How we work

Chinese work culture is a lot different than what I expected. In America, there is a lot of structure in our work and information and instruction are thoroughly prepared for you as though it was expected. However, Chinese work culture as I have experienced in my internship is completely different. I remember my first day at work, the law firm was not ready for my arrival. When I arrived the secretary greeted me, gave me a small tour of the office, and then sat me down at my cubicle. My supervisor was not there and the secretary did not know what kind of work to give me. In the end, the secretary gave me a case file to read up on. Later, I found out that the case file was actually a case that was going to close in the next couple of days and was not something that they needed my help with by any means. In the following days, I met with my supervisor and he assigned me various projects to work on. Often times, I communicate with my supervisor through e-mail, in which he responds with short one to two sentence replies that usually contain heavy jargon respective of the particular industry. Overall, Chinese work culture is its own animal. Somehow through all the chaos, there is a system, order, and flow of doing things.

Through this experience I have learned that I prefer to work with a lot structure, organization, and information. This process has allowed me to learn which and what questions to ask, to look for my own answers, troubleshoot, and work with what I have. My own style has always been to offer quality results in a timely manner. However, after this internship I realize that not everything can be perfect and not every minuscule detail matters. Time is of essence and I should not sacrifice quality for quantity, but I should also make sure to not sacrifice quantity for quality. My time at the law firm is soon drawing to a close and I hope to make the most of the coming days.

-Xiu

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