“I was attracted by China culturally. I wanted to have work experience in a completely different culture, than simply intern back home in Germany.” The differences in culture and language turned out to be really challenging during his internship: “It was a very small company and only the two bosses spoke English. All the others spoke only Chinese. But I had to program with my colleagues in the company, so we had to communicate. This created really nerve-racking situations and therefore a lot of potential to grow!”
In spite of these challenges, Simon really enjoyed China and went back to travel around other destinations. He would even be happy to work again in Shanghai for a few months.
Being able to build an international network of friends is clearly the highlight of Simon’s experience: “I met people from all over Europe, America, Asia…this is crazy! We can’t see each other a lot, but we’re still in contact!”
Looking back on his academic and professional career, Simon strongly believes that his work experience in Shanghai helped him stand out: “It all turned out really well for me after the internship. I completed a Masters in Finance back home in Germany and now work as a consultant at McKinsey & Company. Demonstrating that I was able to handle difficult situations and work in a foreign environment was clearly a big plus.”
“Going to work in China on your own might be difficult, but CRCC Asia makes it so much easier by taking care of the visa and other administrative tasks. I definitely recommend it!”
Interview by Justine Olivier