Suzanne Finlay

Alexander Lesher
20th January 2012
Mia Josimovic
20th January 2012

As an Economics student, I took a year out to find my ideal career. The CRCC Asia opportunity arose and after comparing all gap year programmes, the Beijing internship suited my requirements. Beijing has just become the capital of the 2nd largest growing Economy in the world. Whilst living in an environment of recession, unemployment and cuts, a growing, thriving country was very attractive to me.

I worked for a new mobile phone company. My role was to spread the word of their new messaging app called Foxfly. My job title was Social Media Marketer; however, my job had a lot of variation, which never left me bored. My favourite aspect of the job was gathering a database of potential customers to review the app when it is launched. I developed a really good relationship with the reviewers and received good feedback from them. Every day, I was blogging on a variety of blog sites, twittering and designing marketing material such as competition posters. What I enjoyed especially was leading a meeting with the developers and telling them what improvements they could make. The internship taught me about different business practices and the importance of developing business relationships in Chinese culture (Guanxi).

Every night we were able to dine like kings at a banquet. The food portions were huge and prices were ridiculously cheap, not to mention the Chinese hospitality, smiles, and willingness to help. People were so interested in us and friendly and I loved practicing English with the locals. Beijing never sleeps at night the streets are bustling with many street food stalls. I loved browsing the markets which sold everything from souvenirs to snakes, starfish and spiders to eat. I enjoyed learning Mandarin so much so that I will continue evening classes at my university when I return.

I am excited to put my experience into my final year dissertation on Chinese business culture. I have first hand experience, contacts and knowledge; this will help me stand out to future employers. Now I can say that I have clearer vision of my future prospects and career goals. I could not have wished for a better experience in Beijing.