Alan Shares His Experience of Seadragon’s Internship Program
Hi, I’m Alan. I was born and raised in Canada. I’m 18 years old and I just graduated from high school. I (my parents mostly) decided that I should take a gap year to learn about “work culture” and Chinese (On the behalf of Western-born Asian kids; I will reveal that many of us aren’t actually fluent in our native language). I want to share with you my experience of a Shenzhen Internship program.
I would like to start off with SDE’s company atmosphere. The first experience that I had with SDE was not during the first day of my Shenzhen internship. I came to Shenzhen around mid-July for a summer-camp, which at first, I had no idea it was organized by SDE.
I often saw the same staff preparing and organizing the many different events planned for us. They had usher around 50+ kids to a bunch of different scenic spots.
In addition, our ages ranged from 8 years old to 21 years old, they couldn’t use one strategy to get all the kids listening.
Every single time I saw them talking to a kid, they were extremely kind, patient, and understanding. I thought that they were amazing, because I would’ve already been out of my mind if I had to deal with kids making noise at 3 am. I was surprised to know that I would be working alongside with those employees at SDE.
In September, I started my internship in the Foreign Teacher Management (FTM) department. I learned about the responsibilities of the specialists who worked in the FTM department and assisted with their duties.
I took teachers to complete many different processes needed to live in Shenzhen. Some of them were simple: opening a bank account, getting a sim card, or getting a metro card. Others were more complicated: health check upon arrival in China, registering at a police station, getting social insurance.
Throughout learning about all of these different processes, Somnus was my mentor. He’s an amazing, funny, kind, and patient specialist. In fact, the whole FTM department is just as warm-hearted as him. Throughout my time in this department, I haven’t felt like I didn’t belong once.
Later, during late November, I joined the recruiting department. In this department, I mainly focused on sharing my opinion and thoughts of how they could utilize western social media platforms to expand their influence and reach even more teachers.
I would also assist in writing articles for SDE. While interning in this department, I definitely think that I received a lot of “words of wisdom” from my boss Becky. She’s demanding, yet kind; she wants us to give our best effort and have some “healthy stress”, but not stressed to the point of our hair turning gray. She wants all of us to gain something under her tutelage, regardless of whether we stay at SDE or leave SDE.
While working under her, I firmly believe that my communication skills have made leaps and bounds in this department, in both English and Mandarin. I recently presented a PowerPoint in Mandarin (with about 95% Mandarin, and 5% English). I have also developed many “soft skills” here: with adaptability being the most important skill.
I definitely think that this is a one-of-a-kind internship experience in China, even more so for a student that just graduated from high school and is trying to choose between different career options. From this internship, I have gained many valuable experiences and connections at SDE. I think that every student (if they are able to) should intern at a company before going to University or College.
My short stay at SDE has been immensely enjoyable, from start to finish. I would like to thank SDE, the staff, Becky, Somnus, Bill, Uncle Zhang, and my parents for making all of this possible. Thank you for the amazing experience at Seadragon Education. The first step into the workforce has been made, and there’s nowhere to go but forward from here. I would recommend anyone looking for a Shenzhen Internship to apply at SDE.