In January 2016, I completed a legal internship in Shanghai through CRCC Asia. I arrived in Shanghai on 7th January and was collected by CRCC Asia staff and brought straight to my hotel. I was introduced to fellow interns, some who were arriving at the same time as me and some who had already completed several weeks of work. The majority of interns staying in the accommodation with me were Australian. Throughout the internship, CRCC Asia were very helpful in making sure I was settling in and was not overwhelmed. They were in regular contact via phone and email and had a 24-hour helpline in the case of emergency.
In the weeks leading up to my departure, I received word that I would be working alongside an attorney in a prestigious HR consultancy firm, HROne, which offers HR services to international companies who wish to operate in China. HROne had an impressive client list - some ironically with connections to Ireland. On the first day of work, CRCC Asia provided transportation to my new office. After introductions, I was given some tasks to complete. As time progressed, the tasks I was assigned became more complex. As the only native English speaker in the office, I was fortunate enough to be allocated jobs that interns usually would not be assigned. For example, I was regularly required to play an active role in conference calls with current and potential clients and partners relating to contract negotiations. I regularly had to do so alongside the CEO of the company. My responsibilities also involved drafting and formatting international service contracts and partnership agreements and aiding in the translation of a manual for consultation on all matters related to Labour law in the Shanghai municipality and China in general.
I found the work extremely interesting, relevant to the career I intend to pursue and I learned a great deal. Initially, I found Chinese business culture (and Chinese culture in general) a little overwhelming. However, I soon adjusted. I found the food amazing and the language fascinating. CRCC Asia provided weekly language classes which gave interns the basics in order to survive in China. The locals were very welcoming and friendly. Shanghai also has a relatively large ex-pat community that are not difficult to get in contact with. I would highly recommend a CRCC Asia internship. The School of Law at the University of Limerick are kind enough to offer scholarships to aid students who wish to travel to China and I would encourage students to apply the next time such an opportunity arises.