It promised to be an outstanding experience – it turned out to be a life-changing experience…
I arrived to China in the end of August 2016, all ready to start an internship in Shanghai, in the Marketing Department of Hutong School. Since I have never been to China before, I took some time, while being in Europe, to prepare for the quite long stay in Asia. In this way, I have watched various documentaries, went through the main dos and don’ts, Googled all possible questions. I can clearly remember my first feelings, when the plane finally landed in Pudong Airport – confidence, preparedness and endless excitement about the upcoming adventure and the internship.
Some emotions, however, changed after the first week of my stay in Shanghai. Suddenly, my idyll was replaced by the unexpected cultural shock. Streets appeared to be dirty, people looked rude and cold-hearted, food tasted insanely spicy. At that moment, the list of disadvantages seemed to be endless. Fortunately, I had my internship to focus on and extremely nice people surrounding me. Their optimistic approach helped me to go through the cultural shock and start focusing on the outstanding things that Shanghai can offer.
I started to appreciate local climate. While it was only 5 degrees in Northern Europe, in Shanghai the temperature did not go below 20 degrees. I started to close my eyes on the fullness of the local metro, valuing its speed and mobility. I fell in love with the local cuisine and found my favourite dish of all times, which was steamed rice topped with boiled beef. Today, I can infinitely talk about things and places I like in Shanghai, but one of the most important ones is Hutong School – the place, which made my internship in Shanghai possible.
I believe that the time spent in Hutong School has been valuable and beneficial for both personal and professional paths of mine. The school made it possible to extend my knowledge and develop new skills in certain areas, while still keeping the main focus on marketing. After a relatively short period spent in Hutong School, I am now able to underline the specific areas of interest that might be used as a guideline for my future career.
Moreover, I have been lucky enough to participate in the International Fair in Shanghai, representing Hutong School. This gave me a great possibility to meet people and companies, who were just as ambitious and curious as I am. While having my internship in Shanghai, I had a real opportunity to express myself as a young specialist, who is not afraid of taking responsibilities and deal with unexpected challenges. I also hope that I managed to leave an impression of a highly motivated and optimistic person, who can get over the cultural shock fast.
In the end of the day, my internship in Hutong School was a priceless experience. I am thankful for such an amazing opportunity and life-changing journey, which has undoubtedly expanded my cultural horizons!
To read more on the benefits of an internship, check out our article on “How An Internship Can Affect Your Career” or if you’ve got your internship already set and are ready to head to China, check out our article on “10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Coming to China”
Written by Anastasija Averina – marketing intern