22 Jan Where did the time go?
Hi everyone, this will be my last week in Shanghai. I have been in Shanghai for a little of three weeks now, participating in a legal internship. Now that I can see that my time in Shanghai is coming to an end, I know that I will miss this place once I return home. My time in Shanghai has flown by, it literally feels like it was yesterday that I landed in Shanghai, anxious to explore a new city and to start my internship.
Being an intern at my law firm has been a phenomenal experience. I am so grateful to everyone at the firm for making me feel so welcome and actually taking a proactive approach to my learning and participation within the firm. This internship has felt like an smooth transition from being a student at university, into the ‘real world’ of working from 9am until 6pm. It is quite strange, but I actually prefer the consistency of a full working day to the fluctuating weekly timetables of university. I find that I can better anticipate and plan my day without wasting so much time working around my uneven university schedule.
The general structure of the intern program consisted of a combination of reading assignments, written assignments, lectures and discussions, drafting documents, and researching a new legal system. I believe that by combining university style learning approaches (the lectures and the discussions), with the more practical tasks around the office (the assignments and the drafting), helped with the transition. Participating in this internship has really opened my eyes to the working culture and routine within a law firm as well as an idea of what I can expect if I peruse a career as a lawyer. It will be interesting to compare the experiences of working as an intern in Shanghai with working as an intern in Australia.
Absolute has also made the effort to help us interns further the scope of our professional knowledge and contacts with industry nights/career speakers. Having sat through one of them, with another scheduled later tonight, I have found them, so far, informative and interesting. Attendance at these events are compulsory, however, they are, even if not relevant to your interests or areas of study, worth going to just for the sake of bettering yourself professionally. I suppose that there are a few statements and examples posed during the event that can be applied to most all professions if you listen to the speaker as if they are motivational speakers. In that sense, they make it clear that all of their successes have resulted from hard work and persistence and urge you to take the same approach.
In terms of professional development, I have found that even mingling with the other interns and the professionals in your workplace, strengthens your professional knowledge and expands your industry contacts as the people you are interning or working with now, may one day be your colleague or boss in the near future. Communicating and networking with others is paramount in this over-competitive employment market. Therefore, just in general, it goes without saying that you should take advantage of every opportunity to meet new people and start adding names to that contact list while you are here.