Thursday, 11 August 2016

First days in Zhuhai, China

Hi there,

I'm Phillip, 21 years old and from Germany. I study Management and Sales for trading companies at the University of applied sciences of Heilbronn in my third year. Currently I just started my 6 month internship at the ODM Group.

I just arrived in Zhuhai 6 days ago and I'm still curios about this place, trying to figuring stuff out.

It's my first time in Asia and I had no idea, what I should expect of Asia or China, but I'm glad I did this. At first I was shocked by this culture and this way of life, but now it is pretty good and I do feel safe in this city.

I already experienced a lot in my first days: asian food, chinese taxi drivers and some hikes through the city and thorugh the chinese jungle outside of Zhuhai with other Interns of Internchina (IC).
I arrived on a Friday and went on that Saturday after that to the hike with IC.

We had a lot of fun at the hike and in the water of the waterfall, even though we didn't found it. It was very hot, probably between 35 and 40°C, we hiked for about 3 hours, which wasn't planned  but gave us the reason, why we enjoyed the pool of the waterfall so much more.  And the nature was great too. I really loved it.

After that the IC organized a great KTV (Chinese karaoke) which was so much fun with the other interns.

The work at the ODM Group is great too. They are a great team with nice people. I really do enjoy it and can strongly recommend to start an internship at the ODM Group and to talk with the IC, as they are providing a great service.

Monday, 8 August 2016

My Experience Abroad Internship and Last Month in Zhuhai.

Now, it's the end of my internship and I can say with confidence that it was really exciting and adventurous experience. Need to say that here at the ODM Group I had got so many new knowledge and skills which I will surely need in my future work life. I learned how to write promotional blog’s, how to make pricing and invoice and find the best product for our clients. Due to this internship I improved my communication skills (how to deal with some not very polite clients). Besides I become better photographer and photoshoper even.

All this will be impossible without great marketing, sales, design and merchandising team. Here at ODM I understood what means the great team work, due to participation in some brainstorm meetings. These guys will always support you and give you advice how best to proceed in a given situation.

Thanks to different tasks every day I was wondering something new and this is really inspires. Three month ago I even can’t imagine I will know so many details about the ways of branding and packaging!

This internship period passed really quickly as I took a chance to travel through the South China. I was visiting the most popular Zhuhai town sights. I was wondered by New Yuan Ming Palace (as I finally found something which looks traditionally Chinese).

And it’s hard to believe but I found fancy place where there was no one but me. Believe me, when you are living in China you begin to consider yourself a sociopath.
Zhuhai locates close to Hong Kong, Macau, Shenzhen and Guangzhou. That’s why it is worth to spare your free time on traveling. Fortunately I have visited Macau and Guangzhou. Considering the fact that I am from Russia these cities become the parallel universe for me. That’s why I was really glad to take a chance to work in ODM office which based in Zhuhai.

These cities are great for travelling’s. Due to this I had chance to make sure that China is the country of contrasts and everyone can find here something what he or she likes. The fact that I was never driving crazy about Asia and China at all and it was really difficult for me to take a fancy to China. But thanks to ODM guys I didn’t have to dream about going home every minute of my staying in China.

Friday, 1 July 2016

All Good Things Come to an End - Finishing my Internship

Although this will not be my last time in China, my time in Zhuhai has come to an end (for now), and what an experience this half of my year abroad has been. I can say for sure that I have became more confident in myself, my surroundings and in everything I didn't think I was capable of with working in China an enriched experience and a memorable one at that.

I have had both ups and downs here; my phone getting stolen, impossible to get on crowded buses and constantly being bitten by mosquitoes isn't ideal for starters.. but I have met some amazing people and friends along the way.

I'm very lucky to have spent my time here living with a Chinese family, and can proudly say that I have got a fourth little sister. They have introduced me to some amazing people, families and connections who will not easily be forgotten, letting me create lifetime memories, practice my Chinese and acquire the feeling of knowing that I will see them again next year! 

Although I haven't had the chance to travel as much as I had hoped, I did get the chance to re-visit Hong Kong, go to 海陵岛,and I finally got to visit Guilin, and Yangshuo (with the rain)! Macau will have to wait till next year though.. Here I was able to relive my memories of being by the seaside, eat the best honey ribs, finally eat Lychee (after waiting already for 3 years) and try some of the best seafood, oh and of course getting to appreciate how beautiful China can be away from the buzz of the city life. 

Furthermore, my time at ODM has been an opener to the real working world and how I want my career pathway to be in the future. To be frank when first arriving I wasn't very confident and lacked in certain aspects. Now, I feel that I can deal with problems and achieve goals using the essential skills and experiences that ODM have given me. Sales, marketing, sourcing and project management have all formed a major role in my abilities that I can utilise as my journey continues.

All good things must come to an end they say, but good things never have to end if you don't let them. My positive working experiences will continue to fuel my motivation, and my relationship with my home stay family will never be forgotten (have to see my sister grow up!). I would advise anyone out there regardless of where, to come to China or any other country and learn something new, it changes you and for the better. 

Monday, 20 June 2016

My First month in Zhuhai

Zhuhai is a very beautiful city, and despite the fact that in China is always trying to save space there are several huge parks, where you can stay all day thanks to a well-maintained infrastructure.
Seafront park
The city is very comfortable for life it is have many attractions, shops and small Chinese cafes at every step, here you will never be hungry.The number of dishes in Chinese cuisine is enormous, you can try every day something new, but it is important to clarify is it spicy or not, if you cannot stand spicy food. Due to the favorable locaton of the city there is a lot of seafood. You could also buy it on the huge seafood market and cook by yourself. I was pleasantly surprised by the variety of seafood.
Fisher girl
Necessarily places to visit in Zhuhai are Fisher Girl, the seafront and The New Yuan Ming Palace. 
Zhuhai Waterfalls
But I would also advise to visit The Three Waterfalls that are located in a quiet location close to the Huafa district. Despite the fact that we have spent a lot of time trying to find this place, we were not disappointed because of these great views.
Zhuhai Waterfalls
The work at the ODM Group is incredibly interesting. When you need work in an international company using non-native language you do not have any time to relax. In addition, I have never wrote blogs, and especially blogs about promotional products, so from the beginning it was all new for me.

A new country, new culture and way of life is so exciting, that I don’t even have time to be bored. Therefore, the first month passed quickly. I can say with confidence that this specific experience you can get only in China.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Finishing My Internship And A fantastic Experience

Well my time in China has come to an end and what an amazing time it’s been. I’ve met so many great people along the way who have inspired and developed me as a person. I can honestly say it has been the best decision I have ever made and looking back at the nerves I had when I stepped on the plane seemed ridiculous.

I have seen so many things that I never would have at home, like 40 people all cramming into one bus or a fish market with tropical animals that look like they should be from an aquarium. I've seen some of the most beautiful views, cities and islands I could possibly imagine all within hours of my home.

I’ve eaten some of the tastiest food and some of the not so tasty like chicken feet. I've learnt how to speak enough mandarin to have a basic discussion as well as even tell the time. I’ve experienced so much in my short time here and wish it wouldn't end. I've even gotten up and played at an open mic night because hey, when in China do as the Chinese do and sing. 

My time at ODM has been a real eye opener to what I want to do with regards to business and employment as well as giving me the essential skills needed to achieve these goals. Sales, marketing and management have played a major roll in forming my theoretical abilities into practice - something that will be kept with me forever.

I wouldn’t change my experience for the world, it’s been brilliant and I would advise anyone to do it. You wont regret it and you certainly wont be missing home. My only regret is not staying long enough, but I'm sure I will return one day.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

My First Month In China.

Starting university I never thought I'd find myself in China. Doing a four year degree that gave me the opportunity to study abroad, even though my language ability was next to none; Saying "bonjour" and "amigo" in the same sentence I plucked up the courage to travel 9600 Km to Hong Kong.

Spending five months in the Netherlands and then another semester in France, I finally got the courage to think that maybe a country like China wouldn't be such a bad idea. After a month of being here, I can agree, it is one of the greatest decisions I've made in my life.

Following a bumpy flight and a long talk with a man about how great china was, only breaking conversation to eat his slowly melting Haagen Daz, I felt like I was almost ready for what was to come.

My first stop was Hong Kong, a city that is a must for anyone's wanderlust, particularity for those in my situation and needed a little easing into the Chinese way of life. As soon as I stepped off the plane I was overwhelmed with Chinese characters, tropical weather and buildings that, at short, touched the clouds. Confused with Jet Lag and a lack of understanding for what was going on, I dragged myself to the city center, dropping off my bags at the station with no possibility of entering my accommodation for 8 hours. This was almost a good thing as it forced me to keep busy rather than sleep.

With my head constantly staring up at the buildings and tall signs I made my way through the busy streets taking in the atmosphere and sights I'd never seen before. Apart from brief stops for food, this was my first day and it honestly never got boring.

The next day, after sleeping in a classic Hong Kong room that was the size of a shed back home,  having a mattress as hard as the wood that held it up, I miraculously managed to clear up some of the jet lag and visit Victoria peak. If there is any place I would advise to visit in Hong Kong, this would be it, standing over the whole city in it's breath taking commercial ambiance you can see everything. From the Bay to the Finance buildings and even the mountains surrounding this great city, all you find yourself doing as gaping at the view.

Once everything had been looked at twice over, and a couple more on top of that I made my way home back to the shed in Mong Kok. Detouring through the lady's market and stopping at some local street food stalls to get curry fish balls and what was described as "Korean Chicken" i steadily made my way to bed in preparation for the ferry journey in the morning.

Reaching Zhuhai went a lot smoother then planned, with very little problems at customs. Comfortably settled in, meeting a great bunch of interns, I received a little tour of the local area and food. Both of which looked and tasted great. One of my first meals when getting there was frogs legs and although I'd had them in France, the hot pot certainly put the French cuisine to shame.

Overly dressed and feeling stupid I entered ODM in a shirt, trousers and smart shoes, only to be greeted with a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Starting my internship and for my full first month here I have been writing blogs, applying previous SEO knowledge and building up a more effective writing style when marketing products. In recent weeks this has slowly developed into a more client based focus: adding leads, creating briefs and developing RFQ's which has now turned into some of my own clients. As well as this I have built up a call list of sports companies, 3D printing companies and even potential Singapore clients. Finally I have been dealing with separate blogs, emailing and discussing with companies interested in guest blogging and getting their brand more connected in the promotional world.

Outside of work, even with the terrible weather, I have had chance to visit one of the main city attractions that doesn't include the nightlife; the scaled Yuan Ming Palace. This was a great day visit, taking a relaxing stroll around what turned out to be the not so miniature palace, and was exactly how I pictured China, even if it was a bit of a touristy.

Recently as I entered my fifth week in China, I have finally seen why people described Zhuhai as a "village" compared to other cities. Visiting Shenzhen was a massive eye opener to the real Chinese city life and made Hong Kong seem like it should be based in Europe. With Shenzhen there was double the people, double the buildings and double the time it took to get around the huge city. With a 3 day weekend due to the tomb sweeping holiday to celebrate the arrival of spring, it gave me enough time to walk around the city and visit the window of the world which had hundreds of recreations of famous buildings in a miniature form. In addition to this we managed to get ourselves some traditional Chinese massages after a stroll around the city. Although being an hour of pain that can only be compared to going in a wresting wring with The Rock, it was worth it... Kind of...

Having already achieved so much professionally and culturally I am looking forward to my following months with ODM and the rest of China. Although I haven't been able to describe half of the other things I've done within my weeks of being here such as visiting the Beach, trying Baijiu, eating a chickens foot and having an amazing kebab like food called Rou Jai Mo I cannot wait for what else this amazing country has to offer.

Monday, 21 March 2016

My first taste of working in China

The start of my yet to experience 4 and a half month internship here at ODM has been eye opening to say the least. It has so far been exciting, and I have already learnt a lot about marketing and sales, and I can’t wait to learn more as my experience and knowledge grow. Although I have already spent quite a while in China, travelling and studying over the past few years, this is my first time working here in China and in an international company. Let’s just say, it’s certainly different! For starters you need the patience of a saint with the Chinese internet.

This is also my first time coming to Zhuhai and it has not disappointed me. The only problem is the random bad weather, but regardless it’s beautiful here and it doesn't have the busyness like other big cities. With the beaches and the sea, what’s not to love, I really can’t wait for the summer again. 

During my internship I am also doing a home stay through Internchina alongside working here at ODM. I thoroughly enjoy living with a Chinese family; it is without a doubt the best way to learn about China and the way everyday life is lived, its fun and it’s definitely great for my Mandarin practice, I'm made so welcome and I already feel like part of the family. 
It can be tiring though, living so far away from ODM means early and long working days and barging my way on to the busy buses in the morning; but it is something I am adapting too quickly and after a while I am certain it will be ‘normal’. 


From travelling through China, Guangdong is definitely one of my favourite regions and the place I have spent most of my time. To me its closest to feeling like home, its nature is beautiful, it has the best food (肠粉and早茶)(hence the food picture), environment, and it has barely any pollution, and being accustomed to already living in China it has been a bonus for fitting straight in with Chinese life.

My exploration of Zhuhai is minimal at the moment. I'd say compared to my time studying in Hangzhou just before this, time is not of the essence, so it can be difficult to balance my time with my friends and with the family also. But so far, I did go to the Chimelong Ocean Kingdom Park during my first week and that is certainly worth checking out on a weekend with great weather. I have yet to also travel to Macau, but that is for sure on the agenda.


All in all, this experience is worth it. In my first week at ODM I was very busy and new to everything and I did feel quite overwhelmed. But now I feel comfortable as I get better and faster, and I love it here.
I have been so busy that I have barely contacted my family since arriving again in China. But it’s good, it means that I will achieve something in learning so much all of the time; I know I will learn important life skills, become more confident, and will be well on my way to achieving something bigger in the future. I know my experience here in ODM will be one of the greatest experiences to date, and thank you ODM for giving me this opportunity.