From Plants to Shanghai

intern china

From Plants to Shanghai

Apparently lots of good stuff can happen outside your comfort zone – learning, living, discovering etc. Going to a country to which I’ve never been, where they speak a language I’ve never spoken and working in a field in which I have little experience will probably push me out of my comfort zone at one point or another. So with any luck some of that good stuff might happen to me… or at least I hope so, because I just paid for my ticket to Shanghai!

My name is Lauren Roellgen and I’m a 19-year-old student from the University of Queensland, Brisbane, studying a Commerce and Science dual degree. I have just completed my second year of study and, along with two other college friends, thought an Absolute Internship would be a fantastic way to spend four weeks of the holidays – meeting new people, gaining some real-life international work experience in the field of Finance and experiencing a culture completely new to me.

intern china

Cotton on our property, ready to be picked!

china internship

My family and I often holiday at Cabarita beach in northern New South Wales with friends in the summer. It’s one of very few beaches where I am allowed to take my horse to the surf.

I am a farm girl at heart, having grown up on a cotton property, and am currently working in my summer job as a crop scout (mainly inspecting and reporting on insects, diseases and weeds in cotton crops). I love horse-riding, spending time with my family (I have a younger brother and sister) and friends, reading, playing music, travelling and swimming. While I’ve decided to major in Plant Science within the science facet of my degree, I am yet to decide between Accounting and Finance within commerce – hopefully working and speaking to some people within the industry will help me make that decision.

Not only will my change in job require me to do a complete 180, so too will the change in pace from rural Australia to metropolitan China. I’m going to have to be ready to GO! GO! GO! as soon as I arrive and keep my wits about me – bring on the challenge!

My parents are both German, so I speak it fluently… I’ve read about a few experiences where interns have been asked to make use of their second languages for business purposes – I’ll let you know in future blogs if I get that opportunity and, if so, how it goes! That being said, my current ability to speak Chinese is about as strong as my self-control when presented with new and/or delicious cuisine (i.e. non-existent). I aim to learn as much as I can though before I depart at the end of January so I’m not completely helpless.

I can’t wait to embark on this adventure! I am keen to meet many new people and make many new friends from different backgrounds through both my internship and Absolute. I will work to my utmost capabilities, even though I am anticipating, at times, feeling as though I’ve been thrown in at the very deep end.

It is nothing less than a privilege to have this opportunity and I will strive to grab it with both hands so that I can look back on my first trip to China fondly and with satisfaction.

So, Shanghai, ready or not, here I come!

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