Studying abroad has enriched my education tenfold. I have gained an understanding of numerous parts of Chinese history, society, and business. This knowledge was gained from not only the classroom, but also while out exploring the country.
All of these things will be super beneficial as I enter the workforce as a business woman. Proving to potential employers that you have possess the skills they need in their team can be a difficult task. Providing examples of my ability to be a leader, to communicate, to negotiate, and to overall solve a problem. Providing examples from my time in China will hopefully be double impressive, as there’s an added layer of cultural competence. Once such example took place while traveling with friends.
During March, a group of friends and I spent a weekend in Nanjing. After a day of exploring the city, we relaxed at our hotel and lost track of time for dinner. When we finally went out for dinner at 8:30 pm, we were shocked and horrified to realize that pretty much every single restaurant was closed for the night. This was a horrific realization as we hadn’t eaten since noon. This started a hunt around mostly empty streets to find anything, even a small, whole-in-the-wall spot. The strategy of eight starving girls was not the most efficient as you can imagine, so it took us a decent amount of time to finally find an open restaurant.
Once we had all been seated, the owner came over and kept telling us to leave. We were very confused as there were a ton of other patrons in the restaurant, many of which were even larger than our group. We came to the realization that it was because we were foreigners.
Out of the group, I was one of the better Chinese speakers, so the responsibility of communication fell on me. I negotiated with the owner, telling him how unfair he was being and that we would be a respectful group while dining in the restaurant. After much discussion, he happily relented and allowed us to stay and eat.
Not only does this demonstrate skills in communication, but also negotiation, cultural competence, and patience. These skills will be sure to impress future employers during an interview.