Making Guanxi and Taking Names

Since last week my relationships have improved steadily. My supervisor explained the basics of the International Space Settlement Design Competition to me since I have now begun to grade the reports. I would say his strengths are more in the robotics department but I have not interacted with him enough to know his personal strengths and weaknesses. My coworkers who I am closest with do not work in the same department as I do, but each have their own strengths. I am close with all the robotics guys, who obviously have strengths in technology and math, neither of which are my forte. Almost everyone is very personable, and I believe I have been as well. As with my supervisor though, I do not know them well enough to know any other meaningful strengths.

One of the most challenging aspects of my internship is staying focused for the complete nine hours a day. The work I have been doing has not been challenging, which means it is easy for my mind to wander. Another challenge is the language barrier. Even though almost everyone can speak some English, of course they prefer to speak Chinese to each other. This means I do not know what is being talked about 80% of the time. I have gotten used to it but it still presents a challenge daily.

The absolute best part of my internship is the people. They have been amazing in making me feel welcome and helping me out whenever I need it. Every day they enjoy bringing me Chinese foods to try and love laughing at my reactions. We still go on our walks around the area as well, which is nice to get out of the office and take in the sights. Everyone I work with has been nice, and next week we are getting another intern from the UK so I am excited to see how that goes. Besides the relationships, another great feature of my internship is the lunch every day. I have gotten to try so many foods in the past few weeks, some of which have been delicious and some have been an interesting experience to say the least. I am looking forward to more, including our trip to Xi’an this weekend.

Kaila Dragon Esc

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