Friday, 3 September 2010

Brits graduates lured by China’s increasing power

The international economic recession has, without any questions, contributed to change many things in the world, reportedly it has considerably contributed to disincentive and discourage young generations towards work and definitely it has contributed to their disillusion, to the extent that someone also thinks that the stereotype about Gen Y can be now considered anachronistic.

If anything, these hardships have possibly helped younger generations, and not only them, to be more creative and to dare more in their bid to find a new job or to improve their personal and working experience.

Instead of just waiting for something or someone who will never possibly knock at their doors, young people are trying to fill their time in a more constructive and useful way.

After all, nowadays young generations are no longer afraid to live away from home and, amongst young people, the passion for travelling; knowing new places and new people are undeniably widespread.

If the places they move to can, at the same time, offer them new exciting experiences, both at personal and professional level, contribute to acquire an international exposure and help them to differentiate in the ruthless job arena, then, the change even became very attractive and fascinating. After all, it also really seems that the job market in the UK has little or nothing to offer, at the moment, so that there is really nothing to lose on having a go.

All, or part, of that is possibly why the number of British graduates accepting unpaid internship in China has recently been booming. More precisely figures show that the number of unpaid internships has already doubled, compared to the total last year’s number.

Without any questions China’s reputation as an important international centre of business has recently dramatically increased and the exponential economic growth of the country, even when the rest of the world was coping with the recession and struggling to emerge from its aftermath, has obviously played a role too.

The number of requests for unpaid internship is growing so quickly that a number of agencies have decided to specialise in the activity of favouring organisations offer and young people demand to meet.

In China there are plenty of companies eager to take on unpaid internships, especially from the UK. Chinese business leaders are aware that, although there are a staggering 1,3 billion native Chinese speakers, the international lingua franca, especially in business, still remains English, so that Chinese organisations are obviously welcoming the chance to board top level translators within their organisations. But this is not really the only reason for Chinese business welcoming the opportunity to board foreign graduates. The fresh air young graduates can bring to their organisations and the international global input they offer could reveal to be priceless for Chinese entrepreneurs. And, in fact, Chinese companies do not need to pay anything to enjoy the energy and the hard work done by these young energetic and eager to learn, and possibly also to teach, people.

The businesses more keen to board foreign interns are operating in the financial, banking and marketing sectors, which, in turn, could give to all of these young graduated an in depth knowledge of how, in this so different, fascinating country with a so long history, these activities are managed.

Potential candidates do not need to know the Putonghua (Mandarin) language, on the contrary they can leave home safe in the knowledge that, very likely, they will come back home with some basic Chinese ability they did not have at all before arriving there.

The only barrier, to live this exciting experience, is possibly represented by the cost these young people need to face. In general, costs to stay and live a couple of months in Beijing or Shanghai are of approximately £1,800, but to these expenses still need to be added the flight and the insurance costs.

Nonetheless, the experience is definitely worth the efforts, in that after a couple of months spent in China, graduates could add few lines in their CVs, showing that they have confidently lived and worked in China, getting an head start over others jobseekers on trying to get a job.

This can, definitely, be a good opportunity both for Chinese organisations and for graduates. Chinese business, in fact, could have the chance to seek for talents on a considerably wider pool and interns could always hope to have the chance to find a good job opportunity there or home once back.