23 Aug Intern in China as an Architecture Intern
Every day the alarm goes off around 7 am, I get up, get ready and leave the apartment at around 8 am. Then the commuting starts. In the beginning I decided to take the metro to work, this means walking 15 minutes to the metro, getting in a full metro, hoping that you get in before the door closes and that there is some space left for you to breathe. After one stop you get out, walk the interchange to the other line, try again to get in the metro and get out after one stop again and then walk another 10 minutes to work. However, after one week I decided I did not want to travel by metro, so I decided to walk to work. This is a bit longer, but at least you are outside and seeing something of the surrounding area. However, you should not walk for the clean air in Shanghai, because there isn’t any.
I arrive at my work at 9 am, this is the time I start working. Despite the fact that I’m often the first one there, it won’t take long before everybody has arrived. With a group of 12 workers, it is always nice to work. At lunch they always take me to a different place for lunch, so I can really experience all the different food in Shanghai. They’ve already taken me to a Vietnamese, Japanese, local Chinese place and even some western food. The day normally ends at around 6 pm, unless there is a deadline.
To intern in China is definitely different than working back home. First of all, the hierarchy within the company is very present. As an architecture assistant the only assignments you get are improving the drawings of the senior architects. You don’t question why or try to improve the design, you only follow the orders. So in a way it is difficult to compare the work here to the theory we’ve learned in class.. Here, I don’t get the chance to design myself based on the knowledge I’ve required over the years and get comments on my designs.
What I’ve discovered about myself in these three weeks is that I don’t want to work in a company with such hierarchy. I think that I will not learn as much compared to a company where they teach the juniors and let them work on the projects in more detail. However I must say that the people and the atmosphere at work is wonderful to be around and I’m loving it.