The Struggle is Real but Good

I intern at Beijing 99 NTC that primarily focuses on marketing, public relations, and event planning for clients in the technology and computer industry. The best features of my internship, in my opinion, is how the laid back and casual atmosphere. While our hours are officially 9am-6pm, we are reminded that depending on our workload for the day, we may come later or leave early. While there is a hierarchy in place that is respected, everyone in the office refers to each other and speaks to each other as friends would. We are told to get comfortable, and if we do not feel particularly well, we are able to rest or ease ourselves. Not one person here is the same–every body contributes a different dynamic to the overall group and company as a whole. People are encouraged to interact with one another and to speak up about thoughts regarding work openly. A challenge for me to complete my internship would be the language barrier. Because communication is a core component of working here, the language barrier only hinders what should be a valuable part of this experience for me. However, despite this barrier, this provides a different sort of experience for me. I get to learn to adapt to not only a new environment, but I also learn to bridge two different cultures here–the Chinese and the American culture. My mentor asks me a lot about how things are different here in China than in America, and a lot of people ask me for help when it comes to reading or understanding English. While it is difficult for me to communicate back in Chinese sometimes (because of my lack of vocabulary), I learn so much through my struggles. My strategy now is to engage in as much struggle as I can so that I can learn even more than what is merely just presented to me. My supervisor here was not sure what kind of tasks to task me with in the beginning, so he told me to come up with tasks for myself. I thought this manner of work was strange for an internship here, but I am beginning to see the value in it.

-Kevin Oula

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