This year I had a summer of a lifetime as I spent 6 weeks working in Shanghai! Knowing how important international experience is to employers, I decided to apply for an internship abroad. I picked China because of its rapidly growing finance industry and Shanghai specifically, is known as the capital of finance, with enormous buildings in the city centre occupied just by banks and many other financial institutions. For that reason, it seemed like a perfect destination for a Finance student!
Not speaking the language and the cultural difference was my biggest worry before arrival, as well as feeling isolated and lonely for such a long time. I have never been so far from home before, therefore this entire journey seemed overwhelming. What I didn’t expect was that my host company and all colleagues would make me feel so welcome from the very first day. First arriving in the office, I was worried about not being able to meet the standards of the organisation. However, everyone was very helpful, and all my tasks were well explained. I learned a lot about the Chinese stock market through conducting financial analysis daily. I also attended business meetings and got an insight into what professional financial consultancy discussions are like.
I was fortunate enough to be in Shanghai for the 3-year anniversary of my company. For that occasion, we went on a weekend trip to Huangshan – the most beautiful place I have ever seen!
We visited a local village and some amazing places with Chinese food which I tried for the first time. I even got to taste some Chinese wine and learned about the toast culture in this country, which was a very fun experience!
On one of the weekends I went on a trip to Suzhou with interns from other companies who were staying at the same hotel. It was great to integrate with other foreign students and we got to enjoy a boat trip together.
On my last day, I went to Hot Pot for dinner with my colleagues, which I learned is very popular in China. It was interesting to try so much new food from the other side of the world. This summer was a lifechanging experience and gave me a new perspective! If I was to repeat my decision about going abroad, I would choose Shanghai again. It was very enriching culturally and professionally, making me more certain about going into the financial industry.