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As the year of the pig comes to an end and this weekend marks the beginning of the new Chinese Year – the year of the rat, it seems an appropriate time to share my recent experiences in China!
On 16th October 2019 I participated in a two-month internship in Shanghai funded by the British Council. I worked in a full-time marketing role for international translation and communication company, HI-COM, as well as spending the evenings studying basic Mandarin and attending multiple cultural activities such as dumpling making, calligraphy and Kung Fu classes!
Site seeing in China
Due to spending the majority of my time in Shanghai, it meant that I was able to experience the international city in great depth, although there were still many parts that I was unable to discover due to its baffling size – which is four-times the size of London!
From eateries and tea-markets to temples and water-towns, Shanghai had what felt like an endless list of things to do. With famous sights such as The Bund and French Concession, Shanghai Tower (which is currently the second tallest building in the world), Yu Gardens, Nanjing Road and the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, I was never short of places to go.
On the weekends, I spent as much time as I could travelling around China. I visited cities such as Suzhou, Hangzhou, Ningbo and Beijing. Suzhou is a beautiful water town to the West of Shanghai and is often referred to as the ‘Venice of the East’. Whilst Hangzhou is in the South West of Shanghai and is one of China’s seven ancient capitals with history dating back over 2,200 years!
In Hangzhou, I visited famous sights such as Leifeng Pagoda, West Lake, Lingyin Temple and Hefang Street, which is also known as “Old Town”. From Shanghai, I took the bullet-train to Beijing and went to the Forbidden City, Summer Palace, Tiananmen Square and Wangfujing. I then travelled seventy kilometres northeast of Beijing to walk along the awe-inspiring Mutianyu wall, which is a unique section of the Great Wall of China!
Working in Shanghai
When working at HI-COM, I would often translate texts for clients (from Chinese to English) and proofread them to a native speaking standard. I would also write about any business events that the company interpreted and write the weekly blog which covered relevant topics such as The Belt and Road Initiative, improving a businesses’ success in China, and entering the Chinese market effectively.
I often worked alongside the sales team to help source new clients by completing various website tasks which involved finding grammatical errors on company websites to highlight the importance of professional translation and effective communication. I also got to work on Costa Cruises’ advertising brand book for global agency, Olgilvy. This particular project needed me to really understand the Chinese culture to ensure the texts appealed to the intended target audience, as more often than not, brands try to advertise in China but have little or no knowledge of the culture beforehand – often leaving them unsuccessful.
The two months I spent as a Marketing and Communications intern at HI-COM, not only taught me how a business successfully operates in the Chinese market, but also how to market brands internationally – which will be highly beneficial for our international clients at ADPR. China’s diverse range of food, distinctive language, ever-growing economy and ancient culture, gave me a greater insight into the Western world – making it a truly unforgettable experience!
Here are just a few images from my time in China.