Tamara completed a 6 month internship at InternChina Chengdu in Marketing and Business Development. Here she reflects on her experience:
6 months, 3 seasons, 16 weeks of Chinese classes, 2 big delegations, endless amazing moments, situations and laughter- my time in Chengdu passed by in what feels like the blink of an eye. Because I wrote my introduction blog in English and would like to reach as many people as possible with this, I decided to write my final blog in English instead of German as well.
The overall experience was nothing less than amazing and I can totally recommend it to anyone who just thought about coming to China for even one second!
Because of my internship at InternChina I was able to spent time with the most incredible people from all different parts of the world, see beautiful parts of China, fall in love with Sichuan food (it’s hard to imagine my life without a little 花椒 Huajiao here and there!), develop my professionalism, learn Chinese, build my own 关系 Guanxi, make amazing Chinese friends, grow as a person…I could continue this list forever.
Getting Used to Chinese Life and Business
Of course it wasn’t unicorns and cotton candy all the time. Committing to come to a country you’ve never been to before and you barely (if at all) speak the language is not easy. Getting used to the noise, the manners, the amount of people and the culture is not easy. There have been moments when I was desperately looking for some kind of normality, the kind of normality I was used to- the well-organized, structured German normality. But you get used to the Chinese way of doing things much faster than you think! Once you start to embrace the differences instead of comparing two completely different cultures, countries and societies with each other constantly, you will be rewarded with one of the most incredible experiences in your life!
I admit, it did take me a while to get used to the way business is conducted here and to understand how things work in China. The importance of relationships and networks cannot be compared to anything similar in Germany. For this reason in particular, I was astonished to see how smoothly I got accepted within some of these groups as a foreigner with barely any Chinese skills.
The People – Chinese and Foreign
The appreciation and genuine interest I experienced from the Chinese people I met here literally blew me away! I have never been in a country where it is so easy to get to know people and make new friends. As a foreigner in China, especially in the 2nd tier cities, you are always something special but it is you who decides if you want to be stay put in the 老外 Laowai category or become something more by surrounding yourself with locals. And it doesn’t really matter whether these people are friends of your friends, the internship supervisor of one of our companies or the sweet 老板 Laoban of the restaurant you like to go to for lunch. All these were people I met and either became friends with or at least attached to.
Chengdu – Why I Won’t Forget You
Looking back now, I would actually state that I stayed in China a little too long because I managed to adapt pretty well if I may say so myself. I made friends, rediscovered my passion of dancing, found the the hidden spots in the city, discovered the best restaurants and managed to show all these places to my fellow interns and friends. I never expected Chengdu to become the place that it is now for me, a place where amazing memories reside- the city definitely has a very found place in my heart.
I can say for 100% that I will always look back at this time with a smile on my face and refer to it as one of the most challenging, exciting but also rewarding experiences in my life. I am so grateful that I was given the chance to leave my comfort zone and get to know so many inspiring and amazing people.
Come to China!
So again- if you´re thinking of coming to China to get some work experience do it- you won’t regret it! Thank you Chengdu and IC-family for all the memories!
To start your own adventure in China, apply now!