Over the years, InternChina has amassed an alumni network of thousands of people. Some of our former participants have returned to the UK and secured prestigious graduate jobs. Many have taken up jobs in Asia and others have travelled the world. We love to hear about our alumni and what they are up to. So, naturally we were delighted to recently hear from Abi Prendergast, who has followed her dreams of being a writer internationally after completing an InternChina programme in 2017. Abi has told us all about her experience in Zhuhai, and how it helped her to realise an ambition that she could only once dream of.
Here is her story.I am a former University of Sussex student and completed an internship with InternChina in 2017. I just wanted to reach out and say thank you for the amazing opportunity.
Since graduating, I have set up my own business as a content writer and I am now traveling the world. I work with clients from all different fields. And I have been able to do this thanks to the company I interned with. Amazingly, they allowed me to continue working from them remotely. This helped me get the confidence to approach other companies and by the time I graduated, I already had enough clients to make writing my full time profession.
It has been nearly two years since I left for China. I still do regular work for Delta Bridges remotely, although they are no longer my sole client. I am planning on meeting them soon for dinner in South East China. I can’t wait to see them all again and do some more networking.
It has been my dream to write and to travel since I was in school, however, I never thought it would be possible. Especially not a few months after graduating. The internship has shown me what is possible and has given me the confidence to do what I love and the experience to go with it. I have networked with other companies I met during my internship and have ongoing work from other media outlets in China. So it’s all been very exciting!
So overall, I just wanted to say thank you, because InternChina has changed my life. I am forever grateful to everyone who was involved in making the experience possible for First Generation Scholars at the University of Sussex. I could never have anticipated being where I am now.
– Abi Pendergast: InternChina 2017 Alumni
My name is Ingo, I am a student from Germany majoring in Business Administration & Engineering. Since mid-February I have been working as an intern at a British company in Qingdao. The company provides solutions for environmental protection using their purge and pressurization units to prevent dust, corrosives and other non-hazardous gases from contaminating electrical equipment installed in enclosures close to process applications. My task is to elaborate new functions in the enterprise resource planning system, elaborate and installing a shop-floor information system and support the factory supervisor. I am well integrated in the team and I am glad to have the chance to do an internship in Qingdao and in this company.
For the duration of my stay in China I am living at a homestay family. It is a small Chinese family with a little child. The home of the family is in Shuan Shan area near a big mall and well connected to public transport. The latter is very important for me due to my daily commute to work. I get breakfast and dinner at the family. The breakfast is most of the time a Chinese kind of porridge, boiled eggs and fried bread. For dinner, I am mostly at the parents of my guest mother. There I get all varieties of Chinese food – her father is an excellent cook. Occasionally, my homestay family invites me to meet their friends or to go on a trip. Also, my guest family speaks very good English – to the detriment that my Chinese knowledge is still stagnating on a low level.
Qingdao is regarded as a holiday paradise. The city is located directly by the sea and has several beaches. Near the city, the Lao Shan Mountain is located, from which– depending on weather – a wide view over the whole region is possible.
I do not regret my decision to do an internship in China and I am looking forward to my four remaining months in Qingdao!
Not many people from the West have heard of Qingdao, but to Chinese people and westerners living in China, Qingdao is one of the most sought after living destinations in the whole country. The mix of clean air, pristine beaches, a moderate climate, active expat community and its close proximity to Beijing and Shanghai make Qingdao a dream location for ‘foreigners’ living in China. Qingdao is a city with over eight million inhabitants, about 2.5 million of which live in the downtown area, and boasts the third busiest shipping port in Asia. To read more about Qingdao – click here
This month’s featured internship is with a Qingdao expat magazine company called REDSTAR. This magazine company is the number one seller in the City. They are cool, edgy and always the people to turn to to find out what is happening in Qingdao. The English magazine and WeChat account serve as Qingdao’s Official Guide. In addition, they also offer comprehensive contract publishing services (print and web), event services, translation and sourcing. Their office is open plan and they often have live bands playing in the evenings. It is the perfect place for creative people to thrive. This is a great platform for interns to publish and showcase their own writing skills and build up a strong portfolio of professional work. Find out more about REDSTAR from their website.
We have been talking to Sophie Comber about her experience of interning at REDSTAR.
IC team: What is your role at REDSTAR?
Sophie: My roles at the REDSTAR magazine’s open plan office have so far included journalist, social media operator, website operator, and English grammar and style editor.
IC team: What are your main tasks?
Sophie: I have used my journalistic skills for research, carrying out interviews, and writing engaging stories for an expat family audience on timely and relevant matters. My writing has so far taken the forms of feature stories, current world events, upcoming event promotions, restaurant reviews, music promotions, and film reviews.
When the magazine is a few days from completion, I read over its entire content to check the grammar and style. A few weeks ago, I also decided upon a system for how the magazine should refer to Chinese words in regards to pinyin, characters, and tones.
IC team: What have you learnt from your internship?
Sophie: As is usual for China, REDSTAR puts a great deal of emphasis on the Chinese social media app WeChat, which was not an app I had used much before. I have gained skills in the area of social media and online layouts, producing WeChat posts about a great number of topics. Previously, I had little experience in lifestyle writing, my experience mostly being in the area of hard news and current affairs, so I welcomed this widening of my skill set.
IC team: What do you like best about REDSTAR?
Sophie: REDSTAR has an informal, friendly atmosphere with cheerful co-workers. We are all always willing to be supportive and lend a hand to each other—one of my favourite rituals of the day is going out together to buy lunch from one of the many delicious local eateries!
Andrew studies ‘International Hotel Management’ in his 3rd year at the University of West London. He is enrolled in a four year program in which one of the years must be spend abroad which led him to apply for an internship at the Crowne Plaza Panda Garden in Chengdu.
The 5 star hotel is located 45 minutes outside of the city center and is only 5 minutes away from the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding which is the biggest facility of this kind in the world. It is home to 60 giant pandas, but also has some red pandas and it is one of the biggest reasons foreign guests come to stay in the Crowne Plaza Panda Garden.
Andrew decided to do an internship in China to gain experience in an international company, where he is able to practice the knowledge he learned in several of his classes.
“I really enjoyed studying finance because it will be of great value to me when I obtain my goal and become a general hotel manager in the future.”
The main tasks of Andrew’s internship are making sure that the foreign guests will have an excellent time in Chengdu. As soon as they arrive, he prepares them with a welcome pack, a map of Chengdu as well as the panda base and makes sure they have everything they need.
“I start working at 11am every day, which gives me enough time to work out. Sometimes I even go for a swim in the pool. Afterwards I often eat pancakes and bacon in the hotel restaurant before I get ready for work.”
Andrew gets to experience the dream of living and eating in a 5 star hotel every day.
If you want to know more about Andrew’s experience and see how the hotel looks like, watch our video below:
If you are studying something similar as Andrew and want to gain international experience, apply now!
1. Tell us a little about yourself
My name is Conor and I’m from near Belfast in Northern Ireland. Currently I’m studying Mechanical Engineering at Queen’s University Belfast. My biggest interest back in Ireland is probably playing Gaelic football, an Irish sport that came along before rugby and soccer. I came to China this summer because I wanted a fun and challenging new experience. ‘Measure once cut twice’ is my mantra!
2. Tell us something about your internship. What is your average working day like?
My internship has been a thoroughly challenging and rewarding experience. The role I have taken up here has encompassed many different things but mainly design engineering. I have been involved in numerous projects in which we have come up with innovative design solutions. For instance, we are manufacturing a 40 metre composite roof structure for a project in the Philippines. Some aspects of the design needed to be developed further and I played a key role in this.
3. What did you gain from your experience in Zhuhai and/or China in general?
From my experience in Zhuhai, I have made many friends from all walks of life that I will continue to have for the rest of my life. I went to experience the culture of China which is very different and I’ve seen things here, that would be headline news for days at home, simply shrugged at.
4. Is there a funny story you’d like to share?
Funny story? Few inside jokes that probably aren’t appropriate but funniest thing that happened to me was probably getting stranded 30km from Yangshuo after running the electric scooter battery flat along with 7 others, getting spilt up with no reception and having to make our way back. Eventually after ages of door to door, a guy towed us back with a motorbike… but we made it back alive and did what anyone would do following our ordeal… went straight to the bar.
5. What advice would you give to future interns and would you recommend doing an internship in China?
Advice would be to keep trying new things, be it food, places, people – just get out there and get stuck in. I would say that coming here has been the coolest thing I’ve ever done and if I could I would love to stay for longer. So yes, I would recommend coming!
Does that sound just like what you would like to experience and add to your CV? Then apply now!
Sooo, after a first plane delayed, a connecting flight missed, an unexpected stop at Hong Kong and a 5 hour delay on my last flight, I finally landed! It’s been three days since I arrived and I’m already in love with Chengdu. But maybe I should introduce myself first… So, my name is Paloma, I’m from Nice, in the south of France, and I’ll be working for three months for InternChina in the Chengdu Office !
With a long standing passion for Chinese culture and language, I recently completed a bachelor degree in international relations and translation in Chinese and English at the Catholic University of Lyon in France.
This passion pushed me last year to take part in a linguistic trip to Shanghai and Suzhou (also known as the oriental Venice) for a month with 5 of my friends. Travelling in those cities was a good opportunity to improve my mandarin as well as discovering more about the culture(and the local clubs ! :D). When I got back to France, my feeling was that I definitely had to discover more about China and more places. Actually, the only thing I had in mind was to go back to this country. I wanted to have a very deep immersion in Chinese culture, and what other better city than Chengdu ? After a month of researching and scanning all the internships websites ; I came across the InternChina one and saw a great opportunity. During my training I always heard about the Sichuan food, with the famous Hot Pot (火锅) or the spicy peanut & chicken (宫保鸡丁), but also about all the wonderful and unique places in the Sichuan province such as Jiuzhaigou, the Emei mountain or the Huang Long valley. It will also be interesting to be where one of China’s greatest poet Du Fu杜甫 realised a huge part of his work. This place is full of treasures that I’m so exited to discover! Apart from that, I’m also going to work, and life in the office is gonna be pretty busy this summer, but the IC team is great and very welcoming since the beginning (Especially Martin, the Chengdu Office marketing intern who waited for me until 4 am the night of my arrival 😉 ). Hopefully, I’ll be doing a master in international marketing in Suzhou next year, and I see this internship as real opportunity to broaden my knowledge in this field. I’m sure I’ll have an amazing time here and I’m looking forward to meet new people!
Hello everyone! My name is Anita, I’m 22 years old and I’m Polish. This is my 2nd day in China and I must tell you I’m getting more and more excited about my stay here. Being in China for the first time I’m still a little overwhelmed (positively of course!) with all the things happening around me. I’m also very jet-lagged… 😀
I’m joining the InternChina team here in Chengdu for 3 weeks. It doesn’t seem like a lot but I’m sure I will have great fun and I hope I will be productive during office hours. Well, I’m sure I will! 🙂
I only just completed my Bachelor’s degree in International Management at Bournemouth University in the south of England. As you can figure out, my internship with InternChina is not only fun but also works really well with my university degree and future career plans. I would like to start a Master’s degree course this Autumn, and this time I want to study International Business with a focus on Asian countries. Experiencing China just before I start my next degree is a great way to get me even more curious and excited about the next academic year.
I will be attending Mandarin Chinese classes during my time in Chengdu. The language seems to be difficult and challenging but I’m sure I will be able to master some basics. I would love to have a simple conversation with a Chinese person in Mandarin at the end of my stay in China. Fingers crossed!
Are you interested in coming to Chengdu? Find out about your opportunities here.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Marie, I’m from Cheshire, UK and have recently graduated form the University of Manchester with a degree in Linguistics.
Tell us something about your internship.
I stayed in Chengdu for 2 months and worked for a start-up company. My job role was really varied – writing articles, contacting potential partners, product innovation, regulating social media and customer service. My mentor was the CEO and founder of the company; he was really great at giving me his time – whether it was to discuss new ideas or whether he was offering business advice. The time I spent with my mentor was invaluable; I learned so much. My internship was matched to me perfectly. Not only have I gained more experience than I thought I ever could have in two months, I have a new wealth of knowledge that will really help me start my career in the UK.
How was Chengdu?
I really loved Chengdu. Relaxed but vibrant, delicious food and countless must-sees, most of my weekends were taken up with a trip somewhere. Although it could be hard at times with the language barrier, people were always willing to help. The nightlife is good here too – my favorite being Helens bar, I think that is one of the things I will miss the most.
Did you try any strange food?
My boss ordered Hot Pot to work one afternoon, I didn’t know all of the ingredients but cow stomach was in there!
How was your average weekend?
I really love to explore so I often used my weekends to travel out of Chengdu. I went to Leshan, Jiuzhaigou, Liujiang ancient town and the panda base. If I stayed locally, I would usually be found in Helens or in Book Worm – cosy western cafe (definitely recommend).
How was your average working day?
I usually begin the day my checking and replying the customer service emails, this takes me until lunch. After my colleagues have taken me for Chinese food or Burger King, my afternoon is spent doing a variety of things. I could be writing articles, press releases, contacting potential partners or finding material to post on social media. Sometimes I would Skype with journalists, telling them about a new feature or giving them information for a story.
Would you recommend an internship in China?
I would 100% recommend doing an internship in China. As the biggest growing economy in the world, to me it seemed natural to turn to China for an internship. Although I have learned so much from working here, I think the culture in general teaches you so much. It’s just different here and it’s hard to explain unless you been. I am yet to visit another country in Asia but I am sure that China is unique in that it can give you something that other places cannot.