I started studying foreign languages at high school in Italy. I’d hoped to one day travel around the world gaining experience of other countries and cultures. While at university, I studied Chinese language, culture and history in order to challenge myself. After graduation, I realized my hometown was a little too small for me, and this led me to make best decision of my life: Go to China to test and improve my knowledge.
I heard about CRCC Asia via my university’s website, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. After attending a university networking event organized by CRCC Asia, I realized that this company would be able to give me the amazing opportunity to leave my comfort zone and live my biggest adventure so far.
I applied for a three month Internship Program, and secured a consulting internship in China. I arrived in Beijing in November 2016 full of hopes, wishes, and energy – but of course, I was also a little bit scared about my lack of experience and the fact that I was out here on my own. My main doubt was, ‘will I be able to face all this by myself?’
My experience was amazing: The CRCC Asia staff were always ready to help me and suggest how I ought to manage different situations. My consulting internship in China was really intense, but this was helpful for my future career. I was interning for a Chinese consulting company and my tasks were really varied: I had to do an advertisement for the company through the use of social media, help Chinese clients to find the best way to invest abroad and help them with the visa process and residence permit, and I also had to find English speakers for the EU funded-project, HORIZON 2020.
The team at my consulting internship in China were amazing. After three years, I’m still in contact with my supervisor!
Following this experience I had the opportunity to return back to Beijing for study and work. I left a piece of my heart in Beijing and I felt the need to return to this huge, lovely city every year.
Therefore, this year I started searching for a job opportunity in China to leave my home country of Italy once again.
I was scrolling through my emails and came across an opportunity to join the CRCC Asia team in Beijing. I sent my updated CV wondering if it was possible to work for this amazing, young company for a while. Two weeks later, I had my interview. It was a really quick process and after a few weeks I was on a plane destined for Beijing!
I chose to grab this opportunity not only in order to return to China, but also to experience working for this kind of company. I really like to test myself, be completely open minded and ready for any kind of opportunity. I thought it would be really cool to understand the operations of the company that organized my first internship in China. In addition, I also thought that it could be helpful for the team to get ideas from a former client.
Working for CRCC Asia is so interesting. I’m always learning new things, testing my ability to speak different languages every day, and interacting with different people and assisting them with various needs. CRCC Asia is not just a company where you sit at the computer every day for 8 hours. The job also involves a lot of interaction, communication, relationships, friendships, memories, opinions and emotions. This is what CRCC Asia offers me everyday: humanity. That’s not something you come across in every job.
At the same time, being a Program Manager in Beijing isn’t always easy. Organizing events for the interns also means being ready to help with lots of individual needs and issues. Interns are in a new country, a lot of them for the first time, and the differences in culture, behavior, food and language here can be difficult to manage.
Therefore, I would advise interns to treat this internship as an adventure. You should be open minded, curious, hungry for knowledge and ready to adapt to a new environment. Going to the office during your internship shouldn’t be considered as a duty, but as the first big step for your future. It’s a huge plus for your CV or resume.
If something doesn’t go to plan, that’s the time to think of solutions and how best to handle new situations. I’d also highly recommend attending the events organized by CRCC Asia, because they are a fun way to get to know more about China. The cultural events and the community outreach events are a perfect way to learn more about this amazing country and to get in touch with the people.
In summary, I think it’s really easy to fall in love with China. My first experience as an intern and this experience in the CRCC Asia team give me the chance to appreciate this country from a really wide perspective.
At the end of August I’ll be returning home. I know I’m going to miss Beijing a lot!
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CRCC Asia Program Alumni and Program Manager