Interning in Beijing: Alexander Johnstone – December 2017


Work Christmas Party with my fellow interns

Work Christmas Party with my fellow interns


As I only have morning classes at university, after arriving in Beijing I decided I wanted to make the most of my free time to improve my knowledge of companies operating in China, as well to advance my future job opportunities. Therefore, last month I started to work at an international PR company. My team’s client is a very big Chinese technology company. As this company wants to do more business abroad, they also want to improve their public reputation. My current responsibilities include doing research into the field of technology, translation and editing tasks. In the office, 90% of the staff are Chinese and I am the only foreign intern! Consequently, everyday lots of people ask for my help to improve the language of their English documents. This has helped me to better understand the differences between Chinese and English. This internship has also been me a valuable opportunity to learn things I would never learn at university. For example, it was only after starting my internship that I realised how advanced the technology of Chinese companies has become. These companies are some of the world leading companies in the fields of artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicles. This internship has also given me lots of opportunities to practise my Chinese. When I am doing research, I need to use Chinese language materials, such as newspaper articles and reports, to supplement English language materials and allow me to fully understand the topic that I am researching. Furthermore, although I am interning at an international company, I usually use Chinese to communicate with my colleagues. When I go to eat lunch with my fellow interns, we will talk about a wide variety of topics, which helps me to better understand the lives of Chinese students.
Last week, I attended my work’s Christmas party. After eating a delicious dinner, each team had to put on a different performance for everyone. I participated in two different performances: in the first I sang a Christmas song with one of my colleagues and the second was a play. My character was Guan Yu, from the Chinese classic novel ‘Romance of the Three Kingdoms’. He is a very ferocious character, which didn’t really suit my personality!
Overall, this internship is a great opportunity to experience the life of an office worker in China, and help me to consider what I want to do after I graduate, in particular how I can find a job related to China.

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