During my time here at Asian Agribusiness Consulting, I truly have learned quite a lot, not only about the consulting business in general, but also about myself. To start, I feel I handled adversity very well during my internship. There were plenty of times where I faced difficult situations, such as talking to clients who did not understand English too well, and being rejected by individuals who did not want to share market information. There were plenty of days where I felt disappointment in my performance because I was not providing the company with enough market research each day. Some days were good, others were terrible. However, despite all this, I made sure I discussed my troubles with my supervisor to let her know that even though my results were at times poor, I was not slacking off. In the end, she told me I was one of ACC’s hardest working interns and she even offered me to intern again at the company if I found myself in China in the near future.
The internship allowed me to understand just how consulting businesses operate and just how important deadlines are for projects. I was able to get a first hand look at the interaction between Western and Chinese employees. The Chinese really do work in a different manner than Westerners. Whereas we are direct and up front with our actions and speech, the Chinese are indirect and avoid conflict at all costs. They even look out for one another and make sure each employee is safe from scrutiny from the boss, as the boss regularly yelled at employees for not doing their job. I believe watching this dynamic really helped me understand how non-Westerners and Westerners work amongst each other in a business environment. Yes, the differences in culture can causes those to butt heads with one another, but there is definitely a mutual understanding between the two.
My key takeaway from this experience is that I must be prepared to handled those who are different than me in the work force. Not everyone will have the same work ethic, morals, and sense of competition as I do, and I must be able to learn to adapt to this environment, especially when in international business. I can only hope I will have a similar opportunity in the near future.