My story is slightly different from most. I wasn’t a student looking for an internship, at the time of applying I was already working at a great Charity in London (Media Trust) as an Events Coordinator for over 2 years prior to joining the Next Step Connections Internship Program.
What motivated me?
I always wanted to break into the Advertising Industry, coming from an Arts background and watching (no, not Mad Men) a short documentary in my teens on the account team that handled Guinness’ Surfer Ad back in 1999.I was also learning Chinese at the time and thought it would be great to practice my self-taught mandarin (I regretted that day one) and see China for myself. So you can imagine my excitement when NSC confirmed a 6 months internship at one of the world’s largest Advertising Agencies working with the Volkswagen (automobile) accounts team in Shanghai.
It was an eye-opener. I got a real handle on what it meant to work in an Ad Agency and it certainly continues to inform my career choices today, making me evaluate what it is I really enjoyed about my work and what sort of career I wished to pursue. I made a great bunch of friends from the Agency, who I still keep in touch with today.
I was well looked after from day one. From airport, right through to settling into my apartment and getting all the essentials; phone cards, travel cards and with plenty of NSC initiated socials to discover this city. Not to mention the Monthly catch up with my program coordinator – you’re really well-looked after.
I loved Shanghai and decided to stay on and was fortunate enough to secure a job before my internship ended, joining ChinesePod (pioneers in the field of entertaining Chinese online) and have been here ever since, almost 4 years on. If you’re coming over, make sure you know some Chinese, it helps a lot. That reminds me. There’s this fantastic learning Chinese online company, it’s called… Just kidding. Though seriously, don’t be that foreigner that complains about the service staff in restaurants not speaking English. I’m from London (UK) and even I know that the Empire is dead – it’s time to speak the native tongue!