In the final days of my internship, I worked on finishing the baby products buying guide. This book is the big, tangible product of my internship and was a collaborative project amongst the graphics team. I focused on using Photoshop to create product drawings; we wanted the book to have a lot of images to give consumers a better idea of what the products looked like and how to use them. After going through all the images, I feel like I’m full prepared to have a baby. Honestly, I never thought I would know so much about baby products at this age. But now, I could tell you the difference between types of cribs, bottles, toys, etc. and what is safe vs. unsafe.
During the last weekend, we attended a collaborative consulting brainstorm session focused on helping MingJian improve and grow. This was a one-day discussion that brought together consultants and other professionals to discuss the problems facing MingJian and how to solve them. The interns mixed with the professionals in small groups and discussed creative solutions. This was a really cool experience because we got to understand how third party observers viewed MingJian and gained a more objective perspective. One consultant decided to stay for the whole day and cancel his other appointments because he was so swayed by MingJian’s mission. We all worked together to see how others could be as equally convinced by the mission. One problem we identified was that the mission and story is hard to convey in one short tagline, so it is really dependent on word of mouth to spread. Some solutions we came up with include hosting more in-person events and creating MingJian ambassadors to spread the mission to their friends.
The last week in Shanghai was very bittersweet for me. While I looked forward to going home and being back in the land of open internet, I really fell in love with the city over the summer. The people, the food, the culture, it all made this summer one that I know I will never forget and helped me grow. This trip was my first time back in China in seven years and witnessing the amount that has changed was really incredible. Even though I grew up in America, I felt a sense of belonging in China that was very comforting. Aside from the professional experience, being in Shanghai helped me reconnect with my Chinese roots and be proud of my heritage. My mandarin also improved – while it is my first language, I forgot a lot when I learned English. Being immersed in the environment helped me remember parts of the language that were buried deep in my brain.
While packing for my return, I could not believe that 11 weeks passed by so quickly. I made a bucket list for things I had to see, do, and eat during my last week. On one of the days, I walked over 18 miles around the city to try to complete this list. I don’t know when I may return to this amazing city again, but after this summer, I am much more interested in professional opportunities in China. Who knows, maybe one day I will return to Shanghai again for work.