I came across an e-mail circulating in my University offering a summer internship program in China. As I was always curious about the Chinese work environment and culture, I sent in my resume without much hesitation, hoping to gain some invaluable experiences.
I arrived in Beijing in July for a one month summer internship program organised by CRCC. I still remember the thoughts running through mind during my flight: ‘Is anyone picking me up from the airport?’; ‘How am I going to overcome the cultural differences?’; ‘Will I be able to make friends there?’ etc. Overwhelmed with curiosity, the warm welcome of CRCC’s staff at the arrival gate begins my delightful journey of experience.
Arriving 3 days before my internship, I was given ample time to settle down. CRCC’s staff swiftly settled me in by introducing me to the other interns and providing all of us with a welcome package which includes a detailed map of Beijing, a sim card with value, a Chinese translated pronunciation booklet, a detailed address of our service apartment and office, contacts of their staff and many more! Having settled in so quickly, the other interns and I decided to explore Tian’an Men and the Forbidden City. Our first attempt to take the subway was made easy and smooth with the help of the friendly Chinese people there.
On my first day of work, a CRCC staff took me to my office and introduced me to my supervising solicitor and buddy. My buddy spent an hour of her precious time to share with me their firm’s core values, needs and goals. Afterwhich she took me for a tour around the office and introduced me to the other lawyers. In no time, I felt like I was part of the firm and not merely just an intern. I was kept busy on most days; I assisted my buddy with research, translation and drafting. One of the main deal that I had assisted in was in relation to a mining investment in Zimbabwe. As most of the new rules and regulations set out by the governmental bodies in Zimbabwe were in English, I realised how incomprehensive those translated information were made available for the Chinese lawyers and investors.
Despite working full-time on weekdays, I still manage to make time to do some sightseeing. I managed to step foot on the Great Wall of China, explored the New Summer Palace, walked into the excavation site of Emperor Wanli’s tomb (Dingling) within the Ming Dynasty Tomb, visited The Temple of Heaven and even took a flight down to Xi’an to see the Terracotta Warriors. Apart from sightseeing, I did not miss out on the opportunity to catch a Chinese Opera and visit some of the local markets where I got to do serious bargaining with the shop owners. Due to time constraint, I only managed to go to the ‘must-go’ places, tasted the ‘must-try’ dish (Peking duck at Quan Ju De or Dadong Roast Duck)!
All in all, it was a well spent internship in China. I would definitely recommend people to visit China and/or apply for a summer internship. What I took back from this internship experience was amazing. Thank you CRCC for giving me this opportunity!