Reflecting on the experiences I’ve had in Beijing over the last two months, I can sincerely say that this internship experience exceeded my expectations. At the beginning of the internship, I had no idea what challenges were going to be thrown my way. However, these challenges are what allowed me to grow as a person both personally and professionally.
First, I wanted to learn as much Mandarin as possible during the two short months in Beijing. Although I was not able to learn as much as I had wanted, I was able to learn enough to be able to order food, get around Beijing in a taxi, and even sometimes have a basic conversation with my co-workers. I want to continue to improve my Mandarin while I am back home so that I can be more fluent the next time I return to China. Another goal I was able to accomplish was to be able to learn to work together with my Chinese co-workers, despite the language barrier. However, one goal I was not able to accomplish was to gain as much experience in finance/accounting as I would have liked. Although I was able to review the financial audits of some of our clients, I would have liked to have done more company valuations and more analysis of financial statements. However, this was not possible due to the confidentiality of clients’ books.
My biggest accomplishment during the internship was assisting a colleague in Germany research consumption and market trends of alcohol in China, as well as high percentage alcohol brands from European countries for a client who is starting up an E-Commerce platform for selling these products. Not only was the topic interesting, but the information I supplied the client was tailored to their specific needs which was the first time I felt like a consultant. Also, this project/accomplishment taught me the importance of market research and how it is crucial for businesses who wish to break into the highly competitive Chinese market.
The biggest thing I will take away from the internship are the connections I have made with the people in Beijing, both local and foreigners. My supervisor and co-workers hope that one day I return to Beijing and that if I am ever looking for a job in China or need information/advice about anything, I could always ask them. These relationships are so invaluable and I am truly grateful for the opportunity to meet incredible people.
Overall, I could not be happier with the internship this summer. The skills and lessons learned at APMC will be useful in whatever career path I decide to pursue. This internship has taught me more about myself and I will forever be thankful for having this amazing opportunity in Beijing.