Gaining experience from home

Ah! Beginning of a young person’s career… Isn’t it exciting? All the possibilities and dreams just out there for us to take. It all seems so easy when we’re fresh out of high school and/or university. You’re filled with hope cause you worked and studied hard so now you’ll be able to do what you love. Has anyone ever told you this? Because this is what I was told. When I was in high school they told me I had to study hard and strive to be the best so I can go to the university I want and finally study what I really want. When I got to university I was told: “It’s hard to find a job but if you study hard and do your best you’ll definitely make it.” Isn’t everyone so positive? All you have to do is work hard and you’ll make it. But isn’t that what everyone is doing? There is so much competitiveness out there it’s insane. What about when companies are offering a job post for people fresh out of university but they need to have 3 years experience? Doesn’t that just infuriate you? And now with the pandemic things are even harder. Well, I’m leaving here an idea for you to make the most of this terrible situation.

I’m going straight to the point. Online internships. Everyone is working from home so why can’t we gain experience from the comfort of our home as well? You can intern for anywhere in the world. I’ve been interning for 5 months now for Shanghai while I’m in Luxembourg. It’s a 7-hour difference and it works. I’m here to be honest with you, no sugar-coating anything so I’m not going to say it’s perfect. It’s hard getting to know your co-workers and for them to get to know you and it makes understanding what each person does and likes doing slightly harder than if you were there. But if you like what you’re doing it’s definitely worth it. It only takes about a month for everyone to start knowing you and you them. Plus, online internships are safer nowadays than to actually go to the company.


An internship, whether it’s present or online, is not just about you helping the company but the company allowing you to grow, learn new skills and improve the ones you already have. You have to have a talk with your boss and be able to communicate with each other about how you can help one another. For shy people this can be quite challenging. I understand you 100% cause I’m quite shy myself when I don’t know the person. Luckily, my boss suggested this himself but most won’t so you have to fight through the embarrassment and the feeling that you’re only there to help them.

Choose the right internship. This isn’t always easy. I’ve had experiences where I though the internship was exactly what I was looking for but in the end I didn’t like it at all. When this is the case you have two choices.

  1. Talk to your boss and explain to him/her what you’re feeling. It can be that you’re not doing what they told you you were going to do or it could be that you feel like you’re not learning anything. Whatever it is that it’s making you not like the experience you can talk to him/her about it. I suggest you always choose this option first. Your boss might actually listen to you and understand where you’re coming from and help you out. However, the boss can say he’s going to do something but doesn’t do anything or just won’t care. When this happens maybe it’s time to go for the second option.
  2. Leave. Find a new internship. It’s not worth being somewhere where you’re not learning or happy and not even getting paid. Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself and fight for your happiness. Just because you’re an intern it doesn’t mean people can just walk all over you. So if you’re unhappy with where you are just leave.

Online internships allow you to gain the experience you need for you to get a job in the future and you don’t have to leave the comfort of your home. Specially if you’re at your parents house, you even get to save some money. There are internships for students as well so if you’re at university you can still get an online internship. The sooner you get the years of experience most companies are asking for (normally 3 years) the better.

I wish you good luck in your personal and work life and future plans. Stay safe and healthy!

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Hutong School is now operating as That’s Mandarin. Now you can expect the same great Chinese lessons with access to online Chinese learning platform NihaoCafe.