Having a placement abroad was the best choice I have ever made, as I had an interest in Asia, particularly China. My internship was with a green technology company, Eco Built Systems, which provided me with experience of working within this sector, as it is an area I would like to work with in the future. Since there has been a large focus on the environmental movement within China, I thought it would be best to undertake a placement in Shenzhen, known as a hotspot for green technology. I feel as if my time in China will have helped me gain an edge over others in my applications, and I have managed to narrow what part of green tech I’d like to work in in the future (marketing), due to the fact that this was my main role at my company. Not only did I really enjoy my work, but I felt as if I was contributing a lot towards my host, and I could see my work being used – it wasn’t just menial work that I was assigned. I was entrusted with data collection, and independent work, giving me a lot of responsibility as an intern.
My overall experience of Shenzhen, China was nothing like I had expected – it had a mix of the traditional, and the modern, a perfect blend for cultural visitors, as well as being able to experience such a vibrant city on a completely different scale from what I knew back in the UK. The city itself had an energy that swept you up in the bustling city life, and in the first few days, I had fallen completely in love with the area. I originally applied for Shanghai before changing my application for Shenzhen, but my time there was so good that I knew that I had made the right choice in changing cities, as the friends I made with the other interns, the city, and its proximity to HK meant that Shenzhen had everything to offer me in a city, and it was everything I sought, including my first time at a KTV night (something which I wouldn’t have dared try back home)! All I can say is that when it comes to trying new things, Shenzhen is a good place to be.
I’d fully recommend this program to everyone looking to gain an advantage in the job market, and also for those who wish to combine travel experiences alongside working – living in China gives you a completely different perspective on what it means to work, travel, and just generally being able to find your own way around! I think after this entire journey, I have come out being more confident, more independent, and sure of what it is that I want in a job. I realised now that I would prefer to be in an international placement, preferably back in Shenzhen; this is something I did not realise before having my experiences there.