Written by Kara Leckinger
I gained so much knowledge and life experience being part of the Shanghai Internship program through CRCC Asia. I always dreamed of coming to China and I started studying Chinese in high school. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to combine my travel in China with a professional internship program that gave me depth and knowledge about Chinese business.
I worked for a blockchain company founded in China. Specifically, I worked on a start-up AI/blockchain project providing verification and authorization technologies for the second-hand luxury goods market. I worked on a variety of projects including writing use cases, researching and writing media publications, providing analysis for the financial token sale, meeting with investors and team members, and working closely with marketing/social media channels.
“I had a fantastic experience at my host company and developed what I know will be lasting relationships with my co-workers,’
I worked directly under CMO and Co-Founder, who taught me so much about Chinese business and skills for success. I had a fantastic experience at my host company and developed what I know will be lasting relationships with my co-workers. I developed an advanced skill set I can apply to future jobs including problem solving, business and data analysis, communication, and writing skills.
In addition to my work experience in Shanghai, I took advantage of the opportunity to travel and explore China. I visited several highlights around Shanghai and took several weekend trips outside of the city. I took the high-speed train to Beijing, flew to Xi’an, and took the train to Suzhou, Zhouzhuang, Hangzhou, Nanjing, and Zhuji. Each trip was amazing and expanded my cultural and world knowledge. I did my own research and preparation (including finding hotels, trains, flights, tours, restaurants etc.) and mainly traveled by myself to all these sites.
Navigating a city or new culture by myself was a little scary at first but became a new norm and exciting experience. I gained a significant amount of self-confidence and awareness from my travels. I stepped outside of my comfort zone to interact with those I would not have before, navigated foreign places, and had things not always go my way.
“The friendly and knowledgeable staff at CRCC was always available to provide advice on travel plans or any and every question I sent their way!”
All my trips were incredibly rewarding experiences and I would not have done anything differently! Some of my favorite memories were a City Wall bike ride and viewing the Terracotta Warriors in Xi’an, going to Shanghai Disneyland (2 times!), a canal boat ride in Zhouzhuang, walking along the Great Wall in Beijing, and seeing the Songcheng Romantic Show in Hangzhou. The friendly and knowledgeable staff at CRCC was always available to provide advice on travel plans or any and every question I sent their way!
“Just say “yes” to new experiences and don’t look back!”
I highly recommend this type of program for anyone interested in experiencing China while gaining cultural immersion in the workplace. Of course, it was a little nerve wracking to arrive in a foreign place and experience a new living situation, new food, new people, and a foreign culture and language. My advice is to take advantage of seeing as many new things as you can and meet many new people. Just say “yes” to new experiences and don’t look back! I have developed many long-lasting relationships while in China and will treasure the memories from my travel adventures in this beautiful country.