Two Cultures, One Internship

Since joining the Signature Wine Club team, I have gained some insight about their culture and have discovered methods to help my internship be successful. The work culture in my internship is not what one might expect in China. My American, expat supervisor, who is also the owner, keeps the environment very similar to how it is in the US. However, there are some differences.

First, it was surprising to be told I do not have to come into work until 10am, and if I was a few minutes late, it is still ok. My supervisor understands the chaos of Beijing traffic and wants to help lessen the amount of time we have to be in it. Second, my company is run out of a three-bedroom apartment; so naturally, it feels homey. The dress code is very casual. Once again, my supervisor understands the heat in Beijing during the summer, yet, I am lucky if we have the A/C running for at least 2 hours during the day. Third, my supervisor has worked at various companies in China for over 25 years, so I believe some parts of his work leadership style derive from those experiences. He is straight forward with some things, but at other times, he can work his way around an answer.

After almost completing my first internship, I have learned a lot more about myself. I have learned that I work best in a work setting. During my internship, there were a few days I was not required to come into the office because no one else would be there. However, I still came in because I was more productive (and the internet was more reliable). Also, I started to make connections with the real business world and my classes from UF. This internship has made me more confident in taking on more tasks because as it turns out, I know more than I thought. Further, from interning at a small, start-up this summer, I would like to experience working at a larger company, too. While I get plenty of communication with my college and supervisor, I would like to interact with more people at my job.

-Brenna

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