Tell us more about your role at CRCC Asia. What's your most enjoyable aspect of the position?
Shane: I am the Asia Pacific Marketing Manager and am responsible for letting students and graduates in our region find out about the amazing opportunities for work placements that are available in China. The most enjoyable part of my job is travelling to different universities and actually talking to students about their career goals and aspirations. It’s great to meet so many students that are keen on exploring the world and taking up the chance to travel, study abroad or willing to work in an international environment. Our world is becoming smaller and it’s fantastic to see interns on our CRCC Asia China Internship Program creating links between China and their home country by sharing each other’s cultures, building a professional network and having a lot of fun at the same time.
Have you ever interned or worked abroad? What was the most rewarding part of your experience?
Shane: I have worked in both the USA and China under very different circumstances. I first worked abroad in Colorado for a ski season and was a cashier at a new burger place in town, working for tips and living with six people roughing it in a three bedroom house. The following year I decided that I wanted to go abroad for my summer break again but actually gain work experience relevant to my degree and academic interests so I chose to go on the CRCC Asia program to Beijing for two months.
I was placed at an online social media marketing company and was very fortunate to work with a great team of Chinese people who were just as interested in learning about me and my skills as I was about them and their expertise in the much different world of social media in China. They made me feel a part of their work family and would invite me out to lunch each day as well as to other work and social events. Even though there was a definite language barrier between many of them and myself they were very inclusive, which was encouraging in such a foreign environment to what I am used to. These cultural experiences, networking opportunities and friendships with other CRCC Asia interns living in the same apartment complex were the most rewarding part and almost two years later these links are still very much alive and have shaped my life in such a positive way.
How do you see the international internship market changing over the next 5 years?
Shane: It’s only going to grow like it has over the past five years. It is becoming increasingly important to develop international experience in your area of expertise so that we can share and gain knowledge from like-minded individuals from all around the world. Australia in particular is shifting to a greater focus on Asia. Demand for internships and study programs in China are increasing and universities are pushing students to explore every global opportunity that is presented to them to help connect them culturally and professionally to China.
What's the most memorable story/experience you've heard from a past intern?
Shane: Two interns from different continents that were on the CRCC Asia program almost two years ago at the same time as me are now in a long-term relationship with one working permanently in Beijing and the other visiting regularly! You never know who you might meet or what situations you can find yourself in as an intern in China!
What is one piece of advice you would offer someone considering interning in China?
Shane: Throw away any stereotypes or preconceived notions that you may have about China and open your mind to an exciting world of new friends, food, culture, travel and opportunities to learn a huge amount of useful information for career advancement and personal development.