Interning in Shanghai – API Blog

API was thrilled to host Kayla Scogin in Shanghai, China to complete an eight week internship in the industry of International Business and Consulting. Read more about her exciting experience below.

API intern Kayla Scogins in Shanghai

“Hi, my name is Kayla Scogin, and I am a senior International Studies major on the commerce track at Texas A&M University with minors in Chinese and Business. My major requires me to either study or intern abroad, and I am so happy to have found API! I am currently interning in Shanghai with a company called Sunrise Marketing Firm (SMH) International.

Thankfully, I was offered the first internship I interviewed for over the summer.

The atmosphere of this company is also exactly what I was hoping for. They’ve been around for about 20 years, and mainly deal with clients importing food products into China. My typical work day starts at 9. I settle in to a desk with my laptop on hand, and work on large projects given to me, as well as more pressing translation documents my coworkers need. I have translated documents from both Chinese to English as well as English to Chinese. I’m not fluent, but it was interesting and quite the learning experience! I’ve been trying to use the 7 years of Mandarin knowledge I have to write coherent Chinese paragraphs. I’ve also edited the grammar of my coworkers’ English documents, once receiving 60 documents to edit that were pressed for time! 

Right now, I’m working on a consumer market analysis project. It involves taking pictures of imported beef products at two large international supermarkets and then putting them into a word document. I have to include descriptions, country of origin, weight, and price per so many grams, all in Chinese! I can definitely see myself having a career in the marketing industry, particularly in the retail business. I’m learning a lot about marketing in terms of how this company represents their clients. In addition, I’m learning through different marketing events that I have had to translate into English.

Kayla Scogin interning in Shanghai

My favorite thing to do in my free time is walk around and explore the sights and the city.

Shanghai is so beautiful, and so big, there’s no area I can find that doesn’t amaze me with its uniqueness. One moment I can be looking at the super urban and modern skyline off the Bund; the next I can be at an elaborate Buddhist temple originally built in 247 AD located in between modern skyscraper buildings (Jing’An Temple). There’s never any two sights alike.

Intern Kayla Scogin in Wuzhou, ChinaAPI has also coordinated excursions on my trip with them.

I have so far been to Beijing as well as Wuzhen Watertown and Huzhou Park. Both places were immensely beautiful, with amazing sights both ancient and modern. We climbed the Great Wall and went to the Forbidden City. We also walked around the city of Wuzhen where there was water in place of streets, and saw the beautiful mountain view of Huzhou Park.

We’ve also done some local exploring excursions in Shanghai. API took us to the top of the Hyatt Park tower overlooking the view of the Bund. We also went on a Chinese food tour. API took us to different restaurants to try all kinds of food. It was so yummy! I have made great friends with the other API students, one of them even becoming my best friend in Shanghai.

The expectations I had in my host culture were definitely met, mainly because I have lived in China before and knew what to expect. Shanghai is so different from Shenzhen or Beijing, however, as it is very crowded with many tall buildings placed side-by-side. The subways are also extremely crowded as everyone uses this convenient mode of transportation. There are some moments I find myself squished on all four sides by people squeezing to fit into the metro to get to their destinations on time. I did not expect the metro to be as busy as that!

Overall, I have really enjoyed my time in Shanghai, and I couldn’t be more grateful to the people at API.

API has been so helpful (shoutout to Octavia, Brittany & Corrine!). Even when I was stressing out over my visa application being approved so late, I was always treated with kindness and response time was always so fast. If you are planning on studying abroad or interning abroad at any point, go with API!”

Hosting Kayla abroad has been bittersweet because she is our last full-time intern participant in China.

The full time internship program is ending due to channeling efforts into other departments and battling immigration ambiguity. Kayla has been exceptional and we are happy that she was our last! API does continue to provide other China study abroad programs in Shanghai with East China Normal University(ECNU) for summer, fall and spring sessions. At ECNU students may elect to take a part time internship course with their classes!

API also offers experiential non-credit bearing program options in Shanghai to tutor English within a Chinese family’s home or in Guangdong to teach English in a public primary school.

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