The most challenging part of my internship so far was dealing with my frustration about my hours. I am scheduled to arrive at 10 and leave at 7. The 10 piece sounds great, and it is, but for the first two weeks of my internship I was routinely getting out almost an hour late. One time I left the office at 9:30. After a few times, I was starting to feel really frustrated because most of the times I was waiting around for someone to check my work or to give me further instruction. I felt like I had no control over my schedule, and it wasn’t because I was swamped with work. Before I let my frustrations ruin my entire internship experience, I really thought about why I am really here. I am doing this internship to not only gain industry knowledge and technical skills, but to come to terms with the ups and downs of full-time employment. Sometimes I will stay late, but some times I will be let go early. Likewise, sometimes I will feel fulfilled and over days I won’t. I think the frustrations have channeled into growth for me.
My favorite moment of my internship has been the times where my coworkers and I all go to lunch together. It is really the only time that we get to socialize, and I have had some great conversations with my coworkers. They also take me to a variety of restaurants, so I get exposed to dishes I probably wouldn’t have gotten myself, for example on Friday we went to a place that serves Southern China cuisine. I think I have had most of my laughs and memories from our lunch adventures… everything from seeing the pure joy and awe they have when they get their food, to one of my coworkers saying “I’m just so emotional right now” after buying a $70USD lighter.
The biggest professional accomplishment during my internship was probably coming up with a promotional item idea for a large office development we are branding. The client is having a large party in August where we will be giving out promotional items, and I came up with this idea of book recommendations. We would hand out some artsy book that contained readings of Steve Jobs, Jack Ma, and other revolutionary business and cultural leaders. It is amazing to see my ideas come to life for such a grand-scale event.
Photo: The hutong where we get dinner almost every night after work.