Monette Yee works for CRCC Asia, a leading provider of internships in China.
Referring to the term first coined by economist Jim O’Neil, the economies of the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) are emerging rapidly. With Western economies struggling with unemployment and debt while new emerging economies such as China take center-stage, there has certainly been a shift in the direction of global focus.
China has the world’s second largest economy, and given recent globalization trends, it is without a doubt an important player in international affairs. Increased market liberalization and reforms have led to China’s transition from a planned to a market-oriented economy, with GDP growth and its role as the world’s factory the natural result. Likewise, the Chinese people as a whole are experiencing a rise in living standards and income. Coupled with unusually high saving rates, this has paved the way for an emerging middle class of which many companies and businesses are beginning to take notice. Indeed, once an export-oriented economy, China, along with the rest of the world, is now looking towards its own domestic market for sustained growth.
This phenomenon is all good news for the intern, let alone for anyone interested in flourishing job prospects. As news headlines across the States note that more and more American college grads are finding it difficult to land a job, while many more struggle under the burden of accumulated student loans, it is evident that job competition is at its peak. Fortunately, increasing foreign investment into China’s economy has given rise to a plethora of China-oriented companies and a high demand for workers who understand the Chinese culture, language, and consumer. Interns can expect not only to take advantage of one of the world’s fastest growing job markets, but to also gain market entry and experience in an emerging economy –a prominent asset in this globalized day and age.
China, the land of opportunities for adventurous entrepreneurs, large corporations, young professionals, and college graduates alike, boasts an opportune place to build one’s resume, while also having fun. One of the world’s oldest civilizations, with a landmass as large as the United States but as diverse as the European Union, and where a quick bus ride can take one from a bustling coastal city to a scenic, rural town, China is a place where adventure lies in every corner, where the unusual can be expected, and where boredom is impossible.
This country is so culturally distinct from the US and any other Western country that making such a move would require in-depth cultural knowledge and skills. To experience its wealth of opportunities, an intern would have to overcome a load of obstacles. Fortunately, they don’t have to go it alone. Internship placement organizations such as CRCC Asia provide internship placement, housing, Mandarin lessons, cultural training, and on-site support to help interns navigate and master the challenges of day-to-day life, be it the simple task of ordering food at a local restaurant or figuring out how to live life like a local. By the end of an internship, a China intern will have proven his or her adaptability, cultural sensitivity, and ambition, all things that recruiters value most.
Interns can also utilize their experience in China for career and academic exploration. Given China’s growth rate, there are plenty of firms and companies popping up every day, both large international firms expanding branches overseas or local, yet promising, domestic start-ups. As the concept of “internships” in China catches on, Chinese companies will increasingly look to recruit college students with a Western education.
Interning in China will open the door to future career opportunities and perhaps, investment in China’s future. Students interested in entrepreneurship, business expansion, professional development, or networking can be sure to find their niche in this booming economy, as well as a foot in the door to an array of possibilities. As one CRCC Asia program alumna, Rosanna Ruff, states, “China is a progressive, innovative, youthful nation at the forefront of global advancement…vibrant…with boundless prospects. It exudes excellence and as a young student there could be no better place to get acquainted with the working world.”