An internship in China is a wonderful opportunity for you to explore Asia and experience a different culture as well as a vibrant expat life. Interning in China will bring new people into your life; people from different cultures and countries that will become your good friends or even soul mates. The professional connections you make while in China will absolutely be useful in the future. It’s rejuvenating to be in a new environment where nobody knows you and it is a perfect way to have a new start away from your country where you do not need to conform to your your own societal pressures.
Internships are no longer a luxury where only a minority of recent graduates and college students participate. After the Great Financial Crisis that hit in 2008, jobs have become scarcer and the competition fiercer. Today for many employers, an internship on a potential employee’s resume is a necessity. The marketplace has entered into a new normal whereby most employers consider some sort of work experience essential, even for entry-level positions.
Internships are the viable option for inexperienced young students and recent graduates to gain experience which will ultimately leave them better placed in securing a better paying job in the market. An internship is an investment which might just be your super card for making your dreams come true.
Internships in China
If you are adventurous and wouldn’t mind getting out of your comfort zone, then you might just love interning in China. One of the most valuable aspects of interning in China is that you will be able to work in a fast-paced environment that is much more dynamic than what you will find back at home. It is quite a challenging society and you will be tasked with jobs above your level as you learn more about the world and yourself. Moreover, an internship in the world’s second-largest economy sits nicely on your resume, and since we live in a society where an internship is basically a pre-requisite for employment, then you would want to have such an experience that tells companies that you are flexible, worldly, and able to think outside the box.
BENEFITS OF INTERNING IN CHINA
1. Make Your Resume Stand Out
Employers love international work experience with a recent survey of 10,000 employers from 116 countries affirming this. 60% of the respondents said they would definitely give credit to graduated applicants who have worked abroad. Your work experience is valuable since it tells your employer your willingness to relocate, your enthusiasm for working and adapting to today’s globally connected world, and your confidence in meeting new people.
Your experience goes beyond the recommendation written on paper; it’s your courage, competence, and risk-taking attributes which are just some of the vital traits needed at the workplace that makes you stand out. You can never imagine how big working somewhere as economically significant and culturally diverse as China can do to your job seeking prospects.
2. Develop Your Global Business Outlook
In 2012, China was considered the third most popular location to study abroad and even the U.S administration launched 10,000 strong campaigns to increase language learning and studying abroad in China. China’s economy is growing big day by day and in 2014, it was the world’s largest economy regarding purchasing power parity. China is receiving increasing numbers of young expats looking to work in its marketplace. Seriously everybody wants a piece of China: business, work for/with them and, ultimately to be on good terms with China.
Its internships are resourceful and according to CCRC Asia, the largest internship provider in China, 30% of the interns are offered full-time jobs by their respective companies or even through the contacts made while networking. Expats are marketable and as long as you are open to new ideas and willing to learn, chances are you will get a job sooner than you think.
3. Development of Cultural Insights and Know-How
The experience you gain in such a different culture does a lot to your interpersonal skills. If you effectively manage to finish your internship, this clearly shows your ability to successfully communicate even with the language barrier. According to Forbes, Successful communication skills are the third most important skill sought by employers.
You should also embrace Chinese culinary culture which is quite a phenomenon in its quality and diversity. There is no culture without food cultures and in China, they are based on very long regional histories
4. You Are Needed
Young, international, multilingual professionals are quite in demand in China. Once you finish your internship, there is high possibility that you will get a job in the Chinese job market and earn an average of $2,000 – $4,000 a month. This will give you a world’s view on business and work, as well as give you so many years of experience in Chinese language and business culture.
BECOMING A LOCAL, NOT A GUEST
1. Make an impression
Try to leave a long lasting relationship with your boss. Learn more about the Chinese business and workplace culture to get acquainted on the right way to carry yourself around the workplace. Learn the art of greetings, gifts, business cards, guanxi and so many other culturally different practices in the job area. Interact with your employers since they are more likely to hire someone they have interacted with or seen work in their organization than a faceless resume. Also, remember that you are always the company’s ambassador and whatever place you are, ensure you are carrying their flag with dignity and respect just as a professional would do.
2. Maintain a positive attitude
We are all human, and it can get tiresome to keep repeating the same thing over and over again but always remember that no matter the job, do it with a smile and wholeheartedly. Always treat everybody else with utter respect and ensure that you’ve finished all your tasks on time. Do not be polarizing at the workplace and learn to stay out of other people’s business. Be proactive, seek extra work, and create solutions for your boss.
3. Express your interest in a full-time job
If interested, mention it to your employer and be inquisitive about potential openings or the creation of a role that befits your skills. You can also identify some of the weak areas in the company but respectfully and express your interest to filling the gap. Tell your bosses earlier on so that they can find a way to onboard you permanently.
China is quite a populous country full of expats, moguls, entrepreneurs and, other high-achieving interns. It has a pool of focused and motivated individuals who love challenges living there. These are the people that you should meet and try building long-lasting relationships with. They can be found in conferences, galas, industry events, local bars, and volunteer events. Expats in China are quite a close knit bunch that might help you get a footing in the Chinese job market.
You should treat you an internship in China as an interview and try as much as you can to not leave a bad impression on your employer. Always be on time, ask questions, create solutions, look sharp, stay late, build long lasting relations and just put extra effort and detail in almost everything that you do.
Let’s face it; China is a magical, captivating, and fascinating. A six-month internship can never be enough to enable you to soak in the magnificent culture. Getting an internship is one thing and getting absorbed into their workplace another thing. Give the internship your very best, express your interest to keep working, and network a lot. If your internship host company fails to hire you, another one might as long as you make connections with partnering clients and businesses along the way. Having other people on the lookout not only increases your chances of finding a job but having someone vouch for you will enhance your chances of having an actual shot at the job itself.