The Beijing Grind

My strengths relative to my coworkers always come down to English being my first language. I am able to build off their amazing design talent and concept creation by translating content already written in Chinese as well as creating my own copy in English that resonates with our concept. I am able to make their ideas available to an even wider audience because of my English ability. My supervisor also has a strength in teaching me about the industry and acting as a mentor in that way. That complements me because I have a great willingness to learn about the architecture/real estate arena, in fact it’s most definitely my favorite part about my work. His intentional teachings have really meshed with my interest.

The hardest parts of my internship have been the lack of feedback on my work and the absence of a set plan for me as an intern. I have been asked to do several random things throughout my time so far that usually involve translating copy or creating my own. When I am asked to edit English copy or create my own, I often receive no feedback on the quality of my work once I send it over to one of my co-workers. Sometimes my supervisor would come over to go through it, but many times I was left wondering whether my work was on par for a luxury brochure. Since I have never done this type of writing before, I often feel like it’s not at the level to be printed in a full-scale marketing material for the development. However, I struggle to obtain any indication from my team. Similarly, some days I feel like there was not much planning for me to come in. I am asked to do odd jobs that most likely will not build up to some higher learning objective or completion of a large project. It has been hard not to feel like my work will not go to a cause.

While those are some of the drawbacks, there are several things I have enjoyed about my internship. I have enjoyed learning about the developments that we market for, and being surrounded by beautiful architecture in the Central Business District and strewn throughout the hundreds of real estate and architecture books that we have in our office. I also have been able to get used to the grind of a 40-hour-per-week job, which while difficult at times, will help me immensely once I get full-time work after graduation.

The picture was taken in the nearby district of Sanlitun. I fell in love with this night skyline.

Tessa Skyline

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