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Marketing Specialist
About the placement/internship

Why did you decide to do a placement/internship?

I was in my final year and I wasn't sure what I was going to do. I had studied East Asian studies and so far wasn't sure if or how I would ever use it. I saw the opportunity to kick start a career by gaining overseas knowledge while also putting my degree to some use.

How did you find your placement/internship?

I found it on Google when I was looking up placement/internship opportunities, but later found it within my department at University.

Application process

The application process was straight forward and could be completed within a few hours once I had received a recommendation from a lecturer. After that it was one phone interview with Intern China. Once I was confirmed to have received the scholarship from the British Council I was immediately passed over to Intern China. They they went about helping me pick a company and role I would be interested in. Once selected, I was quickly set up in a skype interview with the company and confirmed my placement.

What made you choose this organisation for your placement/internship?

I chose this organisation because it seemed like a place that had a lot of opportunity. The work they initially put me on was sport-related which was interesting to me and also allowed me to meet other like-minded people.

Main responsibilities

I was involved in the day to day running of social media, which primarily included writing articles and graphic design. I would also have to occasionally do some more general office tasks, such as creating forms and filling out paperwork.

Typical day

On a typical day, I would wake up, head to the office and go about my day. Sometimes I had lots to do, other days I was not so busy. It's an unpaid internship at the end of the day so you really can't expect too much - but you can expect to get at least something out of it. I got involved with activities with Intern China outside of the workplace with included regular meals, activities and nights out. I also joined a local football team.

What did I enjoy about my placement/internship?

I really enjoyed the family atmosphere Intern China adopted, both within their small community of interns/staff. Once you arrived in China, despite being pretty daunting for most people, you're made to feel as much as at home as possible. If you had a problem, it would always be handled professionally by the staff. I really enjoyed getting to know the people both within and outside of the workplace. Despite only being in China for two months, it's really possible to begin to carve a short-version of a life there for you in China.

Challenging aspects

The language is an obvious one. In Zhuhai, barely anybody speaks English and so the most mundane things can become extremely difficult. But, as the weeks go by, you get used to it, start speaking a little bit (which is greatly appreciated by the Chinese) and it becomes easier. It's definitely difficult to stay focused when you're not busy in the office. There's great temptation to just start messing around when you don't have much to do and you're not getting paid anyway. It's best if you try and make yourself helpful whenever possible, try to find some work, or simply appear at least relatively busy.

Did you use any skills learned from your course?

I think my studies of China on my East Asian Studies course, especially in the general and business culture were extremely useful. I came here with at least some knowledge of the country and some of their customs. Though, you can't learn everything in a classroom and many things are completely unexpected here, it provided at least a solid starting point for my journey.

Has your time on placement influenced your future career choice?

Yes, as a result of the programme, I realised that China is a viable option for me to work. I plan on spending at least the next several years in China developing my language and career skills before heading elsewhere in the world.

As a result of your placement/internship, what are your next steps in planning what you want to do after graduation?

As a result of the placement - which I actually did over a year ago now from July 2018 - September 2018 - I received a job from the placement opportunity. I am now working full time in Zhuhai, China. They gave me a job in sales and marketing with hope to work my way up within the company fast. I am working on my Chinese skills and enjoying the life here.

Advice to students

My piece of advice to students

If you're looking for something exciting to do after your first year or even within a year after you graduate. Generation UK is a good option to improve both your life skills and CV. You can pretty much get whatever you want out of the programme. If you just want to come and experience China, have a great time and mess around in an office for two months - that's fine, many people do that here. But if you're more serious about things, really spend time on developing personal relationships and are proactive, if you want to gain more skills and even find a job here, then that's possible two. If you are even considering this programme or anything similar, now is the time in your life to give it a go. You never know, it might change your life outcome completely.

Other comments

The Generation UK programme provided me with a fantastic opportunity. Without it, I really don't know what I would be doing now. I'm currently living in China and have great prospects for my career here, which is something I would have had great uncertainty about securing in the UK.

Form completed: 26 Nov 2019

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