My experience with the Global Apprenticeship program in China was truly phenomenal. Cristina and the other employees went above and beyond in making sure that both my internship and my experience living in Shanghai were better than I imagined before I left. What surprised me most was how hospitable and friendly the GA team was to myself and the other interns throughout our stays. Arriving at the airport late at night, I was instantly greeted by a GA employee who showed me my room and set me up with a phone, maps, a conversational Chinese pamphlet along with everything else that someone who just arrived in a completely new country would need. Throughout the trip I was comfortable calling Cristina directly for any tips on restaurants, sites or any other information that I needed to know. Furthermore, Cristina and her team regularly showed us where the real gems of Shanghai were, including the best restaurants, malls, shows, temples and gardens. I noticed that as the trip progressed the interns and the GA team all became very close. For example, on one of our last days together we set up a poker tournament at Cristina’s apartment after she cooked us all an amazing dinner. It was a wonderful experience meeting the GA team and I will surely keep in contact with them in the future.
My internship in Shanghai was also invaluable in establishing a foundation for my career. Because I wished to work as a consultant, the GA team found me an internship in a reputable Chinese consulting firm with intelligent and highly distinguished employees. In the short amount of time that I was in Shanghai, I was able to increase my general business knowledge and learn the intricacies of business practices within an emerging economy. Not only did the GA team find me the internship that I wanted but they also helped me network remarkably during my stay. I actually ended up meeting with high-level employees at major global consulting firms including Ernst & Young and McKinsey & Company in which I learned a great deal about their firms along with how to prepare for interviews. The GA team also set up an all-you-can-eat lunch for 30 people, which included well-established entrepreneurs, financial managers and venture capitalists from around the area. I was also able to keep in touch with these excellent contacts through LinkedIn and other social networking sites. Thus, my experience in Shanghai allowed me to build knowledge and establish essential contacts to help me reach my career goals afterwards.
The GA program went above and beyond any expectations that myself and the other interns had about our trips to Shanghai. I am now getting ready to be interviewed at major global consulting firms in which my internship experience will be the topic of discussion. I recommend the program to any motivated student looking for an exciting and valuable experience to learn more about his/her desired profession in a region that is becoming one of the most prominent centers for work opportunities in the world. And, not only will the GA program help you reach your professional goals, but it will also expose you to new and exhilarating cultures, foods and people that will change your perspective on life. Because of my experience, I can honestly say that I cannot wait to return back to Shanghai within the near future.