Wednesday 3 February 2016

My month in Zhuhai!

One thing that I believe very strongly in is that if you say you are going to do something, do it. It’s easy saying that you’ll do all of these wonderful things and go to all of these magnificent places, but until you actually put your mind to it and get the ball rolling, they are just empty words. You’ll simply be left with what ifs and regrets. So when I say that I’m going to do something, I stand by my word and do my utmost to make it happen.

For me, I said to myself that I wanted to come to China to work as an intern. There were a million and one reasons I could think of that could possibly stop me from going. Who would I live with? Would I like it? Would the language barrier be a big issue? I mean I would be 6,000 miles from home. One of my biggest fears about coming here was quite simply trying to get a decent hair cut! However, I didn’t want this to be something I said I’d do and never did. Nothing will ever be perfect and you’ll always have doubts about what you are doing. So sometimes you just need to jump in the deep end. I blocked these negative thoughts from my mind and focused on what a great opportunity this could be. I then paid my deposits and booked my flights. All of a sudden, I was locked in. I was going to China for the first time in my life.

China here I come!
Admittedly though, my time in China got off to a shaky start. This included not having my luggage for the first 4 days of my trip, not understanding any signs and not knowing any other interns. These were precisely the problems that I thought of before I came out here. Fortunately, they quickly began to straighten themselves out, and I started to feel more and more settled by the day. Before I knew it, I felt at home, experiencing many new things with similar minded people, who had also come out here to experience life in a foreign country.

There has been so many things that I've learned in this short space of time. The first of which is that the food here is magnificent. How Chinese people get such simple dishes to taste so good is beyond my comprehension. Normally I would turn my nose up at a vegetable dish, but in China they taste so good that I can’t get enough of them. Before I came here I seriously struggled with spice in my meals as well. But my taste buds have really grown to enjoy a little spice with dinner. Needless to say, the cuisine has been a welcome change in my life since I arrived.

I had been told before I came that Zhuhai is known as the most liveable city in China, and I can now see why. It’s not the biggest city in China, nor is it the most spectacular, but there lies the reason why it is so nice. It’s not overwhelming, it's not horrendously busy and it's not expensive. It has a fantastic feel to it, the people are very friendly, and most importantly it's a very safe environment to be in. There are hidden gems dotted all around the city, whether it be restaurants, bars or tourist attractions. Needless to say that it's been a great place to settle into.

In terms of my actual internship at ODM, my role has been varied. The majority of my time has been spent blogging in order to bring in new business for the company, and this has definitely helped my research and writing skills. But I've also had a chance to arrange business meetings with international clients, learn about the manufacturing process and run Twitter accounts. The latter plays such an important role in the business world these days, that I found it intriguing how it can be utilised to promote a business. All in all, my 4 weeks here have been a great experience, and I have no doubt that this experience will be a welcome addition to my CV.

I was even lucky enough to go on a weekend trip to Danxia mountain in Shoaguan, and as you can below, that was time well spent. It really gave me a sense of the vastness and beauty that China has to offer.

Stunning view from our trip to Danxia
With all this in mind, I really got myself in an enjoyable routine. Playing football, Chinese lessons, meals with friends, going out on the weekends. Zhuhai has felt like a little home away from home, and I’m going to miss for sure. What I like most is that everyone on the program knows everyone, and it’s like being part of a family.

Not matter where you go, you can always find people to play football with!

In conclusion, I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in Zhuhai. I can return home knowing that I’ve had an excellent experience and that I have no regrets coming here.

I’d like to say a big thank you to the ODM group for providing me with the chance to work in China. It has been a great place to work, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being part of a successful business. I know I was only there for a month, but it’s been a brilliant office to work in and I wish everyone here the very best for the future.

I’d also like to say a huge thank you to InternChina for what they have done for me since I’ve been out here. They’ve helped me sort out all of my issues, and were always checking in to see how I was doing. The service that I have received has been excellent, and I feel like I’ve been supported from day one.

Alas, my short stay in China has come to an end. But I know I did the right thing by coming out here. Immersing myself in the culture, meeting new people and adding valuable work experience are all positive things I can take away from my experience.

There's an old saying that says 'the world is a book, and those who don't travel only read one page'. Well, I think it is fair to say that I can walk away from my experience in China knowing that I’ve read and enjoyed the chapter on Zhuhai.

Goodbye Zhuhai, until next time!

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