Ava Jamerson is an alum of the Fall 2016-Spring 2017 program.
I have nothing but good things to say about the Chinese Flagship Program, and a big part of that is because it afforded me the chance to work in China. Looking back, I definitely took the opportunity for granted. Fortunately, the Nanjing team of professors and tutors gave me enough preparation so that I had my self-introduction down cold and felt confident about applying. In my experience the most challenging part about the application process was getting the interview. At the time I was applying for a job in Shanghai, and the Chinese market is in no shortage of applicants, so it wasn’t surprising when many of my cold calls and resume submissions were met with no response.
After doing my fair share of online searching, the Flagship program also supplemented the search with a list of all the companies past students had worked for, as well as provided events where companies would come in and recruit. Through these three resources, I was able to interview and get a job at ASAP+, a small digital marketing company in Shanghai. At ASAP+ I started off doing busy work, but quickly moved to a team that worked on a client account. Our client was a company that owned many luxury shopping outlets across Europe, and had recently opened one in China. My portfolio was focused on the nine European locations, and my day-to-day consisted of creating posts for WeChat and Weibo, performing data analysis on the posts, translation, and having calls with the clients.
Some fond memories I have at ASAP+ are staying late to work and eating hot pot that my boss ordered, conducting research and making a PowerPoint that was used at the annual HQ meeting in Paris, and receiving company-wide mooncakes for the mid-autumn festival. My biggest piece of advice for your internship is to be proactive, because the experience is largely what you make of it. The second thing is to find a balance between work and play. While big cities like Shanghai are full of things to do, don’t let that distract you from gaining work experience that could help you land a job back in the U.S. Finally, get to know your coworkers! It may be intimidating to approach them at first, but building these relationships is the key to a successful internship.