It has now been two weeks since I started my internship in Shanghai, and every day is an adventure filled with wonder and growth. From the moment I wake up at five in the morning to right before I go to bed around nine thirty at night, I encounter new things, new challenges, and new ideas, and moment by moment I feel my world expanding, no matter where I am.
Though it was a very unexpected match, I am enjoying every day and every lesson at Laticci, a company that sells punk-inspired clothing online. My style is very far from punk, so every day I step out of my comfort zone to meet the expectations of my supervisor (and founder of the company), Evelina, who I admire very much. Because my role centers around marketing, I have to leave my style and preferences aside and work to understand people with different style and preferences from mine. I have failed sometimes (some clothing combinations I have created were deemed “too vanilla”), but I have also succeeded (my product descriptions have fared very well), and every day I strive to improve. I am very grateful that throughout this entire process, my supervisor has provided me ample feedback for me to grow and deliver her better work.
From the day I arrived, Evelina has given me multiple projects that have allowed me to contribute to her company’s success while learning about online marketing and taking on the challenge of how to grow her brand. Aside from the projects I mentioned already, I have researched potential wholesale partners for Laticci to expand, and I have worked on improving Laticci’s Pinterest account (given that most of Laticci’s sales come from online searches, having a strong social media presence is crucial for the success of the company).
I am glad to have found an intern abroad program that found a place for me to live, a company for me to intern in, and a place for me to continue learning Chinese. Given that I had never been to China, I was very nervous to come, but this program gave me the certainty that the places where I would live and work were safe and legitimate and ensured me that everything would be safe.
In the coming weeks, I hope to continue learning about online marketing and to gain valuable skills from Evelina, who started the company on her own only a year ago and has made a very impressive project out of it. She does everything from the designs to the data monitoring to quality assurance, and she has gather much insight throughout her journey. I am lucky to have such an amazing person to learn from on a day to day basis, and I hope to learn as much as possible from her experiences.
Additionally, I want to continue exploring the vibrant city in which I am. Being in China is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I intend to make the most out of. Every weekend and free moment that I have, I embark on an adventure. It always begins in the metro and ends in the most interesting of places – whether it be the Shanghai Museum, an old street with hundreds of local shops, the first skyscraper in Shanghai with a 360-degree view of the city, or an area of town with foods you would never see in the US (fried scorpion included). On the way, I learn much about the culture, about how people relate to one another (at least in public places), about how they speak, and much more. With a map and a transportation card (and good enough vocabulary to ask where the closest metro stop is), I have gotten just about everywhere I have wanted to go, and every place surprises me. And with the Chinese classes I am taking four times a week, I have stepped out of my shell and grown more confident to speak with others on the metro, so hopefully I will be able to understand enough to have interesting stories to tell.