Interning Abroad: Nick Corwin

CATEGORIES: February 2015

Nick Corwin, a junior majoring in Supply Chain Management, has been studying Chinese at ISU for four semesters and spent last summer as a marketing intern in Shanghai. Below, Nick shares his memories of the trip.

Last summer, I had a marketing internship in Shanghai where I had the opportunity to work with other interns from Nigeria, Australia, Brazil, and numerous cities around America. I worked with a company called Ringier China and I had two main responsibilities:

  1. design the blueprints and logistics for Shanghai’s largest expatriate event
  2. write promotions for restaurants on the company website

When I interned, it was Ringier’s least busy months of the year so they only had me working about 8 hours a day for 3 days a week. All of the interns spoke English among each other but all of the managers and executives spoke Chinese. There were many instances where knowing Chinese, even at the elementary level that I was at, was very beneficial in effectively communicating with management. Everyone was incredibly sympathetic with me because they knew how hard I was trying to adapt to the culture. It was really interesting working with people from Brazil, Nigeria, and Australia (especially during the World Cup in Brazil) and listening to their stories/learning a global perspective.

I lived in an apartment with a fellow Iowa State student who was interning with a different company in Shanghai, and a different intern from England. From the apartment, I would walk to the train station, take 2 trains, then walk from the station to my office. Overall it would take me about 40 minutes to get to work.

This was my first experience in the workplace not having a part time job. Although I only worked 3 days a week, the internship still opened my eyes to how hard I’m going to have to work post graduation. I know that if I never took the chance in learning Chinese at Iowa State, I never would have been presented with the opportunity to gain work experience on the other side of the world.