Staff Member Spotlight: Sarah Hansen

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Sarah Hansen is a Program Manager for CRCC Asia Ltd.’s Beijing office. She is originally from Birmingham, Alabama and moved to Beijing just two weeks after graduating with a degree in English and Linguistics from the University of Michigan. She prefers to drink black coffee while reading and writing and to get everywhere she’s going on her bicycle. Sarah likes to stay very physically active but makes sure to balance out exercise with tastes of Beijing’s amazing food and drink scene!

Tell us more about your role at CRCC Asia in Beijing. What's your most enjoyable aspect of the position?

Sarah: I am a Program Manager for CRCC Asia in Beijing. Basically, this position involves a lot of planning and organizing for things like airport pickups, orientation, company drop-offs, and events. It is also the Program Manager’s responsibility to provide great customer service. Our team keeps in close contact with the interns from the start to ensure that they are enjoying a positive and beneficial experience. If they have any issues or questions, they come to us. The most enjoyable part of my job is the knowledge that I give interns the help and peace of mind that they need while they are in a new environment.

What makes interning in Beijing a unique experience for participants?

Sarah: Beijing is a huge city that is developing at a hectic pace while also still retaining a bedrock of old Chinese culture, and because Beijing now sits at this crossroads of sorts there are many opportunities, particularly for young people, to pursue passions. Not everyone can become a billionaire of course, but Beijing is a place where you can try almost anything and learn a lot about an industry and yourself.

What's one attraction interns shouldn't miss while in Beijing?

Sarah: I think that the interns should take advantage of the fascinating and unusual hutong areas of Beijing. Hutongs are the old-style housing that put onlookers in mind of an earlier Beijing. What’s even more fascinating about these areas is that they have been heavily infiltrated by alternative and creative industries, the result being trendy areas where old and new collide.

What is one piece of advice you would offer someone considering interning abroad in Beijing?

Sarah: Stay open minded; the city and your workplace could be very different from what you are used to, and it pays to be flexible and willing to learn.

Any tips for first time travelers?

Sarah: Prepare as well as you can, but remember that sometimes things don’t happen as planned. Be ready to go with the flow as needed. If something unexpected happens while you’re travelling, it can be frustrating in the moment, but if you keep your cool, you’ll make it to your final destination and just have that much better of a travel story!