Written by Sylvia Liu
It’s been a bit over a month now since I first began my internship experience in Chengdu with InternChina, and I can easily say that this experience is definitely one that will be remembered!
Having travelled to many other Chinese cities before, Chengdu is a breath of fresh air; not literally however, but rather in the sense of its pace of life.
Chengdu meanders peacefully through each day; while other cities rush and are filled with spontaneity. That’s not to say Chengdu is less developed economically, quite the contrary! Just as its numerous shopping centres, nightlife and still expanding public transport systems like to prove.
Personally I have found the pace of life charming. I have enjoyed spending my Sundays temple-seeing, sipping tea at monasteries, and nibbling on sunflower seeds while listening to the indistinct chatter of Sichuanese.
Food has also held a prominent role in my time here! You will be hard pressed to find a restaurant who won’t serve at least a bowl of chilli with the famous Sichuan Peppercorns along with your meal.
The old streets of Chengdu, the majority located in the inner South West of the city, are a delight to walk through. There is plenty of opportunity to snack on the delicious street food, while being surrounded by traditional architecture permeating with historical significance.
I believe that there is knowledge that can only be learned from doing an internship in China. In particular cultural proficiency, which is always a handy skill to have even if one does not pursue a career in international business.
Some of the more interesting tasks I’ve done at the company have included researching the potential of incorporating blockchain technology with gaming, as well as game testing for current beta projects.
The employees at the company are all very inclusive, and it is interesting to gain insight into general Chinese organisational culture. The food options available at lunch are an additional highlight of the workday. The local 7-Eleven is frequented often for its lunchtime pick-and-mix boxes!
The people I have met in Chengdu have been the best part of my internship yet. Being able to meet people from all over the world through my internship in Chengdu is something I’m grateful for. I always look forward to spending time with the other interns or going to events organised by InternChina, such as Thursday Dinner, or even weekend activities outside the city.
I can say with no doubt that it is the people I have met here that make this trip the enjoyable experience it has been!
Interested in seeing everything that Sylvia has during her time in Chengdu? Then apply now!
Hello everyone ! My name’s Audrey and I come from Strasbourg, France, and I just graduated with a Bachelor degree in Trade in the European Environment. As part of my studies I already had the opportunity to do an internship in Shanghai in 2015, and this was by far my most memorable and rewarding experience! The idea of going back again to China has been haunting me since, s0 now I’ll be interning in the Zhuhai office for 6 months!
I always had an interest in Asia, I could not explain it, it is just a part of me! My trips to Shanghai made me fall in love even harder. Before I arrived in Zhuhai, I wasn’t stressed at all- I waited for so long after being offered the role that it felt much more like a release to finally arrive! My adrenaline level was at its height when I jumped in the plane and made my way to Zhuhai via Hong Kong and Seoul. At the airport, my roommate and fellow office intern picked me up and brought me home!
Zhuhai so Far
It has been 1 week so far and Zhuhai is better than expected. The people are nice and welcoming, the food is delicious, the views are stunning and the relaxing vibe is amazing! The IC office staff are always keen to help and explain anything I need to know. Although I got overwhelmed in the beginning of my stay, the more time passes by, the more this experience seems like to be the opportunity I needed to move on and find my path. I kind of struggled with English at the start of my stay, but time will help and now I feel more at ease with people. Especially as I can enjoy the nightlife here with people from all over the world!
I hope to :
- Develop my “Guanxi”.
- Acquire new professional competencies through my work within an international team.
- Gain more self-confidence.
- Re-discover and deepen my knowledge of China and its business environment.
- Enjoy the city and its possibilities as well as the local culture.
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!
By Sven von Hollen (CDBS63 Marketing & IT Internship + Homestay)
Es ist schwer eine genaue Vorstellung von China zu haben, ohne vorher dort gewesen zu sein. Bei einer so vielfältigen Lebensweise ist es für mich selbst nach 6 Monaten in diesem Land noch schwer, passende Worte zu finden. Trotzdem werde ich mein Bestes geben, dir einen kleinen Einblick zu geben.
Ich kann meinen China-Aufenthalt nur als mein bisher größtes Abenteuer beschreiben, neben neuen Erinnerungen habe ich vor allem starke Veränderungen durchlebt, sowohl beruflich als auch persönlich. Natürlich bringt das Leben in einer 16 Millionen Einwohner Metropole auch seine negativen Seiten mit sich. Gerade im Winter kann der Smog erdrückend sein und auch die vielen Menschen und Autos sind für mich als Dorfkind stark gewöhnungsbedürftig gewesen. Mal abgesehen davon, dass ich kaum scharfes Essen ertrage, in einer Region, die für seine Chilis bekannt ist. Aber damit hören die negativen Punkte auch schon auf. Die Faszination China kann beginnen.
Sobald man die Großstadt verlassen hat, ist die Natur hier herrlich. Vor allem Richtung Tibet und der Provinz Yunnan gibt es eine Vielzahl an wundervollen Orten. Ich kann besonders Lugu See und Jiu Zhai Gou empfehlen. Nach der Anreise gibt es dort Ausblicke, die man nicht mehr vergessen möchte. Kleiner Tipp am Rande: Vermeidet die Urlaubszeiten in China, die Menge an Menschen zu den Stoßzeiten ist erdrückend und verdirbt einen Großteil der Tour.
Es ist jedoch nicht die Natur, die China für mich so einzigartig gemacht hat. Es sind die Menschen und die Geschichten, die hinter diesen stecken. Beginnend mit meiner ersten Entscheidung, eine Hostfamilie statt eines normalen Apartments zu wählen. Denn wer wirklich an dem Land interessiert ist, sollte sich mit lokalen Personen umgeben. Teil einer neuen Familie zu sein ist etwas ganz Besonderes. Man lernt traditionelle Hausmannskost kennen, nimmt am Leben der chinesische Familien teil, unternimmt spannende Ausflüge oder entspannt zusammen auf dem Sofa. Ich hatte das Glück das chinesische Neujahr mit meiner Hostfamilie zu verbringen. Chengdu zu verlassen und bei den Eltern in einer kleinen Stadt zu leben. Um ein besseres Bild zu vermitteln, stell dir vor, du feierst eine Woche lang Weihnachten und Neujahr zusammen, ein Fest der Freude und Familie. Neben viel Feuerwerk, KTV und Spaziergängen durch die Stadt ist es vor allem das Zusammenkommen der gesamten Familie, was das Fest so besonders macht. Man zollt den Vorfahren Respekt, geht zusammen in den Tempel, spielt Mahjong und genießt die zahlreichen Mahlzeiten.
Es ist aber nicht nur die Familie, mit der ich besondere Momente teilen durfte. Es gibt unzählige andere Erlebnisse mit neu gefundenen Freunden. Ob Stadttour, Sehenswürdigkeiten aufsuchen, lokale Geburtstage feiern, KTV, Events, Clubabende, ein gemütlicher Abend in einer der zahlreichen Bars oder sogar eine lokale Hochzeit, von traditionellen Einblicken bis hin zu langen Nächten wie man sie im Westen kennt, war alles dabei. Es gibt eigentlich immer etwas zu unternehmen wenn man Lust hat. Die häufigen internationalen Events waren für mich die wichtigsten Orte, um neue Freunde in allen möglichen Bereichen zu finden. Auf Kulturfestivals eher in entspannter Umgebung, auf dem Startup Weekend Chengdu bei perfekter Mischung aus Spaß und Produktivität im Businessbereich. Die neu gewonnenen Freunde haben mir einen sehr persönlichen Einblick in Ihre Kultur verschafft.
Und das ist auch der beste Tipp, den ich geben kann. Traue dich, neue Menschen kennenzulernen, ein einfaches „Ja“ zu aufkommenden Gelegenheiten (vor allem wenn man sich nicht sicher ist, ob es gut wird) hat mir meine besten Erlebnisse beschert. Dieses kleine Wort kann dir das Tor zu einer völlig neuen Welt eröffnen. Treff neue Leute, unternehme etwas mit ihnen, nutze jede Gelegenheit auf neue Erfahrungen und verstecke dich nicht immer zwischen anderen Ausländern.
We spent a morning with the Overseas Brand Marketing Manager for Recycling Times Media Corporation to ask him a few questions about his company, internships and China. Here is a brief summary of what he had to say. For the full interview with Taylor go to our YouTube channel.
Could you introduce us to your company?
Recycling Times Media or RT Media is an industry publication for the print consumables industry. We publish a monthly magazine and organise trade shows for suppliers, retailers, wholesalers and franchisers to meet face to face and discover new products.
Tell us about your internship positions.
Whilst there are some baseline duties that our interns are required to fulfil (mainly managing our overseas social media channels), it is my approach to lay out the ground work of what the brand marketing department does, and then help guide interns into a project based roll that best suits their skills, interests and timeframes with the company.
What are the benefits for an intern coming to RT Media?
We have 50 employees here in Zhuhai, and out of them only two are non-Chinese; so any interns coming from outside of China to work here will get a very unique and wholly Chinese experience.
Tips for an intern to get the most out of their time in China.
I think it’s important to try stray off the beaten path a little bit, a little bit of adventurous spirit can go a long way. Chinese are extremely and notoriously accommodating, so it’s really important to not be too intimidated by the big cultural and language barriers.
Describe a part of business culture etiquette in China.
When you take a business card always use two hands and take time to examine the content of the card.
How do you like living and working in Zhuhai？
I really like it! Zhuhai is an amazing city; we have the coast here, we have great proximity to Macau and Hong Kong, and of course it’s always easy to get out into the countryside if you are looking to explore some of the more traditional elements that China has to offer.
If you are excited about doing an internship with a company such as Recycling Times apply here.
Our partner company is currently looking for an enthusiastic undergraduate for a Marketing intern as soon as possible. This will be an amazing opportunity to work in an international, globally recognized company. Learn about Chinese business culture, boost your CV potential and experience a professional environment with many perks by day and keep your evenings and weekends free to explore a pleasant city in China which has won awards for its environment.
If you’re studying marketing or a similar discipline then this is your chance to gain experience and contribute to the continued growth of the company on the Chinese market.
You will help the hiring department manager conduct and document market research for intrusion alarm systems for different countries in Asia (China, India, and Australia).
The research would incorporate information gathering as well as some information processing (analysis).
- Estimated market volume
- Growth trends
- Price levels of key products
- Sales channels
- Methods of marketing and distribution
- Regulatory requirements
- Importation requirements including taxes and duties
This company is an innovative, global provider of high-quality security and communications products and solutions, and belongs to the key players of the industry globally as well as on the Chinese Market.
In January 2008, they opened their largest manufacturing facility worldwide in Zhuhai, China. In addition, to meet the fast-growing market needs in China, the company has set up the highly competitive R&D team combining both international expertise and local talents. Already now a considerable part of the products sold in China are developed and manufactured in Zhuhai.
- Good English language skills and MS Office skills are required.
- Currently in full time education for a marketing degree or similar
- 3 months + availability
Today is my last day at InternChina’s Chengdu office and it has been an amazing 6 months. Time has certainly flown by and it’s sad to be leaving. I have had great colleagues from the ever changing team and amongst them, I have also made great friends.
Although only just an intern at InternChina, I have been given real responsibility and have been welcomed into the team from day one. My main responsibilities have changed over the months and I am grateful I was given the opportunity to get involved in everything, from marketing to sales to business development . You will never have a dull moment interning at InternChina and there is never a time where you will have nothing to do! Multitasking and the ability to prioritise your workload is key.
Marketing, sales and business development? There is no clear cut line to which of the tasks I undertook falls under which category. Working on Social Media Platforms such as Twitter, Facebook etc – at first glance you would put it under marketing with perhaps no link to the others. However, it can also bring in sales if your tweet/post reach the right people. At times, this may have been the first time they have heard about InternChina, which resulted in them sending their application in and then signing a contract to come to China to do an internship. Most tasks overlap each area and I have enjoyed every aspect of it.
Just to name a few of the tasks I was involved in: coordinating, proofreading and writing blogs, tweeting, posting on Instagram and positions on job boards. Dealing with applications from the beginning to end – answering their questions to liaising with a company to place them. Finding new partner companies – researching companies in Chengdu and contacting them to establish partnerships. There were also many other ad hoc duties which included keeping our CRM system updated with information on our clients and companies, creating contracts and partnership agreements and ensuring all Chengdu positions are added on the website, plus many more.
If you wish to undertake an internship at InternChina in the any of our offices n Qingdao, Zhuhai or Chengdu. Send your application through the apply now page now.
Tomorrow is my last day with InternChina. I have been interning in the Chengdu office, in a marketing/business development role for the past two months. Whilst I have been to China before, especially Chengdu, for travel/study and so on. This time round has been a real eye-opening experience for me. I was given the chance to study Chengdu’s unique business environment and in the process I have learned lots useful and transferable skills.
The marketing side of my internship was very interesting. I learned how social media plays an exciting and ever-changing role in reaching out to people, appealing to their interests or simply sparking interesting conversation that leads on to greater things. Thinking of your own ways to deliver content to a wide audience through social media always challenges your creativity and is exciting.
For the business development side of my internship, I have regularly been going out for meetings with or without my colleagues. Some highlights have been a mixer and an annual meeting held by the British Chamber of Commerce as well as several other business-social events held in local venues.
Aside from marketing and business development I was assigned several ad-hoc tasks as well, such as a video editing and blog editing/writing. Its been rewarding learning how to balance one’s time and efforts.
Most importantly, I have enjoyed using my Chinese for business purposes. Even though I am passionate about Mandarin and Cantonese language and culture, before the main purpose of speaking Chinese was to get a degree and to communicate with my Chinese friends. This time round I have used my Chinese in meetings, events and general business tasks. I would say my Chinese is already proficient, but having the chance to learn new professional vocabulary has been a real plus.
I will be coming back to Chengdu to intern with a local company here, which will hopefully turn into full employment after 6 months. I am therefore very grateful to InternChina for providing me a platform from which to develop my prospective career. I was given time to not only learn new things that will help me later on, but also to establish more connections here. Business in China is all about who you know. Good-old guanxi (關係).
If you would like to know more about a short-term interns role in the Chengdu Office, my intern interview will be uploaded shortly to YouTube. For information specific to Chengdu, as in living/nightlife….our blog is packed with useful information and first-hand experience for your reference.
If you are looking to garner some real, professional experience, why not do an internship with InternChina. It may just give your CV that boost you need, helping you stand out for future employers! Apply Now!