University: Chapman University
At home, I am a: undergraduate student
Location: Shanghai, China
Type of office: Shanghai subsidiary
Industry sector: Real Estate
Key assignments: Determine locations, help develop presentations for potential businesses and research city malls for potential tenant spaces
My name is Sammy Santana and I’m an American who has just completed an internship with Next Step Connections.
What did you do during your internship in Shanghai?
I explored, experienced and grew. Shanghai was an amazing experience out of my comfort zone, I saw so many gorgeous things. Like The Yellow Mountains, The Bund, Jingian Temple, The Street Market, The South Bund Market and so many other cultural locations. I learned a great deal about the Chinese culture as well about myself. The customs here differ than that of the Western hemisphere but I realized that all people want the same thing, a place to sleep, live, eat and thrive. Even though there was a language barrier I was able to learn from the people who lived here through nonverbal skills. I worked for a real estate company in Shanghai that is headquartered in the US, and it was interesting to see the dynamic of a work force mainly made up of Chinese with some people sprinkled in. Just everyday talks and communications help me become a stronger communicator and more understanding of how hard one needs to work no matter what the job or country. Everyone set the same goals and really worked as a team which is even more important when working with others from a different country.
Why did you choose Shanghai?
I choose Shanghai because of its rapid growth, market and it is on the other side of the world. I wanted to experience something different and step out of my comfort zone like everyone else who is here will tell you. It is crazy being thrown into a new country, hemisphere with people you have just met. But that is basically the real world in a nut-shell and it is fun to test yourself in situations you normally wouldn’t be in. I learned from others as I hope others have learned from me. Shanghai’s market is the biggest and fastest growing and I want to be part of that and learn as much as I can to take with me when I enter the work force.
What is your advice to future participants?
My advice would be if you are feeling like you don’t want to do something because it sounds weird or different just say “do it”. So many experiences I had came out of a random choice of just not placing prejudgment and just doing it with an open mind and when I was done I realized I had learned and taken in a new experience few get to encounter. From beginning to end I tried new things and got something out of everything which is the most important factor of your internship in Shanghai. Be careful with the street food though, and go with people who know the area and market stalls. I am glad for my experience and sincerely thank NSC for helping and guiding me through my summer.