This past summer, I interned with Microsoft China as a Business Operations Intern. I was able to conduct variance analysis for the Finance Team, assist with asset management, as well as improve the Microsoft Library. The best part about the internship was actually working in the library. I was asked to help improve library operations. I was asked for input on how to improve operations (such as new ways for the library’s operations to run more efficiently) and was given responsibilities to make the improvements (I headed up many of the projects for implementing changes). I was treated not like an intern but as any other full time employee. By the end of my two-month internship, I helped reduce the amount of daily work by two hours (which is a lot in an eight-hour workday). I felt like I actually made a difference in the office with my work when I left. I found the internship to be helpful in building my soft skills. I also thought it was a great experience for me to practice creative thinking, problem solving, and communication skills.
The cultural experiences you can gain from interning abroad are also priceless. On a more personal level, I was able to learn about one of my coworkers’ background and life story, and I was able to learn just how different our lives are solely because of the culture we grew up in. We shared our experiences about college and how the schooling is, and we realized our college experiences are vastly different as well. I also had a lot of fun living among the locals, exploring the malls and the city in different areas, and trying new foods and types of restaurants. I even went to a McDonalds and was shocked by how different it was. These experiences are unique to internships abroad.
I would definitely recommend the internship to anyone else that isn’t looking for a technical internship and to people who are looking to be immersed in another culture. I’ve always heard that internships give students an experience you can never get in the classroom. But this summer, I actually understood what people meant when they said it.