Cristine Christodou

Having achieved the best of my academic abilities so far, I felt that in order to compliment my academic pursuits that I should also undertake practical working experience to maximize everything I have learned. In today’s job market it is not only academia but also putting theory into practice which appeals to employers therefore I had made the decision of making myself more intriguing to future employers by working and living abroad. And where else could this adventure better begin than in China?

It was natural to feel anxious at first but at the prospect of living and working in Shanghai and the realisation that it can really become your reality made it all the more worthwhile. The moment you check-in your luggage at the airport and you then receive your boarding pass toShanghai, there is no turning back: you are finally on board your own extraordinary voyage.

Part of my voyage was interning at a Chinese law firm which gave me the opportunity to use the skills I had been taught at university and apply them confidently despite being in a completely different environment. There was nothing to be stressed about as the people in the firm were very welcoming and were interested in my background.

Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it – In my opinion, this is Shanghai. The city has a lot offer and it is beautiful by day and night but you have to be ready to embrace it in all its chaos and glory.  From towering multi-coloured futuristic skyscrapers to more conservative and alluring buildings, I found that in every corner there was a little surprise waiting for me. Despite having to face the difficulties of such a fast-growing city i.e.; over-crowdedness, lack of communication with certain locals, change of dietary meals, it was in fact all part of an unforgettable experience. An experience where I have met some incredible people on the programme from all over the world and in the workforce and I have gained a new set of skills in which I hope to differentiate myself from other candidates when applying for jobs.

During my one-month stay in Shanghai, Mandarin lessons where held weekly at “Mandarin House” and CRCC Asia organised events such as the Welcome Banquet to introduce everyone, KTV night where singing was a must and a visit to the Migrant Children’s Foundation school. All these events have contributed into bonding with the other interns but they have also provided a glimpse of understanding the Chinese way of life and the ability to adapt to such a diverse culture.

This has definitely been a memorable experience where I have gained a profound insight into Chinese business culture and has made me even more aware of the significance of respecting, appreciating and embracing other cultures. I have thoroughly enjoyed living and working in Shanghai and I would deeply recommend to everyone who wish to submerge themselves into this exciting and innovative world.