Well, I can’t believe it! We are now on the last stage of the internship program in Beijing. Most of us have completed our work with the companies and are spending the last few days exploring Beijing. This also marks the last entry to this weekly journal, a bitter-sweet good bye. As we wrap up our experiences, it is now the time for reflection.
Coming into this internship, I had an expectation that this would be my first real work experience. My previous endeavors have either been working part-time for my family or interning at a small start-up. Beijing 99 is special because it is a large company with more than 100 employees and big-name clients. However, my experience was not challenging in the way that I expected. It was challenging because of the language barrier and the ambiguity of my job. I started off being an ignorant intern in a stranger’s land, and ended as someone who has integrated fully to his environment. I knew what to expect from my supervisors, and what they expected of me; albeit sometimes I still struggle with the tasks assigned. I also learned to communicate without using language as the main method, such as using different gestures and demonstrations. What I could do better is time and resource allocation. Sometimes I feel like I could definitely complete a task in a more efficient manner.
This experience has provided me with a foray into the professional workplace and international business. I have always wondered what would it be like to work inside a cubicle and have colleagues whom I can interact with both professionally and personally. It has also provided me with a clearer outlook on what kind of job and workplace that I should be looking for in the future. I want a place where I will have the freedom to structure my workload, with a flexible but clear purpose for what I do. I figured that I am better at problem-solving tasks than systematic ones. This will definitely come in handy in the near future when I will be looking for a new internship in the states.
Overall, having the opportunity to intern in a country in China is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I have learned so much about myself, the people, and workplace culture in another country. I do believe that every student should have at least one international experience before they leave college because it will equip them with the skills and experience to work effectively in a diverse culture like America, and the world as a whole. Personally, I have discovered so much about my capability, and learned new ways to interact with people who share a different set of beliefs from my own. Given the chance, I would love to do something like this again but in another country with a different group of people for a whole new experience. Thank you to Mr. Jason Ward for making it possible for us to have this experience, and I hope future students will enjoy the program just as I do.
Until next time Beijing. 再见!