My internship in 2011 was a great experience and definitely enhanced my C.V. helping me secure a job after University. Not only did my time in China give me experience of working in a professional environment, I also developed my personal skills throughout the internship. A great educational background isn’t enough to secure a top job in the current climate, having an internship in China certainly makes you stand out from the crowd.
Working in China may sound like a daunting prospect, the challenges of a different culture, language barriers and living and working with strangers. However these ‘strangers’ quickly became good friends. As soon as I landed in Beijing and met my fellow interns and the CRCC Asia staff I was made to feel welcome. One has to remember that everyone is in the same boat, furthermore the interns who had already completed their first month were a great help in showing us around Beijing.
Once the initial nerves had passed and everyone had time to settle in it was time to begin the work placement. I was placed within an online gaming and social media company called RenRen, they are very similar to Facebook, even with the blue and white logo! CRCC Asia make sure you have a buddy within the company who helps you integrate into your department which was a great help. My buddy was called Di and went to University in England so the language barrier was immediately resolved. My main role was to compile company reports on small online gaming companies who RenRen viewed as prospective takeover opportunities. At the end of my internship it was hard to leave as I had grown attached to my team, they even took me out for dinner as a leaving party!
Along with the work placement Mandarin lessons are a big part of the internship, I began as a complete novice with no previous experience of the language. Although not the easiest of languages to pick up, by the end of my internship I was able to understand instructions in Mandarin and hold simple conversations. Additionally I would ask my colleagues at work for help with my Mandarin and return the favour by helping them out with their English. I believe this really enhanced my relationship with my other team members and made the experience much more enjoyable.
Being an intern at CRCC Asia is not all about work though, during my time in China I managed to take in the Great Wall of China, watching a Chinese football match, volunteering at a local school for orphans and much more. Whilst the work side is obviously very important the social side of the internship was great too. Living with your fellow interns helped build lasting friendships which are still going strong now.
I would definitely recommend the CRCC Asia, not only did it enhance my CV and experience of working abroad; I had a great time doing it too. Many of the qualities I gained and developed are essential for my current role on the Finance Graduate Scheme with Tesco, without the internship with CRCC Asia it would be much harder to get a job with such excellent prospects. Although it is a big decision to make, don’t be afraid to take it, it truly is an excellent opportunity that will stand you in good stead for the future.