“Hao” – Just Go With It

It’s hard to believe this is my ninth journal entry and I have spent more than two months in Beijing, China. The experience has been overwhelming at times and I cannot wait to get back home, but I know that I will miss Beijing and all the memories I’ve made here once I touch down in Tampa.

Over the course of my internship at Pico I have learned a lot about the exhibition management business and myself. As their first intern, I believed I set a standard for all following interns to live up to. It was challenging figuring out my place in the company as I was a pioneer in my status, but I think I did well in completing research and creating proposals for future events.

Working as an intern for Pico solidified my future goals of working in the international marketing industry. I know that I am creative in designing themes for events and I can complete complicated tasks efficiently, even when the directions are ambiguous. In my future career, these two months will benefit me as I can draw from the adaptability aspect of this experience.

I have not only learned business, but about people also. My last day of work was Friday, and Maria and I went out to dinner to celebrate. I have grown so close to her and I am extremely grateful that she decided to take on an intern. Listening to her stories about being a minority in China and how that makes it hard for her to travel abroad, made me appreciate this time I’ve had. I teared up when we said our goodbyes because I didn’t know when I would see her again.

In my last few days here I am spending my time outside, admiring the atmosphere of this Asian metropolis. I have a lot of packing to do still—I have to go purchase another suitcase to bring back all the things I’ve bought here. The key takeaway from this experience is—just go with it. When you are asked if you want to try something in a restaurant: “Hao”, if you want to go with a coworker to lunch: “Hao”, if you want to go on a weeklong business trip to southern China: “Hao.” “Hao” means “okay” in Mandarin and it is the best way to live life in China. The cultural barrier makes it difficult to analyze every situation so say “Hao” and just go with it.

See you on Wednesday, America!

Lauren colleage

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