Jamie spent the summer working at Huawei in China between the second and third year of his Political Science degree. He shares his experiences below.
This summer I had the amazing opportunity to travel to China to intern for Huawei Technologies. The opportunity was advertised on the Careers Network website and I cannot thank them enough for doing so, as it was one of the best experiences of my life.
Huawei was a hugely interesting company to work for. I interned in the Public Affairs and Communications Department and had the chance to prepare a detailed internal report summarizing and analysing key opinion leaders, and their opinions on Huawei. I was also engaged with think tank based research, preparation for Summer Davos, and helped design an innovation forum and workshop with high level global academics.
As a politics student the chance to go China and see such a diverse and fascinating political, social and economic system was something I really enjoyed. As well as interning at Huawei I also enrolled at the Beijing Language and Culture University so I was able to gain basic proficiency in Chinese language. The teachers at the university were fantastic and I hope my language skills will continue to develop. At weekends I was able to visit many amazing places. I feel so lucky that I was able to see the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and countless other sights that I never thought I would have the opportunity to see.
It is hard to describe a typical day working in China, as every day brought a new challenge and something I had never experienced before. However most days started off with a very hot walk from the Huawei campus accommodation to where I would catch the shuttle bus to the office I worked in. The Huawei campus is so big that there are Huawei shuttle buses running at all times to transport staff around! I would then get to work and usually be involved with researching, analysing and studying a specific key opinion leader. At lunch time I would go to one of Huawei’s multitude of giant canteens, where I would sample an array of sometimes tasty, sometimes not so tasty, Chinese foods. After lunch Huawei has the unique practice of an hours power nap before heading back to work, which I found myself quite enjoying! The evenings would be spent exploring and visiting the myriad of amazing sights and attractions that Beijing and Shenzhen had to offer.
My experience of working in China has taught me so much. The people I met couldn’t have been friendlier or more welcoming. Every day in China there seemed to be something that surprised me, tested me, or just made me laugh. Huawei as a company was fascinating, and it challenged many of the misconceptions we in the western world have about Chinese companies.
Sometimes when you are an intern or doing some work experience, you can feel like the only benefit of is so you are able to chalk that experience up on your CV. The opportunity to work in China for Huawei, however, was something that has genuinely broadened my mind, has given me some amazing memories and is something that I will never forget.