Shanghai Internship Experience in Renewables & Environment Industry

[h2a]Alexandra Dye[/h2a]

  • Internship Duration: 24 weeks
  • University: Gap Year Student
  • Internship Program: China Internship
  • Industry sectorRenewables & Environment
  • Internship / Job tittle: Business Development Intern
  • Key assignments: Researching, finding & contacting potential customers in Oceania and Americas to sell our products.

Ni Hao:) My name is Alex Dye and I’m from Canada. I am a gap year student in Shanghai. Here are my experiences during my six months china internship program in social enterprise and sales.

What do I do in Shanghai?

Combining my love of travel, my penchant for learning languages, my hope for global harmony, and my concern for the environment, I decided to take a gap year from school to pursue volunteer internships in Shanghai. At my company, I have been performing business development and communication tasks to sell our products.  To get familiar with the Chinese language, I take three hours of Mandarin lessons each week and engage myself in the cultures of Asia (China, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia), a region that I feel will dominate world affairs throughout my lifetime. My work with a Chinese enterprise and exposure to Chinese language and business practices will provide practical backing for my hopes for the world. Charitable goals are empty wishes if one cannot fulfill their dreams.

Why did I choose China?

I chose Shanghai because China, as Earth’s largest creditor nation, will provide the functional capital for the good that I hope to spread during my lifetime, beginning next year with my entrance into university. As well, the Chinese culture, people and entrepreneurial energy fascinates me and the chance to experience it hands on was an experience I could not pass up.

My advice/recommendations to students/fresh graduates/future interns…

My advice for students, specifically those in their last year of high school, is to not be afraid to do a gap year! I was initially wary of doing a gap year as there are haunting stories of a gap year turning into a gap decade – but those fears were quickly put to rest. My gap year spent working in Shanghai has helped me to not only learn so much about two career fields that I am interested in but also to learn about myself and gain a new perspective on the world. I am confident that in the fall when I go to university the skills, experiences and ideas I have gained in my gap year will prove to be advantageous by better identify me as an individual. And speaking of skills, experiences and ideas – my advice for future interns is to go for it! The new food, new people or new places – just go for it! If you like it you like it and if you don’t like it at least you tried it! Living in Shanghai for the past six months is the best decision I have made and it would had not have been so if I had not tried the things that scared me.

visit suzhouAnything else?

Shanghai is an AMAZING city! I love every corner of it… from the five star luxury restaurants and clubs on the Bund (hint: try Mr&Mrs Bund, Mercato, Bar Rouge or M1NT), French Concession, the impossibly crowded metro that seems to always fit 10 more people in the doors seconds before they close even when it looks full, to the 6 rmb bowls of noodles on the street (that’s less than US$1.. for dinner) and to the beautiful energy and cultural diversity of a city that truly never sleeps. I hope to move back to Shanghai after I finish University. In the meantime I plan to enjoy my last month here and return for a visit next year! If you are thinking of Shanghai for an internship I would love to answer any and all questions about Next Step Connections (wonderful company who made the transition from a small Canadian town of 3000 to a city of 24 million seamless) and Shanghai.

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