Tag: china

Entering the Professional World

IMG_20150731_213330760I 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.

IMG_20150425_154728479_HDRIn 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.  IMG_20150327_184346607When 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

Week One in Hong Kong

Processed with VSCOcam with c7 presetSeemingly mere seconds, this past week, teeming with adventures in multiple domains, concluded with peaceful hike up the hill overlooking the cityscape.

Throughout the week, twelve groups studied various sites through macro/micro scales in order to understand the “natural” and “synthetic” landscape.  My group studied the mass private housing complex in Mei Foo.  The dense structures, tight pedestrian and vehicular roads, and lack of greenery evoked a rather unpleasant initial impression towards the complex.  However, as we ventured onward, we began to uncover its brilliance.

The site, originally used as Exxon Mobil’s petroleum storage site, was chosen for the existing flat land.  Sudden flux in population growth demanded for large accommodations; it is the largest mass housing project in Hong Kong, occasionally considered largest amongst the world.  Despite this focus on speed and size, Mei Foo complex was still considered grand at the time.  The complex provided multiple schools, health clinics, and market.  The lack of interior space, although typical in Hong Kong, is well compensated through the spacious terraces on the podium level.  We observed that this large open space, enclosed by the wall of buildings, acted as backyard for the community.  People would go here to walk their dog, read a newspaper, bike around the boxed plants and 20150818_161951-12jxvsm-e1440260901745fountains.  The elevated open space ensured safety for those gathered here, from the chaotic automobiles below.  However, this separation between the road and the community spaces has its disadvantages.  For example (and likely not a hypothetical one), suppose student sketching sections from the podium level finds himself fatigued and dehydrated therefore requiring a drink, that student must navigate towards the nearest stairwell, descend multiple floors, then look for the nearest 7- Eleven.  Yet, we discovered through our interviews, that this hardly affected the lives of locals and visitors.  Most of the residents expressed either indifferent or positive opinions towards Mei Foo, and were rather content with spaces we found cramp or unsanitary.

On Saturday, we woke up early and boarded the Cotai Ferry over to Macau.  Despite encountering some conflicts with Macau customs, it did not hamper our excitement and eagerness to explore the city.  Firstly, we took a tour of Macau colonial houses, which were painted in bright teal and overlooked a beautiful expanse of marshland.  After eating a wonderful traditional Portuguese meal, we walked through busy streets, filled with combating aromas and voices.  Secondly, we took an adventurous (frightening) bus ride into the heart of the city; it was like stepping into another world.  A composed array of new, outlandish buildings along with culturally rich vernacular structures surrounded us.  While trying to reach the St. Peter’s Ruins, we were funneled through one narrow street completed filled with countless people, all shoving and pushing as we slowly inched towards our destination.  To further enhance this experience, Bella broke a coconut on the steps up to the facade ruins through repeatly smashing it on the pavement.  Lastly, on top of fort/ history museum, we had a great view of the city.Processed with VSCOcam with c7 preset

– Kevin So, Summer Sustainable Urban Design and Development in Hong Kong

More UO A&AA Hong Kong blogs can be found here.