Monday, June 6th, began the first of many work days. I was really nervous since I did not know what my internship had in store for me. Sitting in a van with no air conditioning for hours made the anticipation even stronger. Finally, the van arrived in front of the Landmark Towers where Caro and I met our supervisor, Jelte.
Since we arrived at lunch time, our supervisor decided the best way to introduce us to the company was to have lunch at a local Chinese restaurant and get to know our colleagues. After a delicious lunch, we arrived back at the office where our supervisor explained more about the company and what kind of projects we would potentially be working on for the next two months. We learned that the projects we do will be tailored to the needs of the company, as well as to the goals for what we want to get out of the internship. We were very excited knowing that we have a supervisor who truly cares about our professional development and is willing to help us succeed.
Over the next two days, Caro and I began to work on a project that involved conducting market research on German companies located in the German Centre of the Landmark Towers to determine what companies could become potential clients for the Beijing branch of the company. Further, we have had to research interesting articles regarding the current state of business in China to share with potential clients on LinkedIn. We will use this information to help our company try to expand the business in Beijing. The culture of the workplace of environment is very laid back and casual. Our supervisor gives us the flexibility to do our projects in whatever manner fits our style the best, as long as quality work is completed by the end of the day. We work in a very collaborative environment where everyone has a voice and can speak their input into a project. This type of workplace environment exceeded my expectations since I thought it would be more like a hierarchical structure.
Overall, the environment of my company’s workplace is very different than that of the United States. In the United States, the work is very structured and takes on more of an individualistic approach to completing the assigned tasks. However, in China, the projects you are given do not have a structured way to complete them. Further, collaboration is key to completing projects which adds on to the Chinese idea of collectivism.
I am very excited to see what opportunities this internship will present itself over the next two months.