18 Feb Casting reflections
I’m about to enter my final week here in China, and whilst it has only been a few weeks, an immense amount has happened in those weeks. I feel as if I’ve grown as a person, my knowledge has expanded exponentially, both about my field of Public Relations, international relations between the East and the West, culture differences between my own and the traditional Chinese way, and also with those from American and European cultures (you’d be amazed just how different the Australian culture is to Americans). So much growth, experience and knowledge has been gained in these past few weeks and I’ll endeavour to delve a bit deeper into just how that happened, and what I’m going to take away from this trip.
We’ve been asked to consider how this program has introduced us into the ‘real world’ and my response to that is, “is this the real world?”. It seems so far removed from anything I’ve experienced or could experience in Australia, due to the basic cultural differences, it feels as if this is completed different world sometimes. Naturally there are many similarities, I’m not disregarded them of course. But much of the Chinese way, how they operate in business and in society, is vastly different to the Western way. While Shanghai is considered the most ‘westernised’ part of China, particularly with its increasing multiculturalism (just walk through a food court and look at the vast array of restaurants, or those eating at those restaurants even). It has become a hub for international business, and this reflects the changing cultural landscape.
I’m going to calm down, this is starting to feel like a University essay, not a blog haha. The point I’m making is that the interns here have been thrown into a new landscape (most of us, at least), but that landscape is one that is rapidly changing, and that is something that we can learn from. Finishing a degree or masters program and being thrust into the working world will require some quick transitioning, and I feel that this internship has given us the skills, moreso or not, to cope with that. For many of us interns, we knew very little or no Mandarin when arriving in Shanghai, and have faced a completely different culture over the past few weeks. Did we enjoy it? A thousand times yes. I have not regretted a single day here.
This internship has given some of the younger kids (myself included) an opportunity to experience real independence. Living on our own, sourcing food and cooking (or you know, making the decision to just order Sherpa’s every night), and being responsible for turning up to work and Absolute events on time. I acknowledge that many of the interns are a little older, and have already been established themselves into adulthood, but as someone barely an adult, I have found this experience quite liberating.
I could probably keep rambling but I’ll wrap it up there.
Til next time,