I was offered an internship at Chang’an Bank in Baoji, Shaanxi Province, China. I was supposed to rotate through their banking divisions and learn how banking is conducted in China such as help determine and provide credit ratings to banking clients and customers, help determine loan rates, provide services regarding foreign currency current accounts and fixed deposits, and learn how to conduct business with state-owned and private companies in China. They were job procedures that would not only enhance my Chinese proficiency and help start my business career, but they would also satisfy the requirements of both of my majors at the University of Oregon.
In mid-July, as I was about to embark on my internship in Baoji in Shanxi province, I get a call from the head of Chang’an Bank informing me that the public security bureau would not approve my internship. He explained to me that the procedures and administrative formalities in order for a foreigner to get into banking in China are extremely problematic, primarily due to the fact that banks in China are state-owned enterprises. My summer vacation was coming to an end, my term at Nanjing University had already finished, my apartment lease was about to expire and because my internship fell through, there was a chance that I would not see any of my internship-related scholarship funds successfully go through. I had literally hit rock bottom.
With my back against the wall, I was able to use my network of connections from both school and traveling in order help me find affordable housing on such a short notice and most importantly, find an internship in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, China at 立信会计师事务所（Torch CPA) working as an accountant. I started officially on August 10, and so far I have been learning the basic foundations for audit accounting. Over the past few weeks I, along with other Chinese coworkers, have been looking hundreds of pages of files regarding a company’s past year revenues, taxes, expenses and audit reports and transferring/filing them into excel spreadsheets, as well as analyzing and evaluating the firm’s financial statements. This was one of my most memorable experiences because I believed that it not only helped me grow as an individual, but also help me realize how far my Chinese has progressed while I have been in Nanjing.
Just when I was about to think, “Enough’s enough, I am ready to call it a day and go home,” I started to recall and think back on all of my previous challenges and how I was able to persevere through them. When faced with adversity, I carried on, never accepted defeat and never merely settled for good, but the very best I can. Those sorts of actions I truly believe define me as a person. When life throws you curve balls, all that matters is what happens afterwards is how you react and make of the circumstances that are given to you.
– Henry Lawrence, Nanjing, China