By Hoa Nguyen
Renowned as an international metropolis, Shanghai has definitely lived up to its reputation as a rapidly-advancing city that never sleeps. Whether it is cultural, financial, economic or technological, Shanghai offers foreigners the experience of one of the world’s greatest cities. This destination is the harmonious blend of the Eastern and Western cultures, a multicultural experience where modernisation perfectly blends with tradition. Shanghai is the place to be.
I had the fortunate opportunity to live and work in one of the world’s most elite cities through an internship partnered with China’s leading marketing research company. Only by living and working in this amazing city could I truly experience and appreciate its uniqueness and charm.
Shanghai is fast, busy and if you’re not careful, you will be caught in its pace—especially when taking public transport. If you are not a little aggressive, you will be washed away as you have no choice but to follow where the crowd takes you. The people of Shanghai have a very different attitude compared to Australia. Relax and laidback? Do not expect to find this in Shanghai!My first week in Shanghai was very chaotic. I had to learn the language and my way around the area. I was completely apprehensive on the first day of my internship. However, it all came together and I acquired the skills needed to survive this amazing but hectic lifestyle. The company which I was interning for gave me the opportunity to become involved in numerous projects with fellow interns from around the globe. Projects included media tracking, competitive analysis, and strategically creating a plan to spread the company’s business into countries such as Australia. Despite the hard work involved, I still had the opportunity to explore tourist attractions such as The Pearl Tower, the Yuyuan Garden, Nanjiang road and, of course, the nightlife of Shanghai.
Shanghai is one of many leaders in technology. Their advancement is so rapid that even the older generations are in touch with the latest smartphones and gadgets. When I was on the train, I noticed that majority of passengers were in a world of their own as they occupied themselves with these smart devices.
Being a foreigner is extremely difficult and most times extremely inconvenient because things can’t be done as easily as back at home. However, it is only by being in this type of difficult situation that you truly get to test and learn about your adaptability and resourcefulness. Only by stepping out of your comfort zone are you able to gage where your limits lie and learn about the capabilities you never realised you had.
Shanghai is a city that captured my heart and made such a strong impression that will never fade. My time there was short yet sweet. I experienced endless opportunities, met and befriended many different people and created priceless memories and knowledge. I learnt how to adapt to Shanghai’s lifestyle and I would highly encourage other students to apply for an internship like this, as it opens a land of opportunities and cultural understanding.