When I entered college as a finance major I envisioned graduating and working for a big company in downtown Manhattan. Back then I neglected to realize how hard that goal actually was to achieve. Reality hit when I went applying for internships my junior year and had very little luck. I had relevant knowledge from classes and some prior general work experience in a fortune 1000 company. This made me appealing to some employers, but for what I wanted, it wasn’t enough. Like most graduates, I didn’t just want a job, I wanted a great job.

Nowadays, it’s hard to stand out graduating with a Bachelors in almost any single program even if it’s from a good university. That makes finding other ways to be different from the rest of the crowd one of the most important things when applying for a job.

This is one of the reasons why I chose to work abroad in China. It’s no secret that employers like to hear about how you overcame discomfort and worked through problems in your past life experiences. Working abroad, especially in a place that is drastically different from your home country, can easily be used to answer these generic interview questions and make you stand out.

The second big reason that made me choose an internship in China was to learn about the industry as much as possible. And so far, it has already been an incredible learning experience for me. The company I am interning with is a capital management firm that specializes in mergers and acquisitions between the Chinese and European markets.

We produce strategic plans that help European companies expand into China and vice versa. We also find companies with unique technologies that either want to be acquired or are looking to acquire another company in order to expand their market share.

There are many great things about my internship, but my favorite part is the fact that I get to deal with so many different projects. Throughout my two months there I have written articles on current events, written papers to give investors advice, researched over a dozen innovative technologies and companies, created business projects for both current and possible future projects, and many more.

I love working on an array of projects not just because it keeps me interested, but also because I have learned so many new things as well.

The third and final reason I chose to work abroad was simply for myself. Two years prior to coming to China, I spent a semester in Dublin, Ireland where I had an amazing time. The friends that I made and experiences I had were ones that will always stay with me, and here in China, that is no different.

I have already met some amazing people from all over the world and explored some of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. So far, the most memorable place I have visited was Huangshan (Yellow Mountain) and the amazing sea of clouds.

These are the three main reasons why I decided to travel abroad, and I believe that all students should consider this unique opportunity as well. While there are many ways to stand out and get job experience with other opportunities, nothing compares to how much you’ll learn from working in a foreign country.

Getting to experience such an incredible culture first hand is not something that can be replicated at home. For these reasons, I believe that working abroad has been one of the most impactful experiences of my life and definitely for my career.

Kyle Vershay, a finance intern from China internship programme, is placed in Shanghai for 16 weeks, from Rochester Institute of Technology, USA.

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