Guest blog written by Muchun Liao, York second-year undergraduate
After entering my university life, I found myself a little bit unclear about what I would like to do and what I can do for my career plans. Interning through CRCC was my first working experience and it became a great and unforgotten opportunity as my very first starting point for my future career plans.
During the time while I worked as an intern in Women’s Watch-China (now changed its name to Beijing Qianqian Law Firm) gave me many perspectives about NGOs and charities in China. My daily duties were to find and track violation of women’s rights in major cases and events, support litigation and non-litigation activities across the world and then update relevant news articles, information regarding women’s groups, research reports, and achievements. Also, sometimes I might need to communicate and contact with relevant domestic and foreign organizations, as well as join other NGOs, experts, and the media in promoting reform and advancing women’s rights in the legal system. And it was really pleasing for me to meet some staff from EU and UN Women during my internship.
Although my mother tongue is Mandarin, however, working in NGOs with a strong foreign connection is still a challenge for me. For example, the office had an application with UN Women which needed to be submitted in the next few days. I was asked to translate attachments for them and I have to say it was not easy as there were too many terminologies I never heard before, etc.
China, especially Beijing, is a place which is full of competition. You might need to work for extra times during busy times, at night or even during weekends, but might not have extra pay. And people who do not speak Mandarin might feel challenged about living in this country. Although the government asks students to learn English from Year1, many people feel shy to speak English because they think their speaking is not perfect. However, you can find English translation under Chinese titles almost everywhere in key places such as underground and shopping malls. Moreover, most of the local people have enthusiasm to help foreigners.
All in all, it could be say this internship programme is one of my best decisions. I have learned and know more about the basic operations of NGOs and even some differences between NGOs in China and aboard. China is a developing country and it still has a long way to go in this area. Now I have already returned to the university and soon to start my new term, I wish I could have more working experiences in my relevant fields of NGOs and charities.
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