Getting Up Close and Personal with Beijing

This is the next in a series of posts by recipients of the 2018 Career Services Summer Funding Grant. We’ve asked funding recipients to reflect on their summer experiences and talk about the industries in which they’ve been spending their summer. You can read the entire series here.

This entry is by Kimberly Batista, WH ’20

Kimberly Batista in Beijing

When I first arrived, it seemed neither I nor my coworkers really knew what to expect for this experience but we were aware it would be a learning period for all of us. Without knowing the language, they weren’t sure how much I could offer but I made efforts to showcase my willingness to learn and to contribute. It first started with small editing and proofreading assignments but as I learned more about what the company was involved with, I too asked to be more involved.

As a public relations company, Porter Novelli is involved with many aspects of their clients interactions with the media. One of my coworkers was working on planning an event for Western Digital and I helped brainstorm ideas and set up a detailed proposal. The other was involving a media crisis regarding an action by one international client that caused a negative reaction in the Chinese market so I helped monitor the response and draft a report. Another of my coworkers was in charge of helping to coordinate a conference and accommodate the US delegates that had been invited, amongst them was a former ambassador and the chief operating officer of an entertainment company. As I helped sort out the delegates flight information and created a briefing book for them to have information about the conference, I became interested and asked if I could attend and help make sure things run smoothly. The conference was about small and medium enterprises in China with the goal of growing globally and it was a great opportunity for me to learn more about the Chinese business culture and different industries. As a global conference I also got to hear from delegates of other countries and learn more about China’s trade relations. The conference took place at the Beijing Yanqi Lake International Conference Resort and also gave me the opportunity to step outside the center of Beijing and see some of the countryside.

During this time, I also have gotten to grow closer with my coworkers. Although I am the only intern among more seasoned professionals, my coworkers have made efforts to ensure that I feel welcomed and included. I’ve developed mentorship relationships with them and have gotten to hear about their career paths and development, as they’ve offered me advice on discovering and showcasing my strengths and confidence. This has helped me not just in the workplace but also in taking steps to get more involved and adapting to the culture here, giving me the confidence to eat jellyfish, share my personal bubble with people in the packed subway, and hike up the Great Wall. Through all these explorations and new experiences, I can definitely say I’ve gotten up close and personal with Beijing and it has shown me new aspects of myself.

Author: Student Perspective

Views and opinions from current Penn students.