Goodbye Shanghai ~

Where did all the time go? Time really goes by in a blink of an eye – I arrived in Shanghai nearly two months ago but it all seems like yesterday. As my time in Shanghai nears an end, I am finding it more difficult to say goodbye to all the SMH employees and interns that I have grown close to these past months.

These last few weeks at SMH have been busy as August nears and many of the events and conferences that SMH hosts are nearing. A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend one of the first trader conferences of the year that SMH hosts in a large city near Shanghai – Nanjing. As the Chinese in-market representatives of the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, SMH holds annual trader conferences in several large cities throughout China and invites local traders, retailers, and chefs to attend. Another intern and I accompanied a SMH employee on this day-long business trip to Nanjing. We took the high speed bullet train in the morning to Nanjing and arrived several hours earlier at the local Westin hotel where the conference was being held to help set up and make sure everything was on track. And we found out that everything was not as we had planned with the hotel – only one conference room was booked for us when we had asked for two. But no problem! Our SMH coworker did some quick thinking and our minor dilemma was avoided. Everything else went right as planned. The conference lasted about 4-5 hours in total. It began with a presentation by our SMH marketing manager about the product we were representing – Alaska Seafood – and then following was time where traders could network and exchange information with one another. To end off the night was a dinner at the hotel where our Alaska seafood was served as the main course. After wrapping things up, we took the train back to Shanghai later that night.

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The entire trip was a great experience. As I had been helping out with organizing the conferences from booking the hotel to inviting traders, it was immensely satisfying to see the entire process from the very start to the end of the event. I learned a lot about how SMH operates, brings in its clients, and performs their marketing skills as well as how events are organized successfully. Throughout my time at SMH, I have been helping mainly with these Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute events. An interesting task – and a first for me – was to call potential traders and clients to invite them to these conferences. I had never cold-called in the past before, so this was a new, and surely a bit daunting, experience for me, especially because I had to persuade them to take interest and attend our event all in Chinese. Even though I was a bit stiff at this in the beginning and also encountered the select few who would hang up within 10 seconds, I was able to strengthen my communication skills greatly.

Finally, I would like to introduce you to our newly developed SMH website! www.smh-int.com It’s much more informative and sleeker than the previous one (and also take note that it’s at a different web address). I’m proud to say that I contributed to this new website as well. A few other interns and I teamed together to reformat and recreate this website and I must say, we had a very fun time doing so, particularly because we were working together and collaborating our ideas. Feel free to check it out and learn some more about the work we do at SMH International!

Overall, I have had an incredible experience here at SMH International. Once again, I would like to give an immense thank you to SIBC, and especially Frank Potenziani for giving me this opportunity to learn so much abroad from this amazing experience. I am going to miss my fellow interns and employees greatly and all of the wonderful memories we shared together in these months. Even though this is goodbye for now, I have realized since my time in Shanghai that I will definitely come back soon.

Here’s our entire office!

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The view from the World Financial Center!

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See you soon back home under the dome,

Sara Tan

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