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 spent 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.
“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 to Andrew and want to gain international experience, apply now!
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Marie, I’m from Cheshire, UK and have recently graduated form the University of Manchester with a degree in Linguistics.
Tell us a bit about your internship.
I stayed in Chengdu for 2 months and worked for a start-up company. My job role was really varied – writing articles, contacting potential partners, product innovation, regulating social media and customer service. My mentor was the CEO and founder of the company; he was really great at giving me his time – whether it was to discuss new ideas or whether he was offering business advice. The time I spent with my mentor was invaluable; I learned so much. My internship was matched to me perfectly. Not only have I gained more experience than I thought I ever could have in two months, I have a new wealth of knowledge that will really help me start my career in the UK.
How was Chengdu?
I really loved Chengdu. Relaxed but vibrant, delicious food and countless must-sees, most of my weekends were taken up with a trip somewhere. Although it could be hard at times with the language barrier, people were always willing to help. The nightlife is good here too – my favorite being Helens bar, I think that is one of the things I will miss the most.
Did you try any strange food?
My boss ordered Hot Pot to work one afternoon, I didn’t know all of the ingredients but cow stomach was in there!
What did yo do at the weekends?
I really love to explore so I often used my weekends to travel out of Chengdu. I went to Leshan, Jiuzhaigou, Liujiang ancient town and the panda base. If I stayed locally, I would usually be found in Helens or in Book Worm – cosy western cafe (definitely recommend).
What was your average working day like?
I usually begin the day my checking and replying the customer service emails, this takes me until lunch. After my colleagues have taken me for Chinese food or Burger King, my afternoon is spent doing a variety of things. I could be writing articles, press releases, contacting potential partners or finding material to post on social media. Sometimes I would Skype with journalists, telling them about a new feature or giving them information for a story.
Would you recommend an internship in China?
I would 100% recommend doing an internship in China. As the biggest growing economy in the world, to me it seemed natural to turn to China for an internship. Although I have learned so much from working here, I think the culture in general teaches you so much. It’s just different here and it’s hard to explain unless you been. I am yet to visit another country in Asia but I am sure that China is unique in that it can give you something that other places cannot.
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, Xian 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.
For more information about Chengdu, click here.
Jaasir is doing his internship at a Chinese Investment Consultancy Company (CDBS30)
This is a Chinese firm that was just recently established in September 2012, and Jaasir is based in their business centre in the heart of Chengdu. They provide financial consultancy services for private equity, venture capital and local small and medium-sized enterprises throughout Sichuan. They also provide strategy consultancy and agency services for Real Estate developers and investment funds. The current office has seven permanent staff, so it’s a familiar and friendly atmosphere to work in. Not forgetting fabulous views of some of the city’s most impressive architecture too.
What are Jaasir’s tasks and responsibilities as an intern?
Being a Business Development Assistant at the company involves promoting the business and its services. Jaasir has been in charge of drafting brochures and marketing materials in English, as well as designing an entire website in English. A responsibility he’s both enjoyed and learned a lot from.
He has also been attending meetings and networking events with his director, helping to establish and build up relationships with clients. Not to mention writing business proposals and collaborating with colleagues to come up with new ways for the company to develop in the future.
What does Jaasir think about his internship and his time in China?
Chinese work in a totally different type of mindset and culture. It’s great getting used to it. Great getting the international experience.
To everyone who’s asked me, how is China different to the UK? I can only say come over here and have a look. It’s really interesting!
Jaasir from the UK
大家好! My name is Adam I’m a 21-year-old student of Chinese (Mandarin) and History at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London. I was born in Zimbabwe, my father is from there, but have lived in Oxford since I was about 6 years old.
What brought me to China? If I’m being completely honest, I’d say it all began with a childhood obsession with martial arts and the associated films. Also at school, history was always my favourite subject and naturally this branched out to an interest in Chinese history and, of course, a desire to study Chinese.
Unsurprisingly, my choice to study Mandarin is one that has opened lots of doors for me. So far, I’ve interned in Beijing for one month and studied at Beijing Normal University for the rest of the academic year between 2012 and 2013. During my time in China, I also took the opportunity to explore some of the country, from the scenic city of Hangzhou to the metropolis of Shanghai and others. On a personal note, I see my time in China as a sort of rite of passage into adulthood; the cultural and linguistic barriers were initially daunting but overcoming them has been an important step into my maturing as an adult.
I chose to come and work for InternChina this summer for a number of reasons. I’ve always wanted to visit Chengdu, so the chance to live and work here was not one to miss. Also, the wider region of Sichuan is famed for its mountainous landscapes, spicy foods and of course pandas, so I’m sure that my weekends here will be jammed full of interesting activities and sightseeing. Most importantly, being here for two months will allow me to improve my Mandarin- although the accent and dialect here have been a bit of an uphill struggle!
Working with InternChina, so far, has proven to be a thoroughly rewarding experience for me. I came here seeking a job that would be engaging and push me, and I can safely say that so far the Chengdu office has managed to and will continue to do just that. After just over a week, I’ve been given a lot of responsibility and the opportunity to use Mandarin in a professional context. The internship is tailored so that I can get an idea of all of our business functions, with the aim of eventually focusing on one particular area. All in all, I have high hopes for my time here and am genuinely looking forward to it!
If you have an interest in discovering China, apply!
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.
Five and a half months ago, I made my way to the office for the first time – ridiculously early – and sat down at my desk in the IC Chengdu office. I was really quite nervous as this was the first time I have worked in an office environment, but my colleagues were all very friendly and helpful. I admit I felt quite overwhelmed in my first week, there were so many new faces, so many tasks and programmes to familiarise myself with. There was also my jetlag to deal with and the fact that I didn’t like spicy food (and almost everything in Chengdu is at least a little spicy).
Nevertheless, day after day, I grew more comfortable in my role and in what I had to do. I began exploring the city with the other interns as well and saw and experienced numerous interesting sites in and around Chengdu. The most memorable places were, of course, the Giant Panda Base and Emei Mountain (see my account on that here).
The food has also been quite a journey for me. As I said, I could not eat any spicy food when I first arrived. Now, five months later, I am enjoying my dishes drowned in red chilli sauce and sprinkled with Sichuan peppercorns. I never knew it was possible to train your taste-buds!
I have met amazing people during my short time here, have made friends for life and I admit, despite the fog, I’ve fallen in love with this ever-changing city. I will miss my colleagues, I will miss the food, I think I will even miss the smog!
But it doesn’t end here! Though my internship is over, my time with IC is not – I’m staying on board to take on the role as Qingdao branch office manager! I am extremely excited to have been given this opportunity and I can’t wait to start my new adventures in Qingdao starting from April.
It has been fun, challenging, and most of all rewarding to intern with IC and I look forward to coming back, meeting new people, visiting new places and trying new foods. It is an adventure I would recommend to anyone and I hope to be able to welcome many more students and graduates to China, and make sure they have an amazing time in this magical country!
Kick start your career with an internship in Qingdao, Zhuhai or Chengdu and join in the adventure! Apply Now!