WHAT IT’S LIKE TO HAVE AN INTERNSHIP IN BEIJING
Lillian Nguyen, a junior from Loyola University Chicago majoring in International Business and minoring in Sustainable Management, is interning at the American Chambers of Commerce in Beijing this fall semester. She obtained the internship through Amanda Barry, the Dean of Academics, Faculty and Research, who connected Lillian to John Zane, Senior Director of Business Services. Her internship also counts for credit in her international experiential learning course which Lillian is taking this semester. We asked her a few questions about her internship so far and here is what she has to say.
What does the American Chamber of Commerce in China do and what are your tasks as an intern?
The Chamber of Commerce allocates resources to global clients in order for them to connect with local resources and integrate them into the Chinese market. As for my tasks, since the original person who hired me left, I am now working under the Senior Director of Business Services, John Zane. He’s also on the board of directors at TBC. So under him, I do a big variety of things but most of it has to do with research on companies and policies. I research policies and figure out rules and laws of can do’s and cannot do’s. So far, I’ve been researching on China’s e-commerce and Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect. Basically, I research and write a report on the topics I’ve been given and send an official document to the US Chamber of Commerce. They look at that there and that is how they know about the in’s and out’s on how to operate in China. So I write reports as they come along.
Can you describe your first day at AmCham?
It was a really busy day and I was really scared and nervous at the same time. I didn’t know what to wear. I also took a taxi there because I didn’t want to get lost on my first day and get there late. I met with John that day and he gave me a stack of articles and documents on certain policies and this one was specifically on e-commerce. He had me look up different rules and regulations, which I worked on as a report back to the US Chamber of Commerce.
How different is the work environment at AmCham compared to one in the United States?
In America, a lot of people just sit at their desks and do their work but here; they all talk to each other and visit each other’s cubicles all the time. Everybody asks each other for help and they are all about team effort. AmCham also organizes company outings to get people involved in the business world. Every other aspect of an office work environment is pretty much the same as one in America.
How is your commute to work?
I took a taxi my first day because I wasn’t familiar with the area yet but the next day, I took the subway but walked out of the wrong exit and had to walk around a block to get to AmCham. It was very complicated my first week but I got familiar with the area and didn’t get lost again. The commute is about an hour and a half including wait time and getting to the AmCham building itself.
How do you like working at AmCham so far?
I’m really enjoying my time working at AmCham. It is a very fulfilling position and I learn so much everyday. I am also very thankful to Amanda for coordinating this position for me because I couldn’t have asked for a better internship in China.
Lillian Nguyen, interviewed by Li Qui Chu Lina Lee, Communications and Social Media Intern, Fall 2016