With the job market more competitive than ever, employers all over the world are looking for those with that little bit extra. With an internship at a hotel in China, you could find yourself catapulted up the career ladder, making priceless guanxi connections, or even being offered a full-time job. All while learning the most important language of the 21st century in a professional environment.
For more info and applications, contact: apply @ middlekingdomgroup.net
“Our foreign staff have a more professional manner, work rigorously with high efficiency, and they have a sense of responsibility which is worth passing onto our Chinese employees.” – Manager, Fujian Hotel
“China will continue attracting foreign experts in large scales and the total number will increase to a little more than 1.97 million” – People’s Daily, 2012.
“Foreign staff influence the rest of us by doing things in a more productive and professional way; they bring positive competition.” – HR Manager, Xiamen
“Before I worked with foreigners, I didn’t have a very good training system, and I also learned people management and team-building skills, as well as dealing with cultural differences.” – Staff member, Fujian Hotel.
Chinese business culture is very different from that in the West, and it is essential to learn about China and understand its culture before working here.
Relationships, relationships, relationships. China is all about inter-personal connections. This is a result, some say, of thousands of years of an interconnected agrarian culture. Foreigners should understand that in order to survive in a Chinese professional environment employees need to establish a good relationship with their direct supervisors. There is such a deference to authority that local employees are often promoted based primarily on their obedience and loyalty to their supervisor: that is why working with the right individual is crucial for achieving success.
Loyalty in Chinese business culture is also represented in the concept of “face”. 面子- miàn zi). “Face” means that one must respect the Chinese partner by expressing more gratitude, by avoiding straightforward disagreement in public, and by asking for his/her ideas. It is also very important to join the partner for leisure activities such as Karaoke!
Since China is a familial society (based on relationships), many people are influenced by what other people think of them, and this effects their self confidence. People are accustomed to being judged by their parents, by their teachers and later by their bosses and spouses. They rely on the opinion of others to make themselves feel good. That is the reason why “saving face” – acting properly in front of other people, is the number one tip for understanding Chinese business culture.
To find out more, contact: apply @ middlekingdomgroup.net
Even as China moves away from its role as the ‘factory of the world’, the country’s manufacturing sector will continue to be a key industry for many years to come. And as the role of heavy industry decreases, more niche and hi-tech sectors are emerging, in accordance with government plans and incentives. By spending some time as an Intern at a manufacturing company, you can gain fascinating insights into the processes that make the modern world go round.
As arguably the most important country in the globalized 21st century, China continues to become the world’s most important trading partner, and this shows no signs of changing anytime soon. The trading companies which are part of Middle Kingdom’s internship program are involved in trading anything from stone to bike parts to computers. Spending a time as an Intern will give you a first-row view of a the wheels of globalization in motion.
With tourism and luxury goods among the fastest-growing markets in mainland China – especially the with government’s new drive towards domestic consumption – more Chinese are travelling then ever before. And they are travelling in style. Middle Kingdom has partnerships with some world-class five-star hotels in the south of China, including Xiamen Seaview Resort, with interns offered the chance to live on site and progress in a Guest Relations role which offers the chance of full-time employment.
China’s legal system is often seen as a ‘black box’, closed to the outside and somewhat mysterious. However, more and more Chinese law firms are looking to the outside world for comparative ideas and ways of working. While Western students may learn differing types of law than those in China, the sharing of skills and mindsets make for an ideal mutual learning experience.
After we have received and assessed your CV & cover letter, you will be invited to a Skype or telephone interview. This is a chance both for us to get to know your experience and motivations, and also for you to ask any questions you may have about any aspect. Upon successful interview, we will then get back in touch to further discuss the placement options, and according to your stated industry sector preference we will begin communicating with partner companies on the Chinese side.
Although the busiest time is the summer, we have rolling starting dates at the 1st of every month so you are welcome to make an application at any time. It is crucial to apply at least 4-6 weeks before you plan to begin your placement, in order for there to be enough time for the administrative and visa processes.
Most companies can provide a monthly stipend, which, as accommodation is provided through the program, is enough to get by day-to-day during your placement. Some companies provide on-site lunch options, while of course you may be wined and dined on occasion, as is the custom of China’s culture of hospitality.
The program includes placement, airport pickup, orientation activities, and our buddy & expat mentor schemes. Depending on the applicant’s individual needs, we also offer accommodation and intensive Chinese classes several times a week.
Applying through Middle Kingdom Group is just the beginning of your journey out East-wards, but we will be with there every step of the way to answer any queries you may have both before departure and during your time in China. What’s more, our extensive network of contacts developed in China itself means there is a team of partners in each of the provinces in which we are active, who will meet you and are available to contact any time.
Being based in Xiamen, we are acutely aware of the situation on the ground. Indeed, the MK internships program itself was originally born out of conversations with several Chinese & foreign companies hoping to expand their international reach, gain insights into Western working culture and mindsets, and participate in an intercultural exchange. We therefore have personal connections with most of the companies involved, which ensures a smooth ad fulfilling placement.
Every partner company can send out an invitation letter with which you can apply for a business visa. Once the letter has been sent to you, you can then start the visa application process in your home country. There are several agencies which assist in the process, such as CITS (the Chinese Government Travel Agency) who will help process the visa and save you the queuing, although it’s also possible to apply directly at a Chinese Embassy to get it sorted in person. Visas normally cost around 1000yuan-1500yuan, depending on factors such as the length of visa and your preferred speed of delivery.
As is the advice for most travellers, you’re advised to buy some travel insurance cover before you leave for China. Many insurance companies now have packages tailored for those working abroad. There are also ‘backpacker’ packages which can cover you while in China and also while travelling elsewhere.
Every first-time visitor goes through a process of acclimatization, so it’s recommended to arrive in China around a week before your placement is due to start. This will also give time to get over any difficulties arising from jet-lag.
The adaptation process is something everyone must go through and it can last days or weeks. While the term ‘culture shock’ has become something of a cliché, it’s true that almost everyone experiences some degree of it in their first few weeks in a new country. Mixed in with the initial trepidation will be a bombardment of the senses in some of the most interesting foods, smells, people and sights you have probably ever seen. While most people grow to love it, if you decide it’s not for you then we will always be at hand to address any issues to the best of our ability by telephone, email, skype, or in person with our colleagues on the ground in China.
We feel that getting a grasp of the Mandarin language is a crucial aspect to making your experience a lasting success- both during the placement and for years to come. In collaboration with Mandarin Fun, an established Chinese school, each participant is offered language classes appropriate to their level, for at least 6 hours per week. Lessons usually take place on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings, but the timings may fluctuate depending on working activity. There is also an option to hold classes at home rather than attending the school itself.
Through links with letting agents in Xiamen, we accommodate each participant in a private apartment with kitchen, lounge, air conditioning, internet and more, in a good location with convenient transport connections for getting to and from work.
With a weekly visit from MK assistants on the ground, we keep in close contact with the progress of your internship to ensure it stays a mutually beneficial experience throughout. You can discuss aspects of Chinese working life with colleagues and your assigned mentor, and any day-to-day issues with your Chinese buddy. If after various consultations the internship is still not going to plan, we can look at placing you at another partner company for the duration.
There is still censorship over some aspects of internet use in China, and accordingly China has its own version of many Western websites. However, most foreigners use various online tools to continue browsing just as they would at home.