Alex Salvans Interview
Alex – Profile
Alex arrived in China last February in Shanghai to start his internship in a real estate agency as Marketing Intern. We catch up with him on his fantastic professional journey in China where he has to overcome cultural barriers and adapt in an environment far away from home… So far, he has managed to adapt quickly to China by himself… and also with our help!
From: Barcelona, Spain
Study Background: Bachelor degree in Business Administration in Universitat Internacional de Catalunya (UIC)
Graduation: after internship
What pushed you to seek an internship in China?
I’m in my last year at university and, in my opinion, it’s really interesting to put theory into practice and learn through an internship before getting a real job. I decided to do my internship in China because I love travelling to faraway places. I sadly missed out on Erasmus back in Europe and I didn’t want to repeat this mistake. Moreover, a friend of mine lived in China for 6 years and recommended me to come over and join him. So I said, “Let’s try!”
What do you expect to gain from your internship in China?
I want to learn more about marketing, customer service, talking to customers, have a hands-on experience of what it is to work in a real company and better prepare me for my future.
You’ve been here for nearly two months now, what are your first impressions of China?
I’m really amazed with China because in spite of the fact that everything looks so different here, I still manage to feel good. I had some problems when I arrived but it was easy to solve them. I’m very pleased with the help received during my first weeks.
… And what about work?
It is going very well. My day-to-day tasks are basically taking incoming calls from customers looking for apartments in Shanghai, filling-in forms with the clients requirements so that we can find suitable apartment for them as soon as possible and talking to Chinese agents that take care of the apartment sales. Work is tough, I’m working a lot of hours every day. I learnt quite a lot of new things already and I meet lots of new people and expats on a daily basis. Some of them are really nice and I liked it. I’m also getting along well with my colleagues.
Did you have any difficulties so far?
I haven’t had many difficulties and when I encountered any I could always solve them by myself or thanks to my friends’ help. The difficulties I had weren’t impossible to solve.
What about the language? Has your Chinese improved?
I haven’t got around studying Chinese yet… Shame on me! However, I plan to start studying Mandarin next week to get some basic knowledge. Chinese people don’t speak English but there are ways around it such as internet translators or dictionaries. Generally speaking, I’d say one can survive in Shanghai only with English language.
How are you finding IntuuChina services?
The IntuuChina services were really good. Irene (the internship placement manager) was super nice and charming. She helped me a lot with the job itself and the apartment search. All problems I had were attended to by the IntuuChina team. They are really nice and I’d give them 8 out of 10.
One word to qualify your state of mind right now?