Toni Pachernagg

My Internship in Shanghai can only be described as unbelievably rewarding, inspiring, eye-opening, and … fast. Everything was so fast! It wasn’t just the length of the internship; it was the language, the businesses, the people, the trains, the cars! It was a bit of a change from the good ol’ Brisbane life that was for sure and I loved it. It was great to be able to combine work and travel in such a way that it satisfied cultural curiosity whilst providing the professional development that will hopefully give me a leg-up in my career.

At the company I was placed I learnt more in my four weeks then I ever had in a semester at University. My main job was to conduct market analysis on trends in commodities, equities and bond markets and then make recommendations on possible investments strategies for client funds. I also had a side project to be completed over the month which involved creating a simplified guide / FAQ sheet for expatriates regarding superannuation in Australia. My supervisor was extremely giving in his knowledge and provided invaluable feedback at the end of the four weeks.

CRCC Asia were very helpful throughout the stay. I was immediately greeted at the airport gates, introduced to some fellow interns and taken to the hotel. The accommodation was good and the domestic staff was very helpful even with the distinctive language barrier! Reception spoke some English and they were always happy to write an address in Chinese for the taxi drivers. The induction day was very insightful and CRCC Asia always provided us with a weekly list of sites, activities and networking events to attend, which was handy.

The Highlights though would have to include the wide range of people I met and connected with, not just fellow interns but the locals and expatriates living locally as well (there were so many expats from literally everywhere!). The ability to travel on the weekends was another highlight, it was all so cheap! The dragon trip to Hangzhou is a must do and if you’re able to organize a weekend trip to Beijing then DO IT. I highly recommend.

I would say my Personal development throughout this experience was huge. I had never travelled by myself before let alone to a country where, in most cases, I would be essentially incomprehensible to locals! It has improved my self-confidence and a I now have much greater appreciation of Asian culture and the mandarin language (not quite sure I will ever be able to master that..ha.) Academically and professionally it was virtually an invaluable experience. It is easy to read a text book and pass and exam but the actual application, that’s a different story. Like I said before, I was lucky enough to be put with an extremely knowledgeable advisor who was very supportive when it came to some of the more difficult tasks. I now feel I’m that little bit more prepared to enter the professional field.