Everyone wants a piece of the dragon
Not a month goes by where the email doesn’t come at least once – sometimes from a friend of a friend, sometimes from a friend’s friend’s friend, sometimes from students currently at my alma mater or language program. Regardless, the questions are always the same: What are the internship possibilities in China? How can I find a job in China? Can you help me find a job in China?
Everyone wants a piece of the dragon.
And according to the 2006 study by HR consultancy Hewitt, they’re getting it. Last year, 47% of expatriates in China fell in the “China Hire” category and, a Hewitt consultant maintained, “it is this category of expatriates that typically fills more junior positions.” (Note: locally hired expatriate packages vary and these hires often referred to half- or quarter-pats).
As for the interns, they seem to be getting it too – with a little more help, structure, and sometimes a fee. Several agencies/organizations have created a business out of finding students internship opportunities in China (just google internship and China for a market overview). In addition, universities such as University of North Carolina, Cornell, and Yale have established internship and externship programs where students can apply to internships obtained by program coordinators who are mostly on the ground in Beijing or Shanghai.
These trends are likely to continue, especially as vectors of the China bug have little chance of being restrained. Everyday major publications in the US feature articles about China – the threat, the world’s factory, the next rising power, the owner of the 21st century. Every semester universities across the globe offer courses on China (titles with colons followed by the aforementioned and even more creative descriptions) as well as language programs and exchange opportunities.
China, in essence, is becoming increasingly accessible and not just for businesses, but for the masses of interns and graduates looking for a taste of this dynamic market.