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Goodbye, Zhuhai

Hi all, this is my last blog post with InternChina. My time in Zhuhai has come to an end, for now. It’s been a great experience, and one that’s taught me a lot.
My last few weeks in China have been fun and busy. I went to Danxia Mountain, in Shaoguan, on a weekend trip with InternChina. The mountain is well-known for it’s ‘male rock’ – so called for obvious reasons.

InternChina - Clearly, we all have a mature sense of humour
InternChina – Clearly, we all have a mature sense of humour

The Shaoguan area has some of the most beautiful landscapes I’ve ever seen. Pictures just don’t do it justice, but here’s one anyway:

InternChina - The most amazing view
InternChina – The most amazing view

Before heading back to the UK, I went on a business trip to Shanghai for a few days, which was cool. Shanghai is a massive metropolis. The cold and wet weather more closely resembled my natural habitat than the subtropical climate of Zhuhai.

InternChina - Wet weather in Shanghai
InternChina – Wet weather in Shanghai

I’ll be sad to leave, but I’ve made great memories here. I am grateful to the British Council for awarding me a place on their Generation UK scheme. Coming to China has been a life-changing experience. I would also like to thank my boss, colleagues, and everyone on the InternChina team for their support and hard work. I’ll miss my new friends, but I’ll be sure to stay in touch.

My internship experience has made me realise that China is not a whole world away – it’s more similar than I thought. At the same time, it has also given me a greater appreciation of the differences between our cultures.

My biggest obstacle before coming here was believing that China was too different and too distant, therefore I kept putting it off. However, with these things in mind and seeing this country for myself, I look forward to coming back to China in the future.

InternChina - See you soon China!
InternChina – See you soon China!

For your chance to  fall in love with China and experience an internship of a lifetime apply here!

Zhuhai Steps
InternChina – Zhuhai
Internship Experience

Yun Wong’s Internship Experience in Zhuhai

Yun Wong speaks about his still on-going internship experience in Zhuhai. Thanks to the British Council’s GenerationUK funding he had the “opportunity to really test and develop my knowledge and ability in a new and challenging environment”
Generation UKInternChina Internship Experience Yun
InternChina – Yun (first person on the right)
1

Tell us a little about yourself/ Tell us about your internship, your position

My name is Yun Wong and I’m a recent graduate with a degree in Chemical Engineering and Business Management.
Having pretty much spent the last 18 or so years in education. I wanted to really try something different before committing myself to a career path and a full time job.
When I heard about the chance to undertake an internship in China I knew this was huge opportunity to really test and develop my knowledge and ability in a new and challenging environment. If also gives me a greater insight whether or not I would enjoy the chosen industry sector.
I’m currently in my third week of a 2 month internship in Zhuhai. I am working in a marketing position for a company specialising in environmentally friendly and organic products. So far my work has involved shadowing one of the Directors to get to know the company and how it is run. I have also been asked to submit some marketing reports to bring a different perspective and viewpoint to some of the companies future plans.

2 baby blue
What do you think is different from a Chinese working environment to a Western one?
So far during my internship I really noticed that the workplace in Zhuhai has a much more communal atmosphere than those I’ve experienced back in the U.K. Although it may be due to the relatively small workforce in the office but everyone seems to pretty much know each other really well. There always seems to be a conversation going on in the office. Everyone seems to interact more as family or friends rather than associates.
With regards to the work I have been doing, the work has been very varied. Not everyday is spent doing the same thing. Some days I will be writing reports. others spent in meetings discussing expansion plans, discussing company website designs, attending dinners with business partners. I have even been out to the countryside to see first-hand the agricultural work and research being carried out by the company. I’m not completely sure what I will be doing when I get into the office so that definitely keeps things interesting.
Meetings with partner companies also seem to differ quite a lot than from what I have experienced back in the U.K.. Almost every firm I have visited has had a special table to make tea on for guests, meetings are generally feel a lot more comfortable and less formal. They seem to be more of a social occasion in which business is discussed rather than solely focusing on business matters. Also I’ve noticed that Chinese style tea is an essential part of any meeting, as all meetings I have been to I’ve been served a cup as a sign of hospitality.

3
What did you gain from the internship? Do you think it was helpful for the future? Why?

Even though I have only spent 3 weeks in Zhuhai, I have already felt more independent and confident in myself. It was quite jarring and intimidating to be suddenly living in a completely different country with a different culture and language. However, I found the best way to cope is just to relax and immerse yourself as much as possible. In the first week I was pretty nervous about interacting with the Chinese locals in case I did something wrong or offensive accidentally. Now I’m generally more confident when interacting with my colleagues or shop vendors, as I soon realised that people will generally be willing to help you if they see you are actively trying to participate. Hopefully I can carry this attitude into the future to help involve myself more and contribute more to any future work.
I have also gained some pretty good insight into some of the differences between Chinese and British cultural and business practices. Hopefully as China further opens up its economy to foreign companies, this knowledge and experience will give me an advantage should I be involved in working with Chinese partners in the future. Market research in China has also allowed me to see how Chinese consumer behaviour and trends differs from the Western counterparts so hopefully this can be utilised should any of my future work involve expansion into the Chinese market.
4
Why Zhuhai?

With regards to my desired internship sector of business and marketing, Zhuhai seemed to be a ideal place to intern. It has incredibly close ties to Hong Kong and Macau  as well as being very close to the Guangzhou (the third largest city in China) means that a lot of international business occurs here. This means there was a lot of opportunity to find out about business practices in China.
Another one of the main reasons I chose Zhuhai to carry out my internship was because I wanted to experience a different side of China than the mega cities that are always being shown on the news (with the grey looming building, smog clouds and cars everywhere). Zhuhai is such a contrast to this image, its incredibly scenic and green due to the climate, and the air quality is good due to its proximity to the coast. Also having arrived in November it was nice to go from a miserable British Winter to a climate with actual sunlight and warmth.
Even though its a small city (in comparison to the rest of China) there’s still loads to experience with regards to Chinese culture such as Temples, Palaces, nature spots, clubs and great food just to name a few. So I get the best of both worlds by getting to live and work in the more relaxed environment of a smaller city while still getting to experience China.

5
Would you recommend doing an internship with IC?
I would definitely recommend interning with InternChina,  They’ve were really helpful in arranging my internship and making sure the process of travelling to and settling into China went as smoothly as possible. They’ve been really approachable and helpful both before I got to China and during my time here so far. Before I came out to China, they gave me several different options for companies to hold my internship at, then when I chose the one I wanted they put me in touch with the company to talk through what the internship would be like and what I would likely be doing. Therefore I was already prepared for what was expected of me when I first got into the office.
IC also make sure that you get associated with the other interns quickly and hold weekly events and meals with the interns which was helpful in getting over the initial fear of getting into China and not knowing anyone here. Pretty much as soon as I got off the boat and dropped my stuff off at the apartment, I was invited to go meet some of the other local interns for some drinks, which pretty much put my fears of not knowing anyone here to ease, as well as leaving me even more jet-lagged than before.

Overall the guys in the office are pretty like-minded with the interns so they pretty much know what the essentials are for settling into the groove of working here. Also seeing as they’ve been in Zhuhai for a while, they know the best spots for going out, food, drinking etc. which has also been really useful as finding that information can be tough for a non-Chinese speakers.

INTERESTED

Internship Experience, Learn about China, Things To Do in Zhuhai, Zhuhai Blogs

Living the Zhuhai Life

Ni hao, everyone. In this blog post, I’ll write a bit about how life’s going in Zhuhai.
I’ve been pretty busy since my last article, and it’s true what everyone’s been telling me – time really does fly, here. I can’t believe that it’s already been three weeks!

Last week, I said goodbye to my flatmate, Rob. It was great to get to know him and he’s a cool guy.

InternChina - Leaving Dinner in Zhuhai
Rob’s leaving dinner. I’m the third from the left and Rob is the second from the right

My internship’s been going well. I’m working in a small team for an American company. My colleagues are all nice and interesting people. I like the fact that most of my co-workers are Chinese. This way, I get to learn more about Chinese culture. They also know all the best places to eat!

On the weekend, I went to my Chinese friend’s dinner party. The food was delicious – Chinese hot pot with an assortment of veggies, seafood and meat, not to mention a generous helping of beverages. It was really fun and I was surrounded by excellent company.

Internship in China House Party in Zhuhai
InternChina – Cheers!

The next day, I went on a Santa bar crawl. As a westerner, I already stuck out like a sore thumb. But as a Santa-Clause-dressed westerner, it’s fair to say that I turned more heads than usual. After the last bar, we went to a club called MiuMiu. I can now tick ‘stroll up in a club dressed as Santa’ off of my list of things to do before I die.

Sunday was a relaxing day out with my Chinese friends. We had some spicy Sichuan food for lunch, went to the park, walked along the coast and saw the famous Zhuhai Fisher Lady. After this, we had more tasty seafood for dinner.

InternChina - In Haibin park with my new friends.
InternChina – In Haibin Park with my new friends.

It’s been a great experience so far. I realise that I’ve mainly talked about food in this article. Well, I make no apologies. It’s worth coming to China just for that!

I do miss loved ones back home, but thanks to technology, it’s easy to keep in touch. Making the effort to meet new people here has helped, and the friends I’ve made have been very good at making me feel at home.

If you’d like to meet Rob and enjoy the same experience, apply now!

LIVING IN ZHUHAI

Uncategorised

Finding my Feet in China – Robbie’s Introduction

Hi, all! My name is Robbie and I’m a new intern in Zhuhai. I’ve been here for just under two weeks, and I’ll be staying till late January. I’ll post regular updates on how I’m getting on in China. In this article, I’ll write a bit about myself, what brings me to China, and my experience so far.

InternChina - Making friends in Zhuhai
InternChina – Here are some of my buddies on Intern China. I’m the third from the left, in the green.

First off, a little about myself. I’m from the UK, and I’ve been fortunate to grow up with an international background, having previously lived in the USA for several years and in France for a year. I graduated in the summer from the University of Leicester, where I studied Management Studies and Economics with a year abroad in Denmark. I had great time at university, and I hope to always be a student at heart. I’m a food-lover, and not to brag, but I can make the best blueberry pancakes in the world. I enjoy travelling, meeting new people, learning about different cultures, and staying fit.

I applied to the British Council Generation UK programme run by InternChina, because I wanted to do something different after I graduated, gain some more international experience, and I’ve always wanted to go to China. These three reasons combined made InternChina the perfect choice for me. On top of this, my internship is in the financial industry, which is an area that I am exploring as a future career path. This will provide me with a valuable ‘foot in the door’.

InternChina Service - Departure
InternChina – Waiting to board the plane

As for my experience so far, it’s been a pretty wild ride. For the most part, my journey over went smoothly, although I didn’t manage to get much sleep on the long-haul flight to Hong Kong thanks to the constant slamming of the lavatory doors, one of which only occasionally flung open so wide as to hit me in the arm. Not to mention the chorus of endless flushing. However, I did see the funny side – an attitude which has already served me well during my short stay, here.

InternChina - Arrival in Zhuhai with the Hong Kong Ferry
InternChina – Arriving at Zhuhai Port

After two flights and a short ferry ride, and a day of what felt like fading into and out of consciousness, I arrived in a hot and sunny Zhuhai – a pleasant change from wet and windy UK – where I was met by Janice from Intern China, who helped me with some of the basics and took me to my apartment, which I’m sharing with two other interns.

Never having been to Asia before, the culture shock is real. But it’s surprising how quickly I’ve gotten used to things that would seem strange back home, such as the chaotic traffic that amazes me how I haven’t witnessed or been involved in a horrific accident, yet, and the loud throat-clearing noises and spitting, as well as the lack of adherence to what is a sacred institution in Britain – queuing. However, I don’t want to paint a bad picture of China. In fact, I have met plenty of friendly and helpful people here, they have a beautiful culture, and the people are similar in many ways. Being here for such a short time has already made me more open-minded.

As well as the culture shock that I’ve mentioned, there are a number of simple things that I have found to be challenging, such as navigation, using public transportation and buying food. Most of the difficulty is down to the language barrier, where few people speak English. I started self-studying a little bit of Mandarin before I came, and my limited knowledge of a few words has been a big help in a number of situations.

Another challenge that comes from that food has been food poisoning, which hopefully won’t be a common occurrence. The Chinese do seem to have iron stomachs. This is one thing that may take me a while to develop!

I’m really enjoying myself so far. It’s been tough at times, but I’m aware that difficult experiences are valuable. And on a brighter note, it’s really easy to make friends here, probably because all of the international people realise the challenges that others face and understand that we’re all together in the same boat. I have also made friends with a number of Chinese people, who are very fun and outgoing. I’m having a great adventure in China – one that I won’t ever forget

 

If you’d like to get to know Robbie and experience the real China, apply now!

Before your stay, InternChina News, Job Market in China, Manchester, Understanding Business in China

Calling All UK Students – GenerationUK Programme

We’re delighted to be working with the British Council China as part of the Generation UK campaign.
The initiative aims to encourage and support more young people from the UK to gain international experience in China. The Generation UK campaign will provide funding for our 2 month placements in the sectors we have available – see www.internchina.com/programmes/internships. Funding is available to UK citizens (British passport holders, including Irish passport holders for Northern Irish domiciled) enrolled at a UK university or a recent graduate from a UK university at the time of application. The British Council aims for over 15,000 UK students to participate in a study abroad placement by 2016, so there’s never been a better time to apply!

InternChina - China Town Manchester
InternChina – China Town Manchester

Here at InternChina, we have placed in excess of 1000 students in China over the past seven years with companies in industries from IT to Education and Finance to Photography. Because of our new UK office in Manchester, we’ve built strong links with all the surrounding universities, as well as those further afield.

Former Intern and MMU Student Joseph Fry left this comment after being placed in China through us – “it would have taken three years to accumulate the professional experience in the UK which I was able to accrue within 3 months in China”.

www.youtube.com/embed/e2MTSHnctW0

The British Council’s ‘Generation UK’ initiative indicates how highly valued work experience in China is, and the wide-spread enthusiasm behind the scheme means more UK residents can take advantage of the internships we offer. To discover if you’re eligible, head to www.internchina.com/generationuk for full T&C’s and the application process.

For more information you can either email our team at: info@internchina.com or call our Manchester office on +44 (0)161 8188823.