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Internship Experience – Sylvia in Chengdu

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!

The City

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.

Chengdu Panda Research Panda Base

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.

Internship experience and exploring Chengdu

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.

The Internship

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!

Intern activities

The People

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.

InternChina Chengdu Thursday dinner

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!

Chengdu Blogs, Chengdu Business, China Business Blogs, Events in Chengdu, Internship Experience, Things To Do in Chengdu, Understanding Business in China

Women of Business at The Bookworm

This week in Chengdu I had the pleasure of attending the Chengdu Women in Business workshop organized by Chengdu Expat. It is a four-series event to encourage the professional development and entrepreneurship by sharing resources and knowledge of like-minded business women in Chengdu. As a business student in my final year, I try to attend as many of these workshops as possible. Not only do you learn about other people’s stories but you build a great network.

General Manager of Chengdu Expat

These workshops provide professional assessments, books, interactive exercises with professional coaching. We went through the books self-assessment over the areas of “How you play the game, how you act, how you think and how you brand & market yourself, how you sound, how you look and lastly, how you respond”. It gave me an insight of what I am strong at and which area needs improving. The night essentially consisted of how we can stop making unconscious mistakes in business.

My group discussing “How You Respond”

One of the things that really impressed me was when the guest speaker, Raquel Ramirez, mentioned that at the age of 15 she already knew exactly what she wanted to do in life and what it required to get there. That is something that fascinates me, people that can have that drive and focus to achieve all they set out to do and more!

Though, it doesn’t come easily, as Raquel mentioned; sometimes we go through bumps in the road such as family issues, financial stability, other people’s judgement or even sadly, your own securities and low confidence. Despite all of this, the atmosphere in the room was electric, a room full of strong, similar minded women that came together to learn what it takes to succeed as a professional.

Raquel Ramirez

So, it got me thinking, what decisions have I made in the past that have helped me to where I am and where it will lead me in the not-so distant future. For sure, one of them was moving to the Netherlands to continue studying. This later gave me the opportunity to study abroad in China where I fell in love with the country and its culture. That ultimately ended with me moving to Chengdu, where I am doing my final year internship at InternChina.

What was yours? Let me know what was your turning point decision and where you are now or even heading!

Check out other pictures from last night’s event at Fun and Bike.
For information on the next workshop of Women in Business keep an eye out on Chengdu Expat.

Chengdu Blogs, Chengdu Business, Comparisons, Cultural, Discover Chinese culture

Leaving my comfort zone and Germany

大家好!My name is Tamara and I just arrived to Chengdu 3 days ago, to start my 6-month internship at the Chengdu InternChina office as a Marketing & Business Development Intern and by that, following a road down the unknown. I am currently enrolled at Heilbronn University, doing my Masters in International Business and Intercultural Management, which is why I figured an additional international internship wouldn’t hurt.
I am also planning to write my Master thesis while being here.

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After hearing so much about China in my lectures and reading so much about China in general, the cultural differences and all the challenges in terms of business, I decided to leave my comfort zone – big this time – and experience this country that everyone talks about but barely understands for myself.

After being told many amazing stories from a fellow student and a really good friend of mine about being employed at InternChina, I figured that will be my go-to option.
I applied, got the interview and the rest is history.
Although this isn’t my first time living and working in Asia for a longer period of time as I spent 2 semesters in Japan, China is beyond comparison!

Granted, the first few days have been pretty overwhelming! Not just in terms of the general new environment but also in an even broader sense. Even though I study intercultural Management and know concepts like the culture shock and high/low context and individual/collectivist countries etc., being here and actually living in a culture as different from my own definitely poses to be one of the biggest and most exciting challenges in my life so far.

The good thing though is, I am not alone in it. So many other people have had this amazing experience and „survived“ China. Not just ‘survived’ but also claimed that they have had one of the best times in their lives. That’s why I will challenge myself anew every single day- whether it’s ordering food at a local restaurant, surviving Chinese traffic or just dealing with the bathroom situation as a whole 😉

Chengdu Blogs, Chengdu Business, InternChina News

Doing business in China for the first time

你们 好!
My name is Mai, I’m majoring in Economics and Culture of China at University of Hamburg in Germany and I’ve just arrived a week ago in beautiful Chengdu.

I’ve been to China a few times already, my first time in China I visited Beijing for a two-week school exchange in 2010 and then four years later, I attended the Nankai University in Tianjin for a Summer School Programme. This is now my third time in China,  I’m here for a three month internship in the InternChina Office in Chengdu.

InternChina - Calligraphy classes at Nankai University
InternChina – Calligraphy classes at Nankai University

Although my major is Chinese related, I have always been interested in other Asian cultures, as well.  Therefore, I decided to spend a year abroad in Seoul, South Korea engrossing myself into as many asian cultures and environments as possible.

InternChina - Hiking on Suraksan in South Korea
InternChina – Hiking on Suraksan in South Korea

After my studies abroad, I’m now back in China to experience what it’s like to do business in China whilst collecting a few more practical skills, particularly within the field of Marketing since I’m intending to do my Master’s degree in Marketing or Business Development Studies.

What I really like about Chengdu is that it differs from the other cities I’ve visited so far in China: Chengdu is a well-developed and yet impulsive city that still seems to have preserved the tradition very well – it’s a city between modernity and tradition that makes my stay here both very interesting and challenging.

InternChina - View from Anshun Bridge in Chengdu
InternChina – View from Anshun Bridge in Chengdu

I’m sure that there are three exciting months coming ahead with the great people I’m surrounded by as well as good and spicy Sichuan food!

If you want to experience China, apply here now!

Chengdu Blogs, Chengdu Business, Comparisons, Cultural, Discover Chinese culture, Featured Internships, InternChina News, Internship Experience, Job Market in China, Learn about China, Understanding Business in China, Understanding Chinese culture

Andrew’s Internship Experience

InternChina Logo Crowne Plaza Chengdu
Andrew studies ‘International Hotel Management’ in his 3rd year at the University of West London. He is enrolled in a four year program in which one of the years must be spend abroad which led him to apply for an internship at the Crowne Plaza Panda Garden in Chengdu.

The 5 star hotel is located 45 minutes outside of the city center and is only 5 minutes away from the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding which is the biggest facility of this kind in the world. It is home to 60 giant pandas, but also has some red pandas and it is one of the biggest reasons foreign guests come to stay in the Crowne Plaza Panda Garden.

Andrew decided to do an internship in China to gain experience in an international company, where he is able to practice the knowledge he learned in several of his classes.

“I really enjoyed studying finance because it will be of great value to me when I obtain my goal and become a general hotel manager in the future.”

The main tasks of Andrew’s internship are making sure that the foreign guests will have an excellent time in Chengdu. As soon as they arrive, he prepares them with a welcome pack, a map of Chengdu as well as the panda base and makes sure they have everything they need.

InternChina - Reference Video Crowne Plaza Panda Garden
InternChina – Reference Video Crowne Plaza Panda Garden

“I start working at 11am every day, which gives me enough time to work out. Sometimes I even go for a swim in the pool. Afterwards I often eat pancakes and bacon in the hotel restaurant before I get ready for work.”

Andrew gets to experience the dream of living and eating in a 5 star hotel every day.

If you want to know more about Andrew’s experience and see how the hotel looks like, watch our video below:

If you are studying something similar as Andrew and want to gain international experience, apply now!

Chengdu Blogs, Chengdu Business, Cultural, Discover Chinese culture, Learn about China

How business is done in Chengdu

Where will you be living again in China? Chengdu! Chengdu? Yeah, Chengdu! I have never heard of it – where exactly is this? Is it near Beijing or Shanghai? What was it again? CHENGDU!

InternChina - Chengdu by night
InternChina – Chengdu by night

I can’t recall the amounts of times I had to answer this question prior to my arrival in Chengdu. Nobody really seemed to know about the city with 14 million people located further inland away from the more Western-friendly East coast of the country.

Beijing and Shanghai, cities who never sleep, who are always busy and hectic, loud and crowded. Honestly, I had no idea what to expect in a city like Chengdu. Once I got here, got adjusted to the life and the culture I indeed noticed some interesting and quite different things in the daily business life. The other day I went to a restaurant where they served the food within 5 minutes after ordering. If they didn’t bring it out in time, you would receive a discount on the meal. Overall the service in restaurants is really, really fast. The restaurant industry is booming, no matter if it is a street vendor, a 7/11 or a restaurant, you will always be able to find food at every hour of the day. A two hour lunch break that includes at least a 20 minute powernap is on every day’s agenda. Taxi driver for example just pull over at the side of the road and take their little timeout. The other day I witnessed someone taking a nap on a motorcycle. Things, you will never experience in Germany or other parts of Europe and it is just great to see how people maximize their time here. A friend told me that Chinese people who live outside of Chengdu move here for their retirement since life in Chengdu is a little more relaxed, easy, laid back and less crowded than the bigger cities. Time simply just plays a different role here compared to the Western world.

InternChina - the role of time
InternChina – the role of time

On the contrary business is growing really fast since Chengdu has already attracted 262 of the Fortune Global 500 companies in the world.
Chengdu is a really vibrant and exciting city with lots of things to see, to do, to experience and offers the perfect location for Western countries to do business. Chengdu is a hub city in Southwestern China and expects to welcome more foreign companies as it forms closer connections to the outside world and increases business opportunities. The city is growing rapidly. “Chengdu is a city with a long history and a variety of talents. With its growing advantages, from the humanities to the natural environment, it has become a new economic power in China’s western cities”, said Charles Cheung, the executive director of Dell China.
So Chengdu is not only chilled and easy, it is full of opportunities and things for you to learn. If you want to experience how business is done here and make your own memories, come to InternChina and make your wish come true.

InternChina - Panda
InternChina – Panda

Apply here if you want to come to Chengdu and experience the working life, diversity and crazyness yourself!

Chengdu Blogs, Chengdu Business, China Business Blogs, Learn about China, Travel

The new Gate to China?

Chengdu is one of the fastest growing cities in the world. The enormous number of constructions in the South is one visual indicator for this fact. China’s “go west strategy” is really measurable in Chengdu.
Every time while I am walking through Chengdu some questions coming through my mind, “What happens next? Where will be the next construction? What is the design of next building? Etc.”

Finally an announcement gave me one answer through my question. To undermine the importance of Chengdu, this city will be the third city in China which has two airports. The long term aim is to handle more than 90 million passengers and 2 million tonnes of cargo every year. Compared to the current situation it will more than double both numbers. With the current Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport the city already ranks in the Top five out of the 202 civil airports in mainland China.

Chengdu%20Airport%20New%20Terminal1
The new Airport will be located in the south east, only 51 kilometres far from downtown. Subways, busses, railways and highways will connect the new airport with the city centre and the outside world. According to the plans this big project should be finished in the next three years.

As starting point of the south Silk Road in the early second century, the investors hope that Chengdu will have a comeback as gate to China once more. Chengdu’s geographical position is very comfortable for trade with Southeast Asia, Europe and the Arabic world. Important Airlines like British Airways and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines already promoted their non-stop service between Chengdu and Europe in late May. All in all Chengdu is ready for the next step and we are looking forward to make our pick-ups from a new Airport.

See you soon in Chengdu. Old or new Airport, it is your choice. Apply now!

Chengdu Business, Featured Internships, Internship Experience, Learn about China, Travel

Anita’s introduction blog

Hello everyone! My name is Anita, I’m 22 years old and I’m Polish. This is my 2nd day in China and I must tell you I’m getting more and more excited about my stay here. Being in China for the first time I’m still a little overwhelmed (positively of course!) with all the things happening around me. I’m also very jet-lagged… 😀
IMG_20150605_175149

I’m joining the InternChina team here in Chengdu for 3 weeks. It doesn’t seem like a lot but I’m sure I will have great fun and I hope I will be productive during office hours. Well, I’m sure I will! 🙂

Anita Chinese

I only just completed my Bachelor’s degree in International Management at Bournemouth University in the south of England. As you can figure out, my internship with InternChina is not only fun but also works really well with my university degree and future career plans. I would like to start a Master’s degree course this Autumn, and this time I want to study International Business with a focus on Asian countries. Experiencing China just before I start my next degree is a great way to get me even more curious and excited about the next academic year.

I will be attending Mandarin Chinese classes during my time in Chengdu. The language seems to be difficult and challenging but I’m sure I will be able to master some basics. I would love to have a simple conversation with a Chinese person in Mandarin at the end of my stay in China. Fingers crossed!

Are you interested in coming to Chengdu? Find out about your opportunities here.

Chengdu Business, Featured Internships

Featured Internship: Carolin in Chengdu’s Real Estate Business

Chengdu is the capital of Sichuan Province, the most liveable city in West China and the fourth most liveable city in China. Located in the heart of the country, it is the gate for travellers to Tibet in the West, Xi’an in the North and Kunming in the South. Chengdu’s history stretches back over 4000 years; Since the Chinese government started to promote the “Go West” campaign, hundreds of big international companies have relocated their production to Chengdu and Chongqing.

InternChina - Giant Pandas in Chengdu
InternChina – Giant Pandas in Chengdu

Carolin is completing her internship at a Real Estate & Relocation Company in Chengdu

Currently, there is Carolin from Germany completing her internship in this Real Estate and Relocation company. The Chengdu based company is operated by an American Manager, located in the main street of Chengdu; within the city centre. As Chengdu’s economy is growing, more western companies and business people have moved here. Therefore, this company has experienced a surge in the growth of its business in recent years and is well connected within Chengdu. Focused on business properties as well as apartments, this company offers its services to international companies and clients. Also, this is a company that consists of a group of young, open-minded and ambitious workers, that always strives to make a difference for its clients.

We visited Carolin in order to show you what she is undertaking as an intern in this firm.

What are Carolin’s tasks as an intern in this company?

There are two main areas of responsibilities if you work there as an intern.

Interns at this company support the Business Development by participating in networking events. One of the most important contact points for the firm’s networking activities is the British Chamber of Commerce in Chengdu, which hosts a variety of events and meetings in the city;  in order to facilitate economic interaction in the city. The intern’s business development activities also include networking activities with popular websites such as Gochengdoo and ChengduLiving. Furthermore, attending business meetings with landlords and clients in Chengdu.

Carolin has also been supporting the firm’s online marketing presence, she has been responsible for setting up the firm’s “linkedin” account and keeps the site updated on a regular basis. Furthermore, she has set up an “ad words” campaign for Google, which has been very challenging but very rewarding in the end. Besides, she has edited a city guide for customers who are  interested in coming to the city of Chengdu.

Although Carolin’s workload was quite heavy, she was able to take three weeks off in between the firm’s projects, enabling her to visit quite a few places in China, including China’s capital Beijing and to the home of the Terracotta Warriors, in Xian.

What does Carolin think about her internship and her time in China?

“I have a friend from Chengdu in Germany. He told me right away: ‘If you have the opportunity to go to Chengdu, you should definitely go there. Chengdu is a great city: it still is a Chinese city, but you can also experience China’s booming economy at the same time. When you see Shanghai, you’ll notice that the city has become very Western already.’ I wanted to see the real China, so that’s why I came to Chengdu”.

If you want to know more about what Carolin thinks about her internship and what else she has been doing during her time in Chengdu, you can check out the short interview (in German) we made with her!

InternChina - Interview with Carolin (German)
InternChina – Interview with Carolin (German)

Interested in this internship opportunity in Chengdu? Apply now and mention Ref. Code CDBS25 to apply for this internship!

 

Before your stay, Chengdu Business, Chengdu InternChina events, China Business Blogs, Comparisons, Cultural, Job Market in China, Understanding Business in China

Chinese Companies: A Box of Chocolates

When arranging internships in China for students from the “West”, quite a few future interns ask us what kind of businesses actually do operate in Chengdu, meaning what the business landscape looks like, and how companies actually look like from the inside. It is impossible to answer these questions in a blog post, so I thought I will answer all these questions in a blog post.
Together with students from the De Montfort University Leicester I visited three different companies within only a few days. We went to a law firm, a logistics company and an architecture firm. Each company showed us around and explained their business to us. As I have seen them within a few days only, I was able to see somewhat “natural” (branch specifics and industry differences), cultural and individual differences between them a bit clearer than usual. I think that these three companies represent a nice sample of the diverse company culture you are able to experience here in Chengdu.

The first firm we visited is a large logistics firm headquartered in Chengdu. The Chinese “laoban” (老板), who is also the founder, proudly presented to us the company history that prettty much resembled his own biography “from the dish washer to millionaire story”. What started with one single truck in Chengdu is now a logistics company that operates with several hundreds of cars all over China. In my eyes, this company perfectly represents something that may be called the “Chinese Dream”: with a good education and valubale guanxi-connections in your city, you can actually do very, very well – without too many buraucratic obstacles or other hurdles on the way.

InternChina - Logistics Company in Chengdu
InternChina – Logistics Company in Chengdu

The second commpany was a Chinese law firm that problaby has the poshest office I have ever seen (in real life). They gave us a really good and interesting ppt-presentation (notice the slight difference when we visited the architecture firm). Unexpectedly, the “laoban” – one of the senior partners of the firm – popped in for a few minutes. And it was one of those unexpected, short, spontanious moments that are quite inquisitive for someone looking for cultural differences between Western and Chinese companies. The senior partner actually burst into the room and immediatley took over complete control of the meeting, hold his own presentation for good ten minutes. Then he left. In Germany, for instance, this situation would have been taken place slightly different, I guezz. However, we were actually very honoured that he found time for us and it was a real pleasure.

InternChina - Law Firm in Chengdu
InternChina – Law Firm in Chengdu

And then there was this really hipster architecture and interior design firm. “Hipster” may be one of the most overused, blurry and inappropriately used word since the beginning of the century (also note how many “sensational” things suddenly occur in Germany these days). However, just imagine design people in design clothes presenting design in a perfectly designed “prezi” (no ppt)- there you go. It was really fun and one of those moments where I thought “dammit, why haven’t I studied something cool?”. The company is managed by English architects and designers who cannot speak Chinese on a professional level – that’s why they are assisted in their sales and business development by a Chinese business women.

All in all, you see three quite different phenomena that all subsume as “companies in China”: a somewhat traditionally managed logistics company where its employees sing the company song together every morning (I am not joking); a law firm with steep hierarchies residing in an office that rather resembles a four star hotel than an office with a fantastic view onto the biggest building in the world and the immense Tianfu Software Park; and a cool foreign architecture company with shallow hierarchies where pop music is played throughout the loft office all day long.

In a nutshell, Chinese companies are like a box of chocolate for us arranging internships and you interning in one of them: some are traditional, some have an unorthodox style, some are fluffy, others are hard (but long lasting!), and basically all are enjoyable. However, you never know what you gonna get.

InternChina - Box of Chocolate
InternChina – Box of Chocolates

Want to get your piece from the Chinese box of chocolate? Apply now for an internship in Qingdao, Chengdu or Zhuhai!

 

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