First day at work

I felt so nervous when I had to start on my first day at the company. I have been in Korea for 4 months and the public transportation system was really easy to understand ones I could read the characters. Korean takes like 1 month to study how to read and Chinese maybe 2 years. So when I had to take the bus by myself, I was breaking out in cold sweat.

So the mommy of the household brought me to the busstation and I told her that she could leave me. The mommy which is like an angel, told me that she would take the bus with me and I managed to keep  myself from cheering out loud. So she brought me to the company and I memorised the way. When we arrived at the company, I said that she could leave and go to her company. She told me that she wanted to talk to my boss before she left. So the reason why she stayed was because she wanted to tell the boss that someone should take the bus with me home. I don’t know if it is normal that home stay mommies are angels or people in Qingdao are too nice compared to the rest of China. So I arrived to the company (XMandarin) and everyone was very friendly.

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The reason why I chose to work at this company was really simple. Even though I don’t get an allowance, i still get the opportunity to get private class. I immigrated at the age of 6 to the Netherlands, so I never had the chance to study Chinese. On internet you can find many companies and school who offer the possibility to study Chinese in a short period but its a very difficult language that acquires more time. The prices also differs but they are all still too expensive and many can’t afford it. When I saw the vacancy online, I was a bit desperate to find an internship asap. After talking to the agency and the school, I felt more confident and enthusiastic.

Start of something new

Searching for an internship in China almost seems impossible. Google results just give you millions of agencies that all offer the best internships for an unaffordable price.

For my university in the Netherlands, I had to find an internship abroad to complete my third year. Last February I had been enjoying my exchange period in South Korea and I just delayed my search for an internship to enjoy my time in Korea. When I came back home and received an email that I had to find an internship immediately, I panicked like a litt
le lamb chased by a wolf. So I started my search for an internship and went through all the possibilities. In our school, I have never heard of anyone who found an internship easily without connections. Unfortunately my parents are not business tycoons with millions of connections so I had to do it with just Google.

Many might know the irritations that Google can give you when you can’t find what you’re searching for. I spend most of my time screaming at Google to just give me an internship, which didn’t seem like a scam from some weird agency. After searching for hours, I accidentally bumped into this website called http://www.sinacon.cn which is an agency. I searched through the website to find the magic word: “Pay by credit card” but I couldn’t find it anywhere. When I found an interesting internship, I contacted them still doubting about the price tag.

The company gave me a response within 4 hours (due to the time differences of 6 hours with the Netherlands). They provided me with all the information and Skyped to make sure that I was an eligible student and not some old geezer. After the Skype call, they contacted the company immediately and a few hours later I was talking to my “now” employer. Everything went so smoothly and I still can’t believe that I found this internship by myself.

The thing about China is that it is all about relationships and connections. Most companies takes in people who were introduced by someone from the management or some other high position. Internships are even harder to find China, most companies take in people from Ivy leagues or competitive elites with sets of skills that are impossible to compete with. Most of the internships are also unpaid simply because the competition is too high. It almost seems impossible to enter the Chinese market and get a glimpse of the ever-growing Chinese empire.