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Infographic: The Internship Boom of China

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We are currently in one most competitive job markets of recent history. Regardless of university name or field of study, graduates struggle to find fulfilling and lucrative positions. In a cutthroat and hypercompetitive atmosphere, opportunities are few and far between for individuals to rise above the shoulders of other equally qualified applicants. This is where internships are so incredibly valuable for networking opportunities, real world experience, and building relevant skillsets that can be translated into a long-term career. This is also a globalized economy where the ability to navigate cultural expectations while working in a diverse environment are critical to success. 

As such, China is now one of the top destinations for internships in the world. There is a growing field of possibility in China for students or new graduates who want to take control of their future. Not only is this an important cross-cultural exchange of language, interns are able to participate in a wide range of situations that bring textbook learning to a real work setting. China is also an optimal internship choice due to its booming economy in these top five emerging industries: Garments and Textiles, Information Technology, Oil and Petrochemicals, Automotive, and Iron and Steel. 

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Between the factories from multinational companies that are located in China to the growth of cities full of skyscrapers, there are a multitude of industry roles for interns to explore. For those interested in entering the oil and petrochemical field, China is one of the top five producers of oil in the world and has just exceeded the United States in being the largest net importer of oil in the world. In terms of the automotive industry, China has the largest car market in the world by a huge margin. New-car sales in China were expected to grow by 9 percent in 2014, way ahead of the US market’s 1.1 percent growth. General Motors and Ford are two of the top foreign automobile developers, with General Motors at 10.5 percent growth rate in the first half of 2014. Ford experienced a 35 percent growth in the same period, but lags in terms of overall vehicles sold at below 600,000 compared to GM’s 1.73 million. 

In Beijing, the capital of China, there is a wide range of available industries for potential interns. The home of China’s Silicon Valley, the IT and technology sector is especially strong. Revenue generated through this industry grew 21.3 percent in 2013 and 19 percent in the first ten months of 2014. Beijing also boasted (and bested Tokyo in having) the most Fortune 500 company headquarters at a whopping 48 in 2013. These companies alone provided 25 percent of the career opportunities in the city. There are over 700 international companies and institutions with offices in Beijing that cover fields from marketing to architecture to technology. Interning in a city like Beijing would also provide a unique opportunity for marketing students or graduates who will learn about designing and selling products for a diverse audience. 

One of the most effective and streamlined ways of landing an internship in China is to go through an official company. These ensure that internship experiences are safe, productive, and streamlined. Top companies include Gi2C Group, CRCC Asia, and Absolute Internship. All of these companies have seen a steady growth of interns interested in expanding their experiences in China. Gi2C Group reports that in 2012, they received 1264 applications with 334 internship placements. In 2013, the number of applications increased to 1975 with 467 internship placements. In 2014, there was a dramatic upswing in applications with an impressive 2593 applications and 648 placements. Yuri Khlystov, CEO of Gi2C Group, has stated that he expects 2015 to be a record year with the likelihood of over 6000 applications and over 1500 internship placements in Beijing and Shanghai. With these increasing figures, there is only a positive trajectory for individuals who want to really round out their resume with a noteworthy internship.