It was December 2016 and as usual, another winter break was about to come so everybody was chilling. But for me the winter this year was so special! At the time I was eagerly expecting the internship confirmation from Nielsen, China.
After two weeks of waiting, the confirmation finally arrived. That moment I felt on top of the world, not only because Nielsen is such an internationally well-known company, but also because it has an office located in Shanghai, where I grew up. Thanks to the Career Service Team of Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, and especially thanks to Ms. Lea Kaus, I got the chance to do a winter internship at Nielsen, one of the world leading marketing research companies. The following two months was about to become one of the most unforgettable experiences of my life.
Before I went to China for my internship, I had not been back home for almost two and half years. I felt fulfilled and excited when I was sitting on the plane, but at the same time I felt anxious since it is such a long time. I was asking myself: What Shanghai looks like now? Will it be a big difference from the city I used to know? Would I get used to the life when I’m back? I felt like a newborn to a new colorful world.
My anxiety disappeared when the plane landed. It is hard to expres that subtle feeling in words for a wanderer who finally gets back home. Over the next few days, I met lots of people, including my parents, friends, and relatives. I’m happy that nothing has really changed. For me, nothing being changed is good news.
I started my internship shortly after. The Nielsen office is located in the city center of Shanghai, which is pretty convenient. Although the company is in China, it retains its American nature to a great extent. Even English is often orally used throughout the company. I’m also pleasantly surprised that every employee of Nielsen highly appreciates the value of liberty and equality, quite different from most stereotypes of Chinese companies. I feel so lucky to be assigned in a team that is open-minded and caring. Everyone on the team helped me patiently whenever I faced difficulties.
My major is in finance, but I was doing data processing in Nielsen, China. At first, I expected that I could barely learn anything, but later I’ve found my initial thought was wrong. For data processing, you need to understand the “stories” behind various aspects of data instead of doing it mechanically, which is exactly what a finance student needs to remember. I have learned a lot from these two months, among which the most important thing I think I have learned is that every piece of data, no matter if it’s marketing data or finance data, can be interpreted in more than one way, and you always need to find the way which makes the most sense. Frankfurt School, as a business school, offers students plenty of case studies, and now I better understand the importance of them. Just by remembering formulas and theories itself can’t really build a strong analytical skill. Rather practicing through real-world cases can. I became more used to my tasks after several days, and I felt more integrated into the company. It’s a pity that I only have a short period of time over the winter break, otherwise I could have stayed longer in Nielsen, got more tasks and learned more.
Overall, I’m more than satisfied with my internship experience at Nielsen China.
Thanks again to Frankfurt School and to the Career Service Team. I really appreciate what you have done for me!