It was in the context of the Australian Federal Government releasing its White Paper on Australia in the Asian Century that I decided to apply for an internship in China through CRCC Asia. The paper highlights Asia’s transformation into the economic engine-room of the world, and the opportunities that this affords to Australia. The most significant player in this shift is China; the region’s largest economy and Australia’s biggest trading partner. In deciding to take the internship opportunity through CRCC Asia, I reasoned that in this environment having work experience in China would be viewed favourably by prospective employers. I also decided that the cultural and social experience of living in Beijing for a month made this opportunity much more attractive than doing an internship at home in Australia.
During my month-long internship with ACCA Beijing I developed many skills and had some invaluable experiences. I completed a number of research projects, updated marketing materials, proof-read business documents and visited business partners with my colleagues. In addition to this, I had the extraordinary experience of attending the ‘China Summit’ hosted by The Economist magazine. Speakers at this event included US Ambassador to China Garry Locke, as well as numerous influential Chinese professionals from business, government and academic backgrounds. My blog of this event was featured on ACCA’s social media.
At all times throughout my internship my colleagues were warm and welcoming. They took me to lunch each day, and I enjoyed the chance this gave me to get to know them and learn about their families and culture.
In addition to the wonderful experience I had at work, my time spent outside of work and enjoying the exciting city of Beijing was equally rewarding. Interns from different companies all live in the same apartment complex so there are ample opportunities for socialising and sightseeing together. I had the chance to visit the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven. I also had plenty of time to enjoy the abundant shopping, food and nightlife that Beijing has to offer.
CRCC Asia also arranges a number of optional events for interns. During my time these included a karaoke evening, weekly Mandarin lessons, tai chi, a networking event hosted by the Australian Chamber of Commerce, and a volunteer day at a school for people with learning disabilities. Of these, I particularly enjoyed the Mandarin lessons which taught me, among other things, how to order dinner at my local dumpling restaurant, and the volunteer day, which was both a humbling and enjoyable experience. I would strongly encourage any future interns to take advantage of these events.
Now that I have returned to Australia I am preparing to complete my final year of study and to apply for graduate work. I am confident that my experience interning in China will assist me significantly throughout this process. Overall I had an unforgettable experience in Beijing and look forward to returning. I would strongly recommend the CRCC Asia internship program to any student.