Brian Fenske – General Business
Brian is currently studying Political Science at Arizona State University. He came to Shanghai for a 1 month General Business internship working in Sales & Marketing.
Describe your internship and host company
My internship was with a company that was split in two with one part delivering IT solutions and the other translation services. I was the assistant to the general manager in which I acted as a sales manager that overlooked marketing and business development. My main daily jobs were getting both websites up and running, proofreading, and interacting with clients that spoke English. I did this for a month and was offered to continue working for the company part-time when I return home.
Both of my companies are run by the same people. One is an information technology company that provides equipment hardware, tech support, and consultation for companies. The other is a translation company that provides document translations in over 25 different languages across the globe.
Within the office, there were only about five to six employees however; there are over twenty different employees that provide translations for the translation company. My supervisors were very nice and took great care of me. They often took me to lunch and always asked if I needed anything.
Why did you choose to do an internship in China?
I chose an internship in China for the cultural experience. I have never had the opportunity to see the rest of the world, so I thought that this would be an excellent experience for me. Also, it is a great thing to put on my resume because many people can’t say that they have worked and studied in China.
What was it like working with Chinese colleagues?
Working with Chinese colleagues was a great experience because they were very interested in the American lifestyle, so they were always asking me questions about it. The only thing that was difficult was the language barrier, so it was hard to understand what they were trying to say but after a while it got easier.
What were the highlights of your time in China?
The highlight of my internship was towards the end; my supervisor and I went to meet with a client and then we attended a business seminar in which they discussed the Chinese economic state. It was a very interesting experience, as well as a great networking event.
The highlight of my time in China was just experiencing the city of Shanghai in general. I really enjoyed viewing the city especially the Oriental Pearl Tower, the marriage markets and, of course my favorite – the fake markets.
What made you choose Internships China ?
A friend of mine showed me the website and I checked it out and thought it would be an excellent opportunity for me so I applied and then interviewed. I was really excited about it so I decided to go through with it.
What did you think of Internships China ’s support services
Internships China provides you with all the tools you need to adjust to an unfamiliar city; from picking you up at the airport when you arrive, to giving you a metro card and phone card, to escorting you to your first day at work. I felt that Internships China made it much easier to feel comfortable, as I was a bit nervous before coming because I did not speak any Chinese and have never been to China before. They were always very helpful if I had any questions and always responded within a short amount of time; such as when I found myself on the wrong train line on the way to work.
What did you think of orientation and the weekly cultural/social events?
I thought that there were great events that allowed you to meet people from all over the world who were there for the same purpose as you, so it made networking a lot easier.
How were your Chinese lessons?
The Survival Chinese classes were awesome. My teacher was very nice and helpful and taught me a lot. The hardest thing for me was understanding what was being said because, when they speak, it is so fast. Being here for a month, I only learned the basics but it was interesting enough that I would like to continue to study the language.
What is your advice for other interns coming to China?
My advice to interns is to come with an open mind and don’t believe everything that you hear from people who have never been to China. Many people told me I was going to get robbed, eat dog, and catch some strange disease. Shanghai is no different than New York City in the sense that you just have to be cautious with so many people around. The food here, in particular, is a cultural experience that you must indulge in, and please note that there is nothing that is intentionally trying to poison you.
Would you recommend Internships China ?
I would absolutely recommend Internships China because, like I said before, they provide you with all the tools you need to make the best of your Chinese experience and provide you with fun activities to make your time here an enjoyable one.