My aim by going through GA to find an internship was to work with a company in China. I made my decision when I was in India, a few months before moving into Shanghai, taking part in a student exchange program. I was struggling to find an internship in Montréal (my hometown) that would have flexible enough dates to match the Indian university calendar. Being away from home, I couldn't attend networking events so all the odds were against me for finding an internship in Québec.
Once I contacted GA, everything went really quickly and I had a Skype interview with Cristina. We talked about my skills and what I was looking for in an internship. On her side, she explained to me what the companies were looking for in an intern and the needed experience I needed to have in order to get into certain internships. After the Skype call, she then started sending me a bunch of internships offers from different companies. I was receiving about 5 emails a day with different job descriptions. In Shanghai, everything is about networking in the expat community, and Cristina is pretty good at it. Therefore, she can find internships in a wide variety of business areas just because she knows the right people in town.
The internship I got was pretty challenging in the sense that I was the only person from an engineering background in the company. Therefore, I had to implement on my own a new operations management software that would help the company in scheduling their employees, manage the payroll, ease their accounting and much more. I also expanded my skills in marketing by attending WeChat seminars for example. I also prepared a lot of partnership pitches for the company. Internships in Shanghai are not usually paid (or if they are, it is a very small amount of money), so I wasn't expecting much in terms of salary. However, because of the work I've done there, my employer insisted for giving me a bonus wage. I didn't mind it!
In Shanghai, I was living in Jing'An at the GA flat with Cristina and another flatmate from Australia. The three of us had an absolutely great time. Finding a flat in Shanghai can be challenging, but the GA one was just great. I recommend going to this place if it's not already fully booked.
For those who want to get into China and have no contacts or no idea where to start from, I'd say go ahead with GA. Chances are you are going to find an internship that suits you just well. Cristina is the person you wanna know in Shanghai. She knows where to take aerial yoga lessons, where to find the best poutine in town (now that I told her) and she speaks fluently English, Mandarin and Spanish (try to beat that).
To sum it up, I had an amazing time at work and after work. This was my second internship in a company (the first one being in Montréal) and I got the feeling that I learned much more in Shanghai than in Montréal because what I did was much closer to what I want to do when I graduate.