Elanor Wolverson was awarded CRCC Asia’s annual Cambridge scholarship and interned in the business sector in Beijing. We had the opportunity to ask Elanor about her experience in Beijing and the benefits her experience has had for her professional and personal development.
What motivated you to apply for the CRCC Asia Cambridge Scholarship?
My motivations for applying for the scholarship were two fold. One reason was that I wanted to do an internship in a country outside of the UK. This is because we live in such an interconnected world that it was important to me to experience a different business culture. A second reason was that I also wanted to enjoy my summer. As a university student, the amount of time we have free during summer is far more than we get as professionals. The scholarship seemed a perfect way to combine learning new skills and adventure.
What first made you interested in living and working in China?
The main motivation for wanting to work in China is because of the future potential of China. China is the world’s second largest economy and the scholarship gave me the opportunity to experience and understand in more depth Chinese business culture. This insider knowledge will make me stand out to future employers. Many companies look favourably on internships, and the fact that I undertook an internship in China shows that I have a global outlook.
In recent years I began to hear more and more about the rise of China, and I wanted to experience China first hand. At the end of the day China has surpassed my expectations in every single way, and I have enjoyed my time here immensely. Research by global banks and think tanks all point to the continued economic success of China, and so China will continue to be an increasingly attractive place for young professionals. Thus, this experience has given me a huge advantage.
What was the most memorable moment of your internship?
The most memorable moment of my internship was the by-product of the torrential rain. This led to flooding outside the office and (looking back) it was interesting to experience the chaos that a few days of intense rain made to subway stations and roads. It was an enjoyable experience to try and navigate through the minor flooding with my co-workers.
What is the biggest professional lesson you have learnt during your internship?
The biggest lesson I have learnt in the professional sphere is the importance of organization and responsibility. A large amount of responsibility was given to me from the first day, and it was only due to the fact that I was organized that I completed all the tasks on time. I also found that it was useful to seek work out when I had completed it and had nothing to do. A lesson I learnt in the cultural sense was the idea of “face” and the importance of not “losing face”.
How you think your experience will equip you for the future?
This experience has been invaluable for the future. It has only made me more certain in my choice to work abroad once I graduate. An internship in China has also made me realise the opportunities that are present in China. Gaining exposure to the range of start-ups, and seeing first-hand the rapid development of many SMEs in Beijing has shown me the potential for entrepreneurs and careers in Beijing. This experience also showed me the necessity of independence and self-driven motivation.