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First Impressions

First Impressions

Well, well, well… I’ve finally made it back to China. After visiting briefly in 2012, I’ve always wanted to come back, but naturally there were other places on the bucket list, so coming back kind of took a back seat on the priorities list. Then Absolute Internship offered me this crazy opportunity, too good to give up and now I’m back in Shanghai, one of the world’s busiest, most lively and exciting cities, not to mention an international business hub. More on that in later blogs.

The flight was sweet, just shy of ten hours, decent food, quality in-flight entertainment and no one sitting next to me. What started as two seats quickly became my little couch of comfort, which also worked as a small bed (note the view from my window). After landing in Shanghai, I got off the plane, picked up luggage and whatnot, no issues there, met up with two other interns and within minutes, we were pretty much the best of friends. After finally checking in, meeting our Program Manager, Will, and having a nice beverage to warm us up, it was off to bed. The next day brought more exploration, the discovery of street food, and the arrival of nine other new interns. We were adopted with open arms by the Old’s – a nice little nickname distinguishing existing interns with the new intake (my intake).

The location of our hotel is great, as we’re surrounding by basically everything we might need – supermarket, convenience store, bank, barber, dry cleaner, retail stores, train station, fast food places, etc. Using the Metro (Shanghai’s subway system) is actually so convenient as there are stations everywhere and trains coming every few minutes, making it incredibly easy to get most places in the greater Shanghai area. Not to mention just how ridiculously cheap transport here is! An average Metro ride is 3RMB, while a taxi across town will cost you around 20 RMB, which equates to 60 cents and $4 AUD, respectively. Did someone say bargain?

Friday night meant welcome dinner time, a chance for all the new interns to meet the existing interns and vice versa. The welcome dinner involved lots of ‘getting to know you’ conversations, as well as “how do I ask for this?” or “what are the Chinese like about that?”… questions that would eventually all be covered in the Orientation. As I sat on a table primarily made up of Old’s, I spent the majority of the dinner picking their brains about the internships, the tips and tricks of China, where to go, where not to bother, how to say things, what not to say, and where to get a good coffee. The game plan was to finish the welcome dinner, and then the existing interns would take us out and show us the nightlife of Shanghai – a whole different kind of orientation. For the integrity of this blog, I think we might skim over that night, but let’s just say, it was one to remember (even though most of us interns don’t).

At the time of writing this, I’ve only spent a few hours at my firm, as I had a half day today. SMH, from what I’ve gathered, are a consultancy firm who specialise in the marketing and promotion of the products of their clients. They deal mostly with American food and agricultural groups, such as the American Pistachio Growers association, which is the project I’ve been assigned to. Over the next month, I’ll be working with a team to organise appearances at trade shows, solo events, campaign and promotional material for the upcoming Miss California China Tour, whereby Miss California Crystal Lee will promote Pistachios and APG. It’s a new experience working on a real project as opposed to theoretical university work – I’m keen to get started! Also, check out my swanky business cards, thank you Absolute!

Til next time,
Zài jiàn!

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