Case study

International marketing coordinator — Caroline Farrelly

Caroline completed an internship in China with New Oriental Haiwei Career, working for a Fortune 500 company as an international marketing coordinator

How did you get this internship position?

I was looking for an extraordinary internship experience abroad for my internship credits. I saw many positions posted on my university careers portal, but didn't know which one to choose. In seeking out a trustworthy company, I researched different programmes and companies before coming across Haiwei Career, the largest education company in China.

Not long after sending them my application, the careers adviser from Haiwei Career contacted me with a thorough introduction. One week later, I successfully passed the interview I had with Lenovo, receiving an internship offer to work in their marketing department.

In what way is your degree relevant to the placement?

My business management degree at the University of Cardiff was highly relevant to my international marketing coordinator internship with Lenovo in Beijing. A lot of what I learned at university could be put into practice. And besides, I deal with customer relationships, channel maintenance, and some social media operations which have also built up my skills.

What were you looking for in this placement, and what did you gain from it?

My primary thought was to immerse myself into this culture and find out more about their working methods in doing business. Nevertheless, I truly gained professional skills from a different perspective.

What were the challenges?

For my placement, I was given a lot of responsibility from the start, and I really enjoyed it. It's quite challenging at the beginning, and took me almost three weeks to get the hang of the job. Thanks to my friendly colleagues, I adapted to the working environment very quickly. There are also many culture shocks. Firstly, I have never seen so many people in one place, especially during morning rush hour. As for the cuisine, that wasn't a problem at all - I love Chinese food. Of course, language is still a challenge, especially when trying to talk to the locals.

Aside from working, what other things have you experienced in China?

By living in China, you really get to understand what change actually means. For example, within two months I've seen bike-sharing increase in popularity, so you now see this form of transport being used on every street. This is a pervasive trend in every industry here - as long as you have a good idea, investment will flush in to new business start-ups. I also had the chance to visit the most amazing historic sites, taste the delectable Peking duck, and meet friend for life.

What would you say to others interested in an internship abroad?

Interning in another country pushes you to fully immerse yourself in the culture, and it increases your awareness on how to do things. The most essential thing is to really prepare to embrace this new environment. The experience of working abroad will broaden your perspective and increase your empathy towards others.

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