Homeward Bound

Homeward Bound

Shanghai The BundI now fully understand the meaning of the famous saying, “time flies when you’re having fun.” Don’t get me wrong; midway through the internship I was worried that I was becoming too homesick, but I came to realize that time will pass whether or not you’re paying attention. This last month may have flown by, but I’ll never forget all the adventures I had in Shanghai.

I think it’s important to discuss some significant pieces of advice or things that I would have done differently prior to my arrival in Shanghai. The most crucial thing would have been to not stress out about the upcoming ventures I was going to encounter that I hadn’t had any prior experience with. A good example of this is the metro. I’ve never been to New York or any other part of the United States that has the option of traveling by metro, so naturally I was incredibly nervous before coming here about whether or not I would understand the system. The routine ended up being surprisingly easy to figure out, but even if I had struggled with it I should have known that the Absolute crew would have been there to help me out with every step. Another aspect of the program I was worried about was internship itself – whether or not I was competent enough to be productive in the workplace. On the 14 hour plane ride I read a book called The Big Picture – 11 Laws That Will Change Your Life (highly recommended). In this book one of the core messages is centered on the idea “do your best, forget the rest.” The author, Tony Horton, talked about how as a kid in his early 20s he didn’t always take advantage of opportunities because he was afraid he wasn’t ready. The book taught me that no matter what, if you do your absolute best then nobody, including yourself, can be upset with you for being inadequate. I took that lesson to the workplace and it ended up being an awesome experience.

Shanghai Iowa State UniversityI intended for one of the paragraphs in this blog to be about what I’m going to miss the most about interning in Shanghai. Shortly after deciding that, I realized it was mission impossible. To narrow it down, the top 3 things I’m going to miss the most are my coworkers, nighttime at The Bund, and of course, all the adventures with my fellow Absolute interns. I was a little worried at the beginning of the month because I was working in an industry that I didn’t want to pursue in my professional career. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that my favorite lessons weren’t going to come from the work, but rather the people I was working with. My colleagues taught me a lot about work ethic, how to have fun in the workplace, and about all their unique cultures from various parts of the world. I’m going to miss The Bund at night because I feel like going there is a 2-for-1 deal. I get to visit the really fancy rooftop terraces and see the amazing architecture while enjoying the view of the financial district from across the river where so many memories were made. Last but not least, the experience wouldn’t have been the same if I didn’t share it with the other interns. Networking and creating long-lasting friendships with people from all around the world was the most beneficial part of this program.

Thank you Absolute Internship for the unforgettable experience! I’ll see you soon, Shanghai.

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