Performance Reviews and Chopsticks

To kick things off, my whole internship has been fairly feedback less as far as my general performance; I have had to guess if my work pleases my final work pleases my supervisors and at times it has been quite ambiguous. On Thursday we had a performance review and I was apprehensive going into it because we had not had one the whole time I had been at the company. I was not nervous per say but rather generally curious as to what my company thought of me and I figured this would be the time I would find out if ever.

When I sat down, the HR manager Gloria stated asking me questions about how the company structured the internship program and if I had any suggestions to make for them going forward. I gave her my opinion and ideas which she vigorously wrote down, but I was slightly confused as I thought that the performance review was to be about my performance and not that of the company. She then casually mentioned that the reason she wanted to know what I thought was because they consider me the model intern and that the company wants to model the introduction activities and task assignments of feature interns to reflect my experience to benefit the company.

The previous interns wrote handover notes which I read to get acclimated, but they were inadequate at best and contradictory at worst. Gloria asked me to come up with a comprehensive introduction program to give future interns as well as a presentation to give to the whole company summarizing what I have learned and basically pitch a concept for a project they are working on. She also complimented me on my work ethic and attitude and made sure I knew that they wanted to keep in touch with me and that if I come back to China I have them as an option. Overall, I would say the performance review went very well and it was nice to get some praise and appreciation for the work I have put in during my time here.

There have been so many lessons learned and perspectives altered since I have been in Beijing that its hard to pick just one. Overall, I would say that the biggest take away that I have from my time exposed to eastern culture is that there very rarely is just one way to do things and open-mindedness and creativity can led to innovations not imaginable by those fixed in their ways. Being in China, I have seen so many ingenious solutions to problems we take completely different approaches to solving in the states. An obvious example is the different cultural aspects that are represented by the use of chopsticks vs a fork. Both are effective methods of eating but are completely different solutions to the same problem.


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