expect. I’ve been told by people who have spent a couple of years in China to expect the unexpected (in a positive way).

I chose Gi2C because there were many testimonials. It seems like some people end up staying in China. I’m open to furthering my career there. Plus, being on medical leave and having plenty of time to contemplate my life path gave me the opportunity to research ways to get international experience. In order to prepare for my trip to China, I had to become frugal. I also had to make sure that I was physically fit to travel. I got immunizations. I researched Beijing. I had to find a place to stay while being 13 hours behind Beijing time. The time difference was difficult.

I haven’t signed up for any Mandarin classes…. yet. I hope to take some classes. I know a few other languages. I understand Kurdish (I use to speak it as a kid). I also speak conversational Italian. I was told to not to look at Mandarin as difficult, just different from English.

I was surprised by the reaction I had when I told people at home that I was going to intern in China. Of course, the majority of my friends and family were extremely supportive and excited for me, but I didn’t realize how many of them wanted to go to China! I’m going to miss the comforts and familiarity of home.  I will miss my friends, my gym, and my TV shows. I’m not going to miss driving around the busy Washington, DC area.

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