The time that I spent in China has provided me invaluable experiences on a personal and professional level. I came across the CRCC programme when a university lecturer of mine encouraged me to apply for one of the scholarships on offer. I was immediately attracted to the prospect of working and learning in China. I was extremely lucky to win a partial scholarship for this chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to live and work in China has many benefits, specifically gaining work experience that will benefit me in future job prospects.
I worked in a company called LegalMall which is a subsidiary of Ray Yin & Partners. It deals with foreign clients looking to establish a business presence in China or to deal with a legitimate Chinese business. It provides services such as company verification, certificate verification, finding a lawyer, recommending a supplier and providing free consultation.
During my internship most of my time at the beginning was spent redesigning and making changes to the company website. From making sure the layout is clear and user-friendly, to what the text would actually say on each webpage to attract more clients. This was the first time I’ve done something like this so I learned a lot. I had never done any marketing before so that was a good experience. I also enjoyed researching about and writing business articles on Alibaba. I enjoyed the independence during this task as I was required to use my own initiative regarding the research about the topic. I learned a lot more about current business news on online trading in China which I found very interesting. Furthermore the opportunity to learn from a Chinese perspective on business has helped me develop as a young professional.
The company that I worked for encouraged team work in different projects, so that was an added bonus to be able to say I’ve done teamwork projects in China. I think in most western countries, having international work experience especially in a country that is fast-paced and vibrant like China is becoming more highly regarded these days. Learning and adapting to a completely new culture and a different way of doing business really is a priceless life achievement. It shows to prospective employers you can adjust to a new situation and you are willing to learn new things and gain a different perspective in life. I feel like this would really boost my CV and help me to really stand out from the crowd.
For future interns, I would suggest that they create a plan at the very beginning of their internship of the type of work they want to get involved in. They should ask for more work which they feel would be more suitable to their skills and interests. It may be helpful if the interns get involved in or at least attend all important company meetings so they get an insight as to how important corporate decisions are made and the thought process behind them.
CRCC was literally like a parent and a close friend at the same time. From picking us up at the ferry port to providing us with a local sim card and a book guide showing must-see local tourist places and restaurants, their level of help and guidance was definitely above and beyond my expectations.
The best part of my experience in China, was the people from all over the world I was lucky to meet. They have the same drive and ambition, and are also goal-oriented individuals like myself. They inspired and taught me that I need to get out there more, travel and learn more. They encouraged me to become connected to as many people as possible coming from different cultural backgrounds. Building relationships through networking connections is the most basic and central part of doing business in China. Through this, not only do you get by day-to-day activities, you really advance yourself when it comes to achieving goals or seeking business or personal advice.
It is important to come with an open mind and with the right attitude, you will most definitely enjoy your time in China. With its rich culture, fascinating history and very hospitable locals, it is hard not to fall in love with this beautiful country.