19 Feb My internship in the financial capital of China
Hello again Shanghai! So after a brief stay here in 2012 during the Chinese New Year – year of the Dragon, I decided to come back to the city, which captured and won my adoration 2 years ago. Doing an internship in the financial capital of China seemed appealing for more than just one reason and I have returned to complete that adventure and add many more memories from this amazing city.
A direct flight from Sydney, just shy of 10 hours and boom I had landed. On the flight I was sitting alongside another intern in the program who was from my home university and naturally we took a crash course getting to know each other. Following my arrival at the airport I met up with another intern from my hometown and we instantly became good friends before the program had even begun. Absolute Internship had organized an airport pickup for us and we set off towards the hotel, which we would call home for the next month. Arriving late on Thursday night we drove by a well-lit city, which was getting ready for another New Year, this time the year of the Horse.
After checking in to the hotel, we met up with the Program Manager and got a quick insight of the schedule for the next few days. The following day we discovered some amazing street food and waited for the arrival of the remaining nine new interns. The location of the hotel is fantastic and there are many outlets nearby including 24/7 convenience stores, a supermarket, a few restaurants, banks and many other facilities. The metro is a small 5min walk and is extremely easy to use. The metro connects you to most places and is not only exceptionally efficient but also very cost effective – courtesy of our travel cards provided by Absolute, practically free!
Friday night dinner was our first group dinner, a welcome dinner where we met some of the older interns who had been here prior to us. It was a fantastic way to get to know each other better and get comfortable with our roommates and fellow colleagues. I also learnt how to use chopsticks! Though it seemed impossible at first, I slowly got a hang of it. Following the dinner we went to a Chinese night-club called Phebe where we had an amazing time – cheap drinks and good music. It was a fantastic start to the program and I knew I was in for an extraordinary month ahead with my friends.
The following day we had an orientation breakfast with Absolute. Here we learnt about the Chinese culture, business etiquettes and even some basic Mandarin. Though we knew the language barrier would be a somewhat of a hurdle, luckily some of the other interns knew how to speak enough to get by. I was looking forward to starting my internship on Monday at a financial firm keen to learn and develop my skills further.
Finally Monday had arrived and it was our first day at our companies. Absolute dropped us off at our firms, though we knew taking the metro would have been just as easy – that’s how convenient it is! My firm specializes in financial planning, wealth management and other aspects of individual and corporate finance. I knew I would be able to learn a lot from this experience and take it back home and apply it.
I can’t wait to explore the city more and document my experiences along with the way. Till next time…..