I am currently a legal intern at a global law firm, although primarily based in Shanghai. My supervisor, Jessie, is a partner in the firm, specialising primarily in international law. So for an overseas intern, this placement is absolutely perfect!
My day starts with a relatively early wakeup call (6:45 is pretty decent for a 9am start). After breakfast, I head down to the lobby to meet up with my train buddies – Danii, who works with me, and Michelle, who catches the same train. Since I’m the most paranoid person to ever exist, we usually end up a good half an hour early for work which is perfect timing to grab a quick hot chocolate before the day really begins.
9 am brings the start of the working day. So far the tasks I’ve had to complete are researching American universities for a client wishing to immigrate and study in the U.S.A., researching the EB-5 Visa for permanent residency into America and preparing a fact sheet and analysing business plans and preparing a memo of advice accordingly. I am absolutely loving the work we’ve been given so far! Not only am I enhancing my research and writing skills, I am learning so much about the world of immigration law!
At 12pm off we head to lunch! Whilst there are so many yummy places to choose from, so far Danii and I have ended up at Paris Baguette each lunch time! But this is easily the best bakery I have ever been to! How can you go wrong when everything is less than $3 Aussie! But we’ll have to branch out and be adventurous soon!
Our lunch break is 90 minutes long so there’s lots of time for exploring! The other day we ventured to the massive shopping centre behind our building – that was an interesting experience to say the least! As we were all dressed up in nice business attire, the shop assistants assumed we were expats and all talked to us in Mandarin and wouldn’t believe that we only spoke English! But the shopping there is fabulous, so we’ll have to head back!
After lunch we head back to the office for the rest of the afternoon. When work gets a bit boring, I try to test out my Mandarin skills by trying to translate the phone conversations of the office workers. All I can catch is hello, thank you and goodbye but at least it’s a start! There’s only one expat, from America, working in the office so there’s lots of different conversations to choose from!
When the working day is done (slipping in a little ’80s song reference there) usually it’s back home to the hotel to meet up with the rest of the gang to sort our dinner plans. Sherpas is fast becoming our best friend – any food you could ever imagine delivered straight to your doorstep! Mind you, I absolutely love going out and finding more lovely little restaurants scattered over the city! And then it’s home to bed and the cycle begins again!
One of the highlights of my internship so far has been Chinese New Year! Jessie invited Danii, the other Expat and I to a traditional feast cooked by her Aunty and Uncle in their apartment. That was one of the most incredible nights I have ever experienced! Having a traditional Chinese New Year home cooked feast with our supervisor’s family was simply sensational! The food was simply delicious and so plentiful that we had to tell them to stop cooking otherwise we’d explode! The picture was just some of the leftovers at the end of the night!
I am absolutely loving my life as an intern in Shanghai and I can’t wait to keep learning and experiencing new things.