Reflecting on my experience over the past month and a half interning at 5 Star Plus Retail Design, I found traits such as self-confidence, networking, and punctuality to be skills I thrived and excelled in. I do not mean to sound cynical or presumptuous however, I like to think of myself as an outgoing individual. I believe this attribute is what allowed engaging with unfamiliar people and building relationships both in and outside of work to come naturally. Tuning out distractions and avoiding procrastination presented more difficultly than I anticipated. In moments of lapses in internet connection or conversations with neighboring colleagues, my focus tended to shift from my work. I found putting in earbuds and listening to music to be an effective counterattack for addressing this problem as the music allowed me to enter this state of mind where only the music, myself and my tasks were present. This method will be a tool hidden in my arsenal for future projects, assignments and tasks to come.
Interning at 5 Star Plus Retail Design has taught me to be a listener first before a speaker, to ask a galore amount of questions and how valuable a well-developed network can be. We live in a world where we are no longer competing with individual’s in neighboring states or countries. We are competing globally. Having connections to individuals who can introduce you to potential employers or clients is a valuable asset. Asking questions helps with learning and understanding topics presenting confusion. They remove the need for ambiguity and the need for assumptions. As I search for a career or work with other individuals towards a common goal, I can apply these values in my drive and strive for success.
The “Key Takeaway” from this experience has been removing myself from an environment plagued with comfort and familiarity and placing myself in a setting clouded in ambiguity and this factor of “unknown.” Although China and the United States are both on the same planet, I view both as separate worlds. The food, atmosphere, opportunities, culture and history make each country unique and distinctive. Traveling to China this summer allowed me to personally experience this world and to discover if pursuing a life in this country is an idea I would be opened to. I cannot definitively say whether China is the country for me, however, I do believe in the phrase “never say never.” Either way, this experience has been unforgettable. I am glad I decided to travel somewhere different than most and encourage whoever is reading this to travel somewhere you least imagine yourself being. You may surprise yourself with what you discover.