Internship in China - good for your career?
We've had a couple of clients post internships in China over the last week or so - and it has made us try and analyse the benefits and drawbacks. Are they good student jobs? Can it be a good idea for you to take on an internship in China?
You can find the jobs if you do a job search and use the keyword "China" or "internship in China", but basically there are a few companies who are now offering a managed service to get you a job there.
You can see what they have:
Get In 2 China Internships - click here
My China Opportunity Internships - click here
So - what are the jobs? Well, most are internships lasting from a couple of months to 12 months. The internships themselves seem to be quite well structured (great for you!) so that's a plus point.
Benefits / Positives:
- Experiencing business in a completely different culture and environment - can only be a positive thing!
- China is one of the fastest growing economies - and getting a job there is potentially easier than finding one in the UK
- An internship in China is going to make you stand out from the crowd when applying for a job in the UK later on in your career. It shows you are adventurous, ambitious, brave and have experienced different cultures and learnt a lot
- From the internships posted on Employment4students, it looks like these work opportunities will allow you to take responsibility, whilst still getting guidance. Doesn't seem to be just about making tea!
- Most of the positions come with some kind of payment - not much mind you, but there is some kind of payment for the positions. 2000 RMB is roughly around £200
Drawbacks / Negatives:
- These internships could lead to offers of permanent employment (obviously not guaranteed, but it's a foot in the door which can go onto more things)
Unfortunately it's not just a brilliant internship in China which everyone should apply for. There are drawbacks which need to be weighed up
- You have to pay a fee with the intermediary (Getin2China or My China Opportunity for example). This can range from just a small amount to quite a substantial amount of money. Please look carefully at their websites to see what the fees are - they should be advertised very openly.
- More about the point above - this internship is overall not about making lots of money. With the costs involved, and only getting a small amount as payment, it's not something to do if you need to earn money in the short term
- It may not lead to permanent employment. You have to remember that you are not automatically going to get a guaranteed job after the internship
- The chances are it won't be easy! I think that makes it more of a challenge personally, and love that, but it's pretty obvious that the internships are not going to be a walk in the park. Different culture, responsibility etc. I say bring it on, but be aware of what you are signing up for!
Ok - I think those are the main points about these internships in China. A lot of people are going to have different views, but whether you think these are worthwhile for you or not, try to have a good think about all the positives and negatives and weigh them up for yourself. I can't say it's a good opportunity for everyone, but I do think for a lot of people it's worth thinking about these kind of internships.
If anyone wants to know any more about these things or has any thoughts post them below - would be great to hear from everyone!