Shanghai welcomed me with a blast of hot air, a wave of tired travelers, and a fight that broke out due to a K-Pop group.
After a grueling 14-hour flight, my friend and I arrived at Pudong International Airport where we were greeted by our program coordinators and a few of the other interns in the program. We were taken to our apartment where we would be living for the next six weeks; Initially, I was worried about the size and utilities of our living space, but I was pleasantly surprised by a large, apartment-style hotel with modern televisions, a functional kitchen, and my own separate bedroom.
Traveling to China was a fantastic experience with countless opportunities to learn and develop as a person. My biggest piece of advice to a future intern is to not have any expectations coming into your trip and internship. Come with an open mind to learn as much as possible and let the experience change you and develop you, as it will. If you come with a certain mindset of how the time is going to be or how you think it should be, you will be disappointed in the end.
My time throughout Shanghai was filled with ups and downs. There were many moments of being uncomfortable. From my internship to interacting with the locals, I was always coming across something new. That is what this trip is all about. Putting yourself outside your comfort zone to create meaningful experiences. It was a fun journey. From eating scorpions to working at an investment bank, the days were exhausting because of how much there was to do! Now that I am back home, I can already tell that I’m going to miss my time in China.
Pack light! While preparing for your excursion to the Far East, remember that you will have access to so many cheap products. These products are inexpensive and your times at the fake market will be some of the most fun experiences. You are able to purchase designer merchandise to authentic (or close to) sport clothing. You will quickly build up your wardrobe. I did not take advantage of this enough, but while shopping in the United States I regret not purchasing more clothing. It seems “sketchy” at first, but looking back, I could have saved a lot of money on wardrobe.
One of the best ways to gain real exposure to the business world is to be an intern. Work long hours and do the stuff no one has time for. Another way to put being an intern would be “busy work”. While that might not sound too appealing to young aspiring business majors, being an intern has changed my life.
An internship is an opportunity; an intern is going to get out of it what he/she puts into it. So, keep an open mind and look forward to work each day, even if there is not much to do. GO to work with a smile, “yes sir, no sir” have a positive attitude and your employer will love you.
Seeing the country side of China has made my internship experience one that I will never forget. At first, I did not really want to go to all these other cities on my weekends. However, after our first trip to Wuzhen I could not wait for the next trips. I saw some very strange behaviors, was treated like a celebrity and ate some of the most interesting smelling food on the planet.
My normal day usually starts at 9:30 am and goes till about 6:00 pm in the evening. I usually have a continuous project to work on for the pre IPO process. My company specializes in maximizing client experience by supplying the most exclusive, high-end, branded products and services of superior quality. In a nutshell, we are a client service company and we have to give our clients what they want and when they want it.
After nearly twenty hours of sitting down, I finally felt the bang of the 757 touchdown in Shanghai. As far as my eye could see was what looked like mountains of skyscrapers. The airport was packed but I really didn’t understand how gigantic the city was until the next morning.
Our very first speaker from Absolute Internship was also the best one of the lot. Her name was Jackie. Together with her Danish partner John, she created the Wagas empire, a chain of high-quality foods with dozens of stores in China.