Sydney Interns’ Study Experience and Internship Life
The Spring Festival in 2021 is a little bit different for Yinxuan Zhao, a second-year Master of Management (CEMS) student from the University of Sydney’s Business School. Instead of celebrating the festival with her family, Yinxuan chose to stay in Beijing, where her internship company BOE is located. Yinxuan secured the first-ever internship opportunity via CIIP, she is a HR intern in BOE.
In this special year of the Ox, although it was a pity that Yinxuan could not enjoy hometown food back in Guizhou, the various benefits provided by the internship company still made her feel warm. After the Spring Festival, Yinxuan welcomed the end of her internship at BOE and shared this amazing internship experience with us online. Now, let us hear more about her story.
Yinxuan first saw CIIP from her WeChat group. ‘We often have news about recruitment and internship in our class chatting group. One day, I saw the tweets link from USYD CiC. Because this year’s CIIP is targeted at Chinese students. It relatively has fewer competitors, so I decided to try.’
Among various internship positions that CIIP provided, Yinxuan chose to apply for the intern position of Human Resources at BOE. It is relevant to her Management major. ‘My major covers some courses in the direction of human resources. I see there is relevance between my major and this internship position, so I write my resume and send it through the next day, which is very efficient.’ After two rounds of interviews, she got the position successfully.
However, on the first day of her internship, Yinxuan encountered a big challenge. ‘I am a relatively introverted person. I am afraid to make phone calls with strangers. However, it is unavoidable. I must make a phone call to book the conference room on the first day when I went to the company. I need to communicate with different departments, and it makes me particularly worry whether I can talk to them properly.’
What Yinxuan did not expect was that making phone calls became one of her daily tasks. ‘There was one day, I made more than 100 calls. I felt embarrassed.’ Indeed, the Human Resources department needs to contact nearly 400 employees. It also needs a lot of communication for the daily epidemic prevention clock as well as collecting relevant information from employees. Without any doubt, Yinxuan faced a challenging test.
But it was also due to this kind of test that helped Yinxuan grew up fast. The biggest harvest from this internship —— communication skills, allowed her to ‘experience a period of struggling to adapt and transform’, she laughed.
In addition to communicating with different employees, Yinxuan’s internship at BOE had another main work, which was data collection and project planning. ‘After summarizing the data collected by various departments, I need to report back to my supervisors and do a data analytical report daily.’ She felt that her data analysis skills had improved so much from the internship and it all came from her four-year study in the Business School at the University of Sydney.
Yinxuan likes to call the University of Sydney her ‘home’. After completing her undergraduate course at the USYD Business School, she formed a habit of using Sydney’s email address and teaching system. She likes every part of the university and it leads to the decision to continue a master’s degree at the University of Sydney.
Yinxuan was particularly attracted by the program CEMS, the global management and business school alliance project, which ranks first in Australia. The program allows students to obtain a double degree and there are opportunities to go to the alliance universities, such as London School of Economics (LSE) and Cornell University, for exchange.
‘This major has a lot of added value and requires learning a third language; it requires exchange study in other famous schools; you can go to the industry and do business projects with partner companies like McKinsey and Siemens; you can also attend international seminars twice a year and so on.’ Yinxuan commented.
At the same time, the application for this major is more strict than other majors at the University of Sydney. It enhances the requirement of a personal statement, resume, and interview. Looking back, Yinxuan found that the application was a brave move to step out of her comfort zone.
After two weeks of in-person classes on the university campus located in the central business district, plus one year of online classes due to the epidemic, Yinxuan thinks that the most interesting part of the CEMS course is group entrepreneurship. ‘There will be entrepreneurship classes for every semester. Everyone will form a team and take on different roles according to their different majors. The requirement is to put forward business ideas that can bring breakthroughs to the industry, and the teacher will invite professional investors to listen to our ideas and see if they are willing to invest.’
CEMS will adjust its curriculum according to the changes of the times. It means, although Yinxuan is in business school, she has been exposed to a large number of scientific and technological topics, such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, etc. From there, she learnt the theoretical knowledge of enterprise digital transformation, and then applied these theories to her entrepreneurship project.
‘The idea that our group won the first-place last semester was about AR dressing, Yinxuan introduces, ‘at that time, several investors fiercely discussed the way to realize our group’s idea, which I believe was a sign of recognition. Our teacher is one of the top ten outstanding women in the British AI field and gave our group the title of champion of the AI marathon in 2020. It’s a highlight moment of my overseas study!’
Affected by the epidemic situation, one of the highlights of CEMS, which is to exchange learning with leagues and schools in other countries, has also been turned online or shelved. Many students of the same major chose to postpone their study for one year because they were worried about the experience. However, Yinxuan gritted her teeth and crossed the threshold of online class life. She thought, ‘you can’t stop and wait for the world to return to the right track just because it’s different from before. You should follow it and change it, so you should go with the world. If you keep up with the change or surpass the change, you will surely be more powerful.’
When it comes to the plan after her graduation, Yinxuan still gives her insightful thinking: ‘I don’t want to put myself into any fixed frame. It seems that I will just do something that I have not thought about. I met other students from different places, countries, and backgrounds in CEMS, everyone is different, so I know many possibilities will be worth trying. For example, I have friends who write their songs, make their piano music, and publish them on NetEase Cloud Music!’
Although an ideal job for a typical management student is probably to be in a consulting company; after trying the human resources position at BOE and taking CEMS courses, Yinxuan decides to explore more of her potentials. She is interested in trying new media, marketing, or establishing a business of her own.
After all, life is still very long, and the future is promising.
This is part of a series of “Sydney intern” related to CIIP internship offer holders and their experiences.