Why did you decide to intern abroad with Absolute Internship in Shanghai?
Angelika: I chose China because I have never been in Asia. I love trying new things that none of my friends have ever tried and that was the chance to do something out of my comfort zone. I wanted to challenge myself and the chance to intern in Shanghai turned out to be a once in a lifetime opportunity. What is more, I wanted to enhance my CV by adding the work experience in an Asian financial center. China is second largest economy in the world and it is getting stronger and stronger. Therefore, understanding Chinese business culture would give me a chance to land many job opportunities for my future.
Moreover, Shanghai seemed to be more modern than Beijing from searching the web beforehand and also the fact that most of the financial Asian activities takes place in Shanghai. The reason I chose Absolute Internship was their competitive pricing. I looked through other internship programs and from what I remember their program was the best value for money in terms of what they offered and their reviews from previous interns.
What made this internship experience so unique and special?
Angelika: The uniqueness of this experience was the actual chance to intern in other country, with completely different culture, far away from home and friends. At first I did not know much what to expect and how I am going to perform during the actual internship. However, the whole internship experience turn out to be great. The place I intern at was small but very successful and profitable company. I was given a lot of tasks and responsibilities, and therefore I learnt a lot about myself, my strengths and weaknesses.
Moreover, the atmosphere that Absolute created was of big importance to me. They do not only provided me with the work placement but what is more they took care of the students after work and on the weekends. All the interns, we felt like a small family during these 2 months in Shanghai. We spent time together attending social events, eating out, attending career talks, sightseeing and travelling.
How has this experience impacted your future?
Angelika: I have to say that this internship was my first office type of work experience. After the summer I feel much confident about my capabilities, and the skills that I acquired both in the financial field and in the understanding of Chinese thinking and acting.
Moreover, while in Shanghai I networked with professionals and this helped me to gain valuable connections for my full-time offer in Shanghai after my graduation in 2014. Moreover, after adding the Shanghai experience to my CV I had no problems to get an internship offer for the coming summer as well.
What is one piece of advice you would give someone considering interning abroad in Shanghai?
Angelika: I would encourage all the future interns to take out as much as possible from the time they spend in Shanghai. Somebody has told me that what you put in is what you get out. It does not necessary relates only to the working experience but also exploring the culture, picking up the language, having fun and networking with professionals. I would recommend to balance all those factors, but do not forget about Guanxi because it is the foremost important aspect about doing business in China.