22 Jul Days Are Long, But The Weeks Fly By
Here in Shanghai, the days are long, but the weeks fly by. While 40 hours consist of hard work at our internships, the rest of the 128 hours are spent exploring the city, listening to career speakers, and traveling around China while squeezing in a few moments of sleep here and there. Though it may be exhausting, the hustle and bustle is one of the reasons I love this city so much.
As a pharmacy student, I sometimes get asked why I would participate in such a business-heavy program like Absolute Internship where all of the career speakers and presentations are successful businessmen and businesswomen; however, I get just as much out of these experiences as the other students. I find these opportunities to be valuable to any student no matter his or her studies for when it comes down to it, any workplace is a business. In my case, the business is a hospital or clinic rather than a corporate entity.
The most interesting and impressive speaker I had the opportunity to meet was Jackie, co-founder of the café Wagas. It was amazing how she turned one empty sandwich shop into 57 crowded cafés in the mere span of 15 years all by adapting their menu to the palates of the Chinese locals while maintaining the comfort foods expats search for.
As far as the traveling goes, I have made memories that will last a lifetime in places I never imagined I would ever have the chance to see for myself. The sheer magnitude of the Great Wall was completely unfathomable to me before I stepped foot onto it, but even then I couldn’t manage to take it all in. Hangzhou’s mountainous tea plantation was some of the greenest scenery I have ever seen, and the architecture of its temples was incredibly beautiful.
The most I have learned while here in China has been outside of the workplace in these wonderful experiences both in Shanghai as well as in the rural areas of the country. The busy schedule may lead to days that feel 30 hours long with short nights that feel like napping rather than sleeping, but I can sleep when I’m home.