21 Aug My internship in China
Based nearby to Shanghai Circus World, my office is situated within a large building made up of several different companies. The company I am working for is based on the 10th floor and upon entering for the very first time; my first impressions were that the office was welcoming, modern and professional. I am working as a Business Development Executive for a company who import European and American food and beverage goods to China. Their brand portfolio is vast and includes brands such as Alpen and Weetabix.
From day one at my internship in China I was given a lot of responsibility, and I have gained an abundance of new knowledge, in particular learning about the importation process in detail. I now realise that the theories I learnt at University are quite rigid, when in reality, there are always many variables influencing an outcome in business. I understood this after learning about the barriers to entry for goods being imported and I found this process fascinating. I have also gained a real understanding of the business culture here in China and how it differs from England, where I have gained my previous work experience. I have taken a lot away with me in regards to how the Chinese operate within business and it is so valuable to now have first-hand knowledge, which allows me to compare Western versus Chinese business culture.
I have been given an exciting project, working with a British tea brand that is keen to enter the Chinese market. Before starting my internship in China, I visited the London office where I gained extensive knowledge about tea and also their company history. I have now bought that knowledge with me to the company here to conduct market research, work on their brand marketing strategy and take part in promotional events. In the second week of my internship I was given the fantastic opportunity to pitch their range to Costa Coffee China. This was an invaluable experience and allowed me to experience pitching to a multinational company, which was very exciting! Furthermore, the internship has been varied in its work and has involved a lot of external meetings with clients, which has meant that I have been out and about from the office – I have had the opportunity to visit two big distributors and I have attended a large exhibition.
I think when completing an internship; it is what you make of it and you get out wh at you put in. I have learnt that I am extremely conscientious; willing to put in effort and keen to take on responsibility and this has meant that I have been rewarded with an exciting project and lots of opportunities. Within the Chinese culture there is a strong emphasis on building good working relationships and I think the foundation of this is built upon giving your manager and others a reason to have faith in you. Within work, my office colleagues are so friendly and I lunch with them every day. I have tasted the best food at work lunches and we haven’t yet been to the same restaurant twice! I couldn’t have asked for a better internship here in Shanghai and I am looking forward to seeing what the next two weeks ahead has to offer.