My first month was a crazy adventure; I got to know a group of people all from different places around the world. I learned what it’s like to be in a professional environment and I learned a lot of personal lessons as well.
The first thing I loved about this program was my internship. I think I got really lucky and had the opportunity to work for an interesting company. So far, I have learned a lot and am continuing to be given more responsibilities as time goes on. The work environment is really enjoyable too because it’s very relaxed which is nice because this is my first job in the business field. This program has exposed me to many professional insights that I might not have gotten at home. For example, learning to work with people on an international level.
Just do it. Intern abroad because I haven’t a good enough reason not to. An internship in another country not only gives insight in an entirely different culture, but also the added benefit of “real world” working experience. Without question, I learn at a much faster pace when everything is hands on rather than taught conceptually and written in a textbook. For something as difficult and complex as laser-cutting I went from completely clueless to being able operate it without much of a problem within the first week. That extra time gave me the opportunity to branch out to other machines where I was taught to grind and polish and “tap” metals. As an intern, I’m curious about everything about my work. I’m encouraged to ask questions there and that gives me my motivation to learn more. When I started work in programming and 3D modeling, my supervisor was initially skeptical because I knew nothing about it and interns usually have some experience before coming here. But I was determined to learn it and asked if I could read the manual and would read it for hours on my own time. Eventually, he saw my progress and decided to give me actual work. In the end, I was given the opportunity to model for a large scale project and he was impressed that I was able to finish the framework for it by the end of the week.
Before I left my home in Melbourne, Australia; almost everyone I talked to reminded me to pack warmer clothes. Because even though I was technically going in summer, London summertime is lightyears different to Melbourne’s. or so they thought. London is currently experiencing a heatwave that is so very reminiscent of home, any homesickness has evaporated. I am regretting listening to their advice as most of my clothes are too warm to comfortable wear. Good thing there is Primark; an amazing store where you can get a whole new summer wardrobe for around 50 pounds (shoes included). I highly recommend visiting the one near Tottenham Court Rd Tube Station.
In the investment banking industry, there is no normal day at work. There cannot be any expectations going to the office everyday because every day presents new challenges and new projects to tackle and solve. The part of the day that is the most routine is the commute too and from work. One of my co-workers and I leave our hotel at around 8:15am each morning and walk to the nearest metro station. After riding the metro 4 stops we get off and walk to our tower in downtown Pudong. The scenery and cityscape is absolutely amazing. Its still seems unreal working across the street from some of the tallest buildings in the world.
Before my departure, everyone who had been to China explained to me that the difference was compared to “night and day.” That there would be people everywhere all the time and that most people knew English so not knowing mandarin would be alright. After a week I was able to quickly realize that Shanghai is a western city, far more than any other city or town in China. For that reason, I’ve eaten at a multitude of different places. These restaurants are run by people all over the world. Even though Shanghai is a western city, not many people speak English. It makes it rather difficult to complete simple tasks, but it enhances the authentic experience. Whether it is ordering food or interacting with locals in a social manner, it is always an interesting time. It has caused me to enhance my interpersonal and communication skills.