My internship in Shanghai so far and why its soo beneficial to do an internship....
I feel there are so many benefits to gain from doing an internship abroad, not only are you able to put your current knowledge and skills to the test but also improve them. Not only in the workplace but by having to adapt to a new culture and language you learn a lot about yourself and how to cope in unfamiliar circumstances. In addition, an internship is a bit like starting university you get to meet people from all walks of life but instead of getting taught in the classroom you are getting taught on the job and also learning life skills in the ‘real’ world One of the things I love about my internship is that most the people I work with come from different countries so I am able to practice my languages such as Chinese on a daily basis which is a complete bonus but also learn interesting facts about other cultures.
Another benefit that an internship helps you improve on is time management as before this internship in Shanghai I had never worked full time, so I had never had to really balance my social life and studies from my work life. I t has helped me to become more organize in general with everything which has already influenced my studying as now I carry around a diary with me at all times and write down everything that I have to do that day all most like a ‘to do’ list which I find it useful in order to map out my day. I feel like these types of skills have made me more mature and prepare me for when I finish my degree and enter the working world.
On an academic note, I feel that putting all my business knowledge into practice that I learned at university has really made me be more confident in my studies as I have now put theories I have learned into practice. Such as in my internship I helped a lot with project assisting for the company’s website and I had to research a lot on where the company could advertise itself in order to target the right demographic. These types of skills cannot be taught in the classroom they come from working knowledge and experience in the field, this is why I would encourage people to do an internship as it also helps you realise what type of field you want to work in the future and helps you realise your interests. For instance, my internship has enabled me to see that in the future I would like to work more in the marketing and PR side of business.
Shanghai is such an easy city to get around as it offers an amazing mixture of transportation, which are really affordable and encourages you to explore the city even more! I mostly take the metro because it is like 40pence per journey but on rainy days I take the taxi which is usually no more than £3 pounds. I love the fact that all metro lines in the city centre are connected it makes your travels much more convenient.
Due to Shanghai’s location in the Pacific Rim it is easy to travel to other Asian countries, for example I am going to visit one of my friends in Tokyo, which I would have probably not had the chance to do if I was in England. Also Shanghai is so close to a number of beautiful cities which are not only popular with foreigners but by the Chinese too, such as Suzhou and Hanzhou. I would strongly advice others to visit them even if it is just for the weekend, they both have amazing scenery and extremely well known unique Chinese gardens. Furthermore, it’s a nice little getaway from Shanghai’s chaotic city life and to also experience different Chinese cuisine.
I would recommend people to do an internship in Shanghai because it’s a city that combines best of both worlds a mixture of two cultures the west and the east. This has helped me not to feel too homesick because I know there is a Marks and Spencer’s near by where I can buy real English stuff such as digestive biscuits and English tea!
Furthermore, Shanghai has an amazing ever growing expat community, which seems to attract people from all over the world so it makes living in this city even more exciting as there are always different themed nights in the clubs or a variety of events for different style restaurants. I think that Shanghai has one of the most vibrant night lives in the world which makes weekends certainly really enjoyable, but if you are not a party animal like me there is still so much that Shanghai has to offer such as beautiful large parks which have practically everything in them not just like your ordinary type of parks.
For example in century park, you can hire bikes, go on boat trips, go on themed park rides and even have a wedding like photo shoot if you really want to! The shopping part of Shanghai is also just as extravagant and never ending like the skyscrapers here! There is basically a mall or a shopping market in every street you turn to, with little individual shops even existing inside of some of the metro stations it is hard not to find a bargain or purchase something unique!
I love the fact that Shanghai really lives up to the expression ‘the city never sleeps’ as even though the metro closes at 11pm, there are so many restaurants and bars that are open 24hours as well as many Chinese street food vendors and small stalls selling anything from clothes to vegetables come out late at night until the early hours you can never get bored whilst in Shanghai or go hungry!