Aug 1, 2019
As I pass by the local butcher shop after they have already closed for the day, I see several middle-aged people gather around a table to play a few rounds of Mahjong. When we walk through the park to get to our favorite bakery, we see people at my grandmother’s age exercising, dancing, and chatting. It’s very easy to see that the Shanghai locals value community. It’s beautiful, warm, and something that I am definitely going to miss when I leave in August. My coworkers at Junior Achievement (JA) China easily embody this sentiment. My coworkers offered me bandages when my shoes gave me blisters and tea tree oil when I got too many mosquito bites. They good-heartedly teased my co-intern, Vincent, for overdressing.
The work JA does is all about uplifting students worldwide by giving them the opportunities, resources, and skills to pursue a career in business industries. Amongst other projects, it’s been remarkable working on the content for an entrepreneurship camp for high school students from 8+ countries and designing a workshop on research, sales, and debate for students participating in international competitions.
I was outrageously excited to go to JA’s Job Shadow Day at Google Shanghai. As someone that is hoping to pursue a career in technology after graduation in May, this was my opportunity to network with Googlers and learn about the work they do. I was incredibly fortunate to be paired with a project manager who allowed me to sit in on his meetings, question his life choices, and generally explore his workplace. I gained so much from the experience. This was the moment I realized how big of an impact that JA actually had on the lives of students like me. It made me feel really proud to be working for the nonprofit.
The HCF interns have also created a sense of community amongst ourselves. It is not uncommon for us to grab meals with other interns, go sightseeing together, or to travel to cities outside Shanghai together (Suzhou, Hangzhou, Huangshan, etc.). We have some beautiful memories together like celebrating two birthdays together, and some not so pretty memories like those sweaty gym workout sessions. Overall, there are definitely friendships and memories created here that will outlive the duration of the program. In many ways, we have created a community similar to that we see all around us.
This blog post was written by Kamila Czachorowski, Harvard College Class of 2020, and participant of the Harvard China Student Internship Program in 2019.