19 Feb A day in my life
During my internship I’ve been leaving home at about 8:30-9am in the morning. I catch two trains to get to work, which is fairly easy. The trains here come every 2-3mins so I’ve never had to look up train times. That’s one huge difference from Sydney, where the trains are much less frequent. I would pin it down to the fact that there are so many more people here who catch the trains, as frequent as they are, during peak hour it’s hard to even breathe while you stand in the sea of people. Before I get on the train though, I usually get some street food on the way to the train station for breakfast. It would not be that difficult to have breakfast at home but they street food is so inexpensive and delicious that I prefer it to the typical western breakfast I would normally have.
Basically when I arrive at work, I walk around to the managers and the other interns to say good morning before I take a seat at my desk. I’ve loved my office and colleagues from day one. The first manager I met sat me down and gave me a quick 101 lesson on the financial industry in China and an outline on what the company exactly does. Needless to say, I’ve been learning new things from the moment I arrived. The other interns have definitely become my good friends over the last month. I’ve even met up with a few of them outside of the workplace and introduced them to the other Absolute interns. The people I work with, both managers and interns, are mainly from different parts of Europe and Asia. I’ve found that the social culture that Europeans and the Chinese practice are in fact very similar to that of Australians. When it comes to being mentored, I have to say it has been the ideal internship. At work I have had the opportunity to analyze real client investment portfolios. I have been able to break them down to examine the performance of different funds, prepare an investment report, and provide feedback and recommendations on portfolios. I have also been able to work on my networking skills. Using the internet and networking sites such as LinkedIn, I help find contacts that my company can approach with their products.
There are a lot of options when it comes to what to eat for lunch. There are food courts with take-away style food and proper restaurants all over the city business district but mainly located in the shopping center complexes rather than on the streets. One thing that I have seen here that is non-existent in Sydney is common, everyday convenience stores that allow you to buy refrigerated whole meals and heat it up in their microwaves.
As the day comes to an end, I more often then not, meet the other Absolute interns for dinner followed by a night out. What I’ve discovered is that I enjoy street food more than anything. The seasoning and flavors are so different the ones in my regular diet back in Sydney. I also just love communicating with the owners of the street food stalls. My Mandarin knowledge only allows me to talk to them on a basic level and even though my pronunciation and grammar must make me sound like a child, they are so encouraging and patient.