At the end of my first year in law, I was starting to look for opportunities to improve and differentiate myself from other graduates. Interning through CRCC was one of the best decisions for me – I was able to improve my Chinese language skills, I made great friends and I have since leveraged this international experience to secure a role in my area of interest.
Working in an international environment has given me more perspective in relation to the way businesses operate and the importance of networking. I’ve been able to improve on my Chinese language skills and I was able to leverage my experience in China to get my foot through the door in corporate law back home. Working in a Chinese firm, I felt like the environment had a very communal feel – everyone was there to look after each other. Don’t be afraid to talk to people – especially your colleagues. Everyone wants to get to know you so if you approach them and say hi – they can show you around and it’s so much more fun to have friends at work.
It was freezing in the mornings but I’d try to get up early to beat peak hour public transport. I’d pick up some street food (a steamed bun or a crepe) for a ridiculously cheap price to nibble on as I walked to the nearest metro station. The trains were clean and fast – overall a very pleasant experience unless it was peak hour. Getting to work in the business district was a great experience for me. The buildings were all new and towered above me. I’d arrive at work feeling fresh and motivated. At work I was assigned various research tasks and some translation/proof-reading work. Everyone worked on laptops and I had a lot of autonomy with my work. Lunch was fun – if you knew where to go! Every building has a food court inside so you need to know where to look for food! Everyone would finish up around 5pm – I stayed back on a few occasions to wrap up some of my tasks and also to attend a client meeting. I was able to attend dinner with the client and also sit in on a pitch by our client to some potential investors. After work I’d explore the city – everything is open till late so you can definitely fit in some food and shopping (Go to hotpot at Hai Di Lao – the lines can be long but the food and service is impeccable. You can get your nails done or your shoes polished while you wait. Make sure you order the “dancing noodles”.). I also loved walking along Nanjing Road at night because it was always bustling and the lights are amazing!
Since returning home, I’ve been continuing with my degree and working part time in my relevant field of law.