Sometimes being home can be peaceful, yet mentally unfamiliar.
Especially when your life no longer involves that crazy early morning traffic in one of the world's busiest cities. Or some of that fatty and addictive juice from its signature xiao long bao for a quick answer to "Hey what do I want for a late evening snack?" On my last day of work, one of my coworkers asked me if I wanted to return to China after graduation. I said I have no such plan for the moment, but that is a great idea nonetheless.
Deciding where I want to be a couple years after graduation may turn out to be quite complicated. My junior year has been split between Montpellier, France (and a bunch of European cities I've traveled to), South Hadley, Massachusetts, and Shanghai, China. When you tuck in so much packing, traveling, places, and languages in such a short amount of time, you know life can offer pleasant moments everywhere, just in totally different ways.
Part of the chaos, but also the charm, about what the future holds for China is that it is changing very fast. Unbelievably fast. Even the Shanghainese sometimes have very limited knowledge about their city, which is constantly expanding and reshaping itself with new booming projects in practically every corner.
And that also applies to Chinese people and business. Here and there, you might have heard about China being stuck with its outdated economic growth model and political system, or Chinese companies madly cloning well-defined Western models, but this represents only one side of the story. The Chinese are changing, as the country grows more and more open to a Western style of living and consumption. Many Chinese companies appear chaotic, but the truth may be that they are still being formed, or in the process of adapting to the ever-changing Chinese market.
Sinomedia is also young and evolving
rapidly. And for me (and probably for all future interns) it means that
there probably won't be a well-crafted role for every intern, and
throughout the internship each
will pretty much decide on what projects they will be working on with
their supervisors. I've done a lot of editorial, research, and writing
work, but some other interns did entirely different things, as you would
out if you came here. I returned home two weeks ago, and even though I
have started working in a much more traditional summer job, I sometimes miss the choice to explore all options available at the China Economic Review.
So goodbye Shanghai, just for now. One last thing for reflection: a regional profile that I contributed to in the August issue of Enterprise China magazine!