All Mandarin…All the Time

One more week of interning! As my time at Pico comes to a close, I’ve been spending some time reflecting on this experience and what skills I’m taking home with me. My most challenging moment of my work did not even take place at the office. Traveling and living with my coworkers in a town completely different from Beijing was very eye-opening. I felt challenged to adapt to the new scenery, schedule, and company. I was used to coming home from work every day to my roommate, Alex, where we would talk or grab dinner. But in Wuzhen, it was all Mandarin all the time.

My most challenging moment was when I was asked to research hotels to stay in after there were complications with our original accommodation. Normally, if I wanted to find a place to stay with nice reviews, I would use Trip Advisor or an app like it. But in the small town of Wuzhen, the accommodations had one or two reviews, if any. Maria and I were tasked with going to all the surrounding areas to find an affordable and clean hotel within proximity to the exhibition center. I practiced my language skills and problem solving techniques to eventually land us an apartment with our own kitchen so we could cook traditional Chinese meals every night.

The best moment of my internship was also on this trip where I got to go onsite of the Audi show and see the progress of the constructions, AV, and see the final MC’s rehearsal. It was incredible to see the plans I had studied for weeks come to life. This was a good way to solidify my understanding of what exhibition companies like Pico can accomplish.

My biggest professional achievement of this internship would be my ability to read my coworkers and to understand the situations I am needed and those that I should take a step back. When we are in the office, I present myself as a resource for others to come to me if they need me. I stay busy during the day with various research projects that Maria gives me, but I am not buzzing around the office asking “Do you need anything?” every five minutes. I feel as if patience is key in China; some of colleagues seem annoyed when the other interns ask them for more work all the time.

During my last few days in this company I hope to solidify Maria as main contact person in China and I hope she understands that I will be that for her in America. It’s unbelievable that I’ve spent my summer interning in Beijing, China of all places. I will never have another summer like this one. 8 days and then we fly home!

Lauren hot pot

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