Students and recent graduates are keenly aware of the importance of work experience in a competitive job market and China, whose economy has had robust growth in the last three decades, is increasingly looking like an attractive option. Recruitment agencies which match students with the Chinese companies report a rising number of applicants and interns, and they can hardly keep up with the demands. Currently, experience really counts in the job market and time of spending on the bench is pretty much over.

The Chinese companies offer a wide range of internships from design to law, but the students studying finance; business and marketing form the majority of the participants. Because of China’s visa rules, most of the internships are unpaid although you can receive a monthly stipend or allowance. However, there is quite some companies in China which offers paid internships, and the unique international experience that you get will give you an upper hand in your future career. Potential employers will be able to recognize your strength of character and determination to rise to challenges and face them head on.

Top Industries in China offering internships

Since the launch of the “reform and opening up” policy, the Chinese economy has been growing at a staggering rate and the country is now widely expected to overtake the US by 2020. Thanks to the ongoing massive development and modernization, a potential market of 1.3 billion customers, and huge amounts of foreign direct investment, China has become such a fertile land for any imaginable business out there and interns have a plethora of companies to choose from. Below are some of the cutting-edge fields and most popular internships in China.

1. Business Internships In China

With vast markets and phenomenal economic growth, China has been turned into a leading hub of international trade and business and most of the world’s leading businesses as well as Fortune 500 companies have a footing and extensive operations in China. The interns can gain international business experience from top multinational corporations, local private companies, state-owned Chinese enterprises, and also by doing project pitches, business development, and competitor analysis. All business interns in China live and work in vibrant, modern cities such as Shanghai and Chengdu. Be prepared for the challenge since you will be involved in the day-to-day activities of the office, be it in researching for current and future projects, contacting different clients, putting portfolios together, working with business support teams, working on set briefs and attending meetings.

2. Accounting and Finance

This provides an opportunity for you to learn about the investment and accounting strategy in China and get some insight into how china’s dynamic financial industry is impacting the world.

3. Marketing

With over a billion people, Chinese people’s preferences, expectations, and tastes keep changing and an internship in a China-based marketing firm will allow you to work on exciting sales and advertisement projects. You may also develop sound knowledge on Chinese consumer behavior, conduct market research, and learn about how to sell products in the largest emerging market in the world.

4. Law

As a member of the WTO, China has to follow the rules especially governing international business and trade. China has faced a challenge with this since it doesn’t have a sophisticated legal framework and enforcement mechanisms that it can rely on. Hence it’s notoriously weak defense of the IP. Interning in international law firms will keep you informed on how they help corporations setting up and doing business in China deal with complex legal issues.

5. Digital media

China has a web-savvy young generation that has created their own versions of Google (Baidu), Facebook, twitter ( Sina Weibo), and YouTube (Youku Tuduo). China’s internet presence is larger than any population in the world, and digital media interns are better positioned to see how the pioneering tech firms are working at ensuring that the massive online lot is well catered for and works efficiently.

6. Green Tech

As they say, every good thing must have its inefficiencies, pollution is the bad that came out of China’s rapid economic development and industrialization. As a matter of fact, China is the world’s largest polluter but to counter that, the Chinese have been big on creating strategies for sustainable development and investing in renewable energy. Interning in this novel sector will enable you to be part of the cutting-edge research and how China is super close to becoming the global leader in stewardship and environmental responsibility.

Paid Internships in China

Although most of the internships are unpaid, there are also paid internships in China such as those offered by Sichuan Internships and Immersion Programs. They will get you a position based on your goals, experiences, and availability depending on the company you get your placement in, you will be able to enjoy a monthly stipend of around 1000-3000RMD. They also provide the intern accommodation and Chinese survival classes. Besides that, it comes with a myriad of other benefits such as arranging business and networking events where you get to connect with other expats, the local government, and the community.

What to Expect

Internships in China for international students are highly competitive. Hence, it can be quite challenging if you are trying to apply it on your own. Finding a reputable placement company can save you the hassle and find you a suitable internship, handle your paperwork and also visa application process at a fee. They also organize your accommodation and airport pick-up while others offer Chinese language courses.

Although most of the internships are found in big cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, there are also many opportunities in the rural areas.