- Internship Duration: 10 weeks
- University: University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC)
- Internship Program: China Internship
- Industry sector: Information Technology & Services Internship
- Internship / Job tittle: Business Development Intern
- Key assignments: Improved company website visibility, traffic and information to attract targeted customers. Helped with the company’s English website. Conducted research in the field of social media. Constructed and maintained various types of network media content editing resources. Investigated market and collected data to assist with finishing the website design. Completed other ad hoc tasks as needed to support team members.
Hello! My name is Francisco J. Vargas Guadalupe and I am 23 years old. I was born and raised in Ponce, Puerto Rico and I transferred from the University of Puerto Rico in Ponce to the University of North Carolina in Charlotte where I am studying Computer Science. I speak Spanish and English and I want to learn Mandarin Chinese.
What did you do during your internship in Shanghai?
I am interning at a company that specializes in search engine optimization and online marketing. Some of my duties include the following: improving official website visibility, traffic, and information release to attract customers; helping with the company’s English website; conducting research in the field of social media (research some data about American SEO companies and help analyze their advantages and disadvantages in order to improve competitive advantage); constructing and maintaining various types of network media content editing resources (editing or writing some SEO and web promotion articles after researching online information); marketing investigation and collecting data to assist with finishing the website design. The company is right next to the famous Tongji University and none of the employees are foreigners, which made this experience even more amazing because I had to keep finding ways to communicate with everyone. There were only five employees that were able to speak a little English out of the fifty employees in the company, but we made it work.
I chose China because I wanted to go to the most exotic place I could think of. I wanted my first trip to this side of the world to be as memorable as possible. Also, China is expected to become the world’s biggest economy over the next two decades and I would like to get a head start on learning the language and preparing myself for the professional world. Coming from a small island like Puerto Rico, I wanted to go as far as I could think of and live in a place whose culture is drastically different from ours. Growing up I learned about China’s Great Wall, Forbidden City and its many other famous places, so as soon as I saw this opportunity to go abroad, I knew I had to come to the place I thought I would only see in books.
Advice and recommendations to future interns?
Do not be afraid to try new things and step into their shoes to really live the life of a typical Chinese, even if it’s only for a short time. I have done Tai Chi in the morning with a local Chinese man in the street. I have eaten many new things that I never imagined I would ever eat like pig brain, chicken feet, chicken heart, scorpions, and sea horses. Also, be prepared to walk a lot and bring comfortable shoes for this. Beware of drivers because pedestrians do not have the right of way in Shanghai and drivers will rarely stop for a pedestrian. If you plan to use your phone in China with a Chinese SIM card, make sure that the phone is unlocked in order to work with the new SIM card while living abroad. If you plan on accessing Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or any other western website that is blocked in China, you can do so by obtaining a VPN like StrongVPN or you can use other methods. Finally, bring a converter/adapter for electronic devices that may require it for the electrical outlets in China.