So here I am. It is the beginning of the end for my internship in Shanghai. Only four days left until I head home back to Brisbane. I’m not going to lie, I miss summer and sport, however, I will miss Shanghai more. So it’s time to reflect on my time in this amazing city, and how my university degree has complemented my internship so far.
Just to refresh your memory, I work at a recruitment/headhunting firm specializing in high-level management within the Chinese retail and manufacturing industries. I have read through blogs where people have stated that they have not used any information that their university taught them. However, I have.
My job is all about placing a candidate who is best fit for a certain position. This requires many things, such as research on the position, the industry, developing a needs profile, and finding the most suitable candidate. Essentially, I sit on LinkedIn all day reading profiles, adding people, and retrieving CVs. Obviously, no University course will cover this, however the information that I have learnt throughout my degree has assisted me in being able to perform a needs analysis, understand job descriptions, perform comprehensive research and develop the necessary strategies to find the most suitable candidate.
This week I have started to undertake phone interview on prospective candidates. I was very nervous at first, saying the interview script word by word just to ensure that no mistakes were made. However, once I performed a couple of interviews, the nerves went away, and I have continued to perform these interviews, adjusting them to suit the particular candidate. Josh, my fellow intern, was lucky enough to sit in a face-to-face interview, as they needed to check a candidate’s English skills. It is difficult sometimes with the accent, and as I have a very ‘Aussie’ accent, I have to speak slow and loud, which can get a bit annoying, however you soon get used to it. I have found that I have constantly used information taught to me at university for these interviews, especially deciding which information provided by the candidate is important, and which questions to ask.
The thing I like the most about my internship is that I have not been treated as an intern; I have been treated like an employee. I know this might not apply for every internship, but I am actually performing the same work as the full-time employees. The first couple of days involved reading and getting accustomed to the organisation and their practices. Afterwards, we were presented with job descriptions and were told to go find candidates. Obviously we got the necessary training and assistance, but it was surprising to find that we have such independence and responsibility as an intern. And to be honest, I am loving it. This makes it very rewarding when you perform well in the organisation. Although we are given the same responsibility as a full-time employee, there is less pressure, which is nice when you are a new intern.
So that is all I have time for (as I better get to work)! Next time I write a blog, I will be on a plane back home, so I will speak to you then!