My name is Sara Tan and I am a rising junior studying finance. This summer, I am going to be in Shanghai, China as an SIBC intern at SMH International. I would like to give a special thanks to SIBC for this one-of-a-kind opportunity abroad – I never would have thought I would be spending my summer in this way. It’s my first time here in Shanghai, so I’m looking forward to new and exciting experiences!
So far, from my time in Shanghai, I have realized that it has a very different atmosphere than other cities in China. It is a very unique city – on one hand, Shanghai is very westernized and modern, but on the other hand it still maintains the traditional Chinese culture. The biggest difference I have noticed, other than the humid weather, is that many people in Shanghai (even some people in the SMH office) also speak a local dialect that can be a bit difficult to understand.
What am I up to?
SMH International is a company that provides marketing and consulting services for mostly American-based agricultural companies such as Sunkist, American Pistachio Growers, Alaska Seafood, and etc. SMH acts as representatives for these companies as it helps them expand their market in China. There are various ways that SMH helps to promote – like holding conventions and developing stronger relationships with traders.
As an intern, I have so far been put on the tasks of creating PowerPoint presentations on Alaska Seafood, performing market research, and translating articles from Chinese to English. Right now I am on a team that is working on organizing the upcoming Alaska Seafood trader conferences in several Chinese cities. In the next few weeks, my tasks will consist of calling and contacting traders from across China to invite them to the conference.
Perhaps what surprised me the most when I first arrived at SMH was its location. We’re located right in the center of Shanghai’s bustling business and financial area and at first glance, it feels like we are just in any other big city in the U.S. Here’s a picture of the building SMH is located in.
What is there to do in Shanghai?
For anyone who comes to Shanghai, perhaps the most important thing you must do is try these yummy little dumplings called “xiao long bao”. They contain various types of meat fillings, usually pork, and sometimes crab. These dumplings are the best known food in Shanghai – Sean (the other Domer interning with me in Shanghai) and I stood in line for nearly an hour in order to taste these dumplings and we were in the shortest line! But needless to say, the wait was definitely worth it.
During our explorations around Shanghai, we also encountered an interesting event. At one of the malls we went into, there happened to be a press conference of sorts for an upcoming movie with one of the most famous actors in China, Andy Lau, making an appearance. For those who are not familiar with the Chinese entertainment industry, Andy Lau is a Hong Kong actor and singer who is a bit like the Tom Cruise of China. I would have never thought that I could ever see him in person – it was definitely an unforgettable experience!
Anyways, I’ll be back to update more about my experiences and work in Shanghai!