In recent years, with the rapid development of China s economy, more and more foreigners have gone to study or work there. Steven Gutteridge is currently studying for a BA Industrial Design \\\\\\\\ u0026 Technology degree at Brunel University in London. He has been an intern in a foreign company in Hangzhou for two years. Long. So what s the significance of his experience in China?
Bian Zichuan: How did you learn about the internship program in China?
Steven: Brunel University encourages students to intern in an industry company during their final year of undergraduate. The company I interned in is an American energy company in Hangzhou. They posted advertisements for intern designers on the University Career Center website. I applied immediately after I saw it. After receiving several Skype calls and interviews, I was hired with another student in the same major.
Bian Zichuan: Why did you choose this project?
Steven: Since my father worked in the Royal Air Force, I have traveled to many countries since I was a child. I enjoyed adapting to the new environment and culture. That s why I went overseas to find a job. China is very attractive to me because it is a great fusion of fascinating culture and people, the scenery in different places is very different, and it is the base of global commodity supply. I m studying industrial design, and I m very keen to get close to manufacturing, and China is a great destination.
Bian Zichuan: What is your internship experience? What s your favorite?
Steven: I have enjoyed working in Hangzhou for two years and I don t want to return to the UK! I love my job and my colleagues are very nice. We are a team of about 20 people, only 3 of whom are not Chinese . Everyone makes me feel very warm. After work, we also became friends.
Hangzhou also has a small community of foreigners, with students and white-collar workers from many countries. So, when I was homesick, I went to find some foreign friends, and everyone shared their experiences. My favorite thing to do in Hangzhou is to relax in the tea fields in and around West Lake. There are always many Chinese and foreign tourists there. My friends and I will ride to a slightly less touristy area. Fortunately, we found such a place.
Xi Zichuan: Is your experience in China very different from what you expected?
Steven: No travel book, website or forum can prepare me for such a different life in China. The most obvious difference is the large flow of people in Chinese cities. I ve been to New York and lived in London, but these places are incomparable with China in this regard. In Hangzhou, shopping in the supermarket, taking a bus, or grabbing a taxi are all unique experiences. Having said that, the Chinese are very friendly and enthusiastic and often help us.
Bian Zichuan: Why did you extend your internship for one year?
Steven: The design department of my internship is very small, so I have many responsibilities. The company wanted to expand this department and asked me if I would stay as a manager. Because I have made a lot of investment in my studies, I discussed with the employers. I would do it for a year, then return to London to complete my studies, and then I could choose to return to work.
Company When I joined in 2008, the size of the company was very small, and it has developed very fast in the past two years. In the position of manager, I gained valuable experience. After me, the company hired three more Brunel students. Before I left, I also trained two other brothers / sisters. They all enjoy life in China.
Xi Zichuan: Do you want to return to China to work after graduation?
Steven: Although I would like to return to China in the near future, my academic studies are currently tense. I want to concentrate on completing it and then think about my work. Now, I continue to learn Chinese while studying because I feel that I didn t learn enough during my time in China. I want to work for two years after graduation—back to China, to the US, or to stay in the UK. At the same time, I am considering a master s degree. In the future, I want to have my own design studio. At that time, we will have close contact with Chinese customers.
Zi Zichuan: What benefits does your experience in China bring to your career development?
Steven: Since I had little practical experience before going to China, working in China added a lot of weight to my resume. Therefore, I encourage any undergraduate to participate in more internship opportunities, whether it is a summer internship or a year-long project like mine. In a highly competitive workplace, having overseas work experience is very attractive to prospective employers.
For example, I am organizing an annual event called Made in Brunel, which will be held in central London this June to showcase our school s engineering and design talents. The project management experience I gained while working in China encouraged me to lead student teams to organize events. Although I have less compensation than my intern in the UK, I use my experience in China as an investment in the future. Because this experience shows that you are willing to leave your comfort zone and have the ability to adapt , it is a good candidate for any company.
Bianzichuan: What was your most memorable experience in China?
Steven: There are many unforgettable experiences. First and foremost, I came to China when the Beijing Olympics just started. At that time I was impressed by the enthusiasm of the whole country. I can see the game picture everywhere. Also, during work, we sometimes visit several factories in Suzhou and Ningbo within one or two days. I am often astounded by the examples of family workshops in the village that have developed into huge industrial parks. In addition, celebrating the Spring Festival with my friends by the West Lake was also an unforgettable experience for me.