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Beijing

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Skiing Resort (Mid September)

So one of my first weekends here we went to a skiing resort for a music festival.  I have no idea where it was, but definitely somewhere super remote, not somewhere I would have thought something like a billion dollar resort would be located.

 

This is the Great Wall on the way to the resort.

This is the Great Wall on the way to the resort.

This would be part of the lobby. It was a pretty impressive resort. Sorry for my crappy photography.

The after we arrived we lounged about and some of us went to explore the mountains around the resort.

No, it wasn't just me, there were plenty of other people =p

No, it wasn't just me, there were plenty of other people =p

It was a beautiful scenery =) (with the exception of that person's head, I did not see that there before posting)

It was a beautiful scenery =) (with the exception of that person's head, I did not see that there before posting)

And then the sunset in the mountains =)

Overall it was a cool experience and I met a ton of expats working in Beijing =) 

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I'm Back

Wow, sorry about not updating this for a while. I've been really busy these past couple of weeks. The company is certainly keeping me very busy. Working every day on one or two projects from morning until evening is certainly different from college where a ton of different things demand your attention.

Anyways, besides being busy with work I've experienced two Chinese holidays here in Beijing. The first was the Mid-Autumn festival, and the second was China's National Day. I worked through the Mid-Autumn festival but I got a respite through the National Day.  Let's see, throughout my stay here I have eaten so much street food, gotten sick (not from the food, well I'm not too sure about that), sort of acclimated to the crazy pollution, visited new parks and ones I've been to before, joined a bunch of groups around Beijing (mainly having to do with Entrepreneurship and Software), gone to a talk about technological immortality, went to a talk with Chris Pu of Intel Capital to hear about Venture Capital and entrepreneurship in Beijing/China, went to a talk with Kaizer Kuo who works in international relations at Baidu.com, and other stuff I'm pretty sure I'm forgetting.  As for work, I've built a website, written market reports and memorandums, and researched various investing opportunities. So it's been a busy month I've been here.

It's been a ton of fun. With the exception of the pollution and the lack of sun (Mr. Kuo gave us a piece of advice to being in Beijing/China: "Stop being a whiny little bit**", so that's all I'll say haha), it's been a great month. 

I will post some pictures later

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Weekend's with Wong, Color Run

It has been a month that I've been looking forward to this event, The Color Run. To top it off, this was the weekend right after my last friday as an intern for YMBY. We made good time on the way there and followed the crowd to the registration. 

 

Picture of me and Ann--Before we got into it

Picture of me and Ann--Before we got into it

After we got running, it honestly felt like we were in an oven. It just so happened that this summer was the hottest that Beijing has ever seen. I think my favorite part was that it was ok to throw starch at random people, without them giving you dirty looks.

Picture of me with all the red-- In a sea of red at first checkpoint

Picture of me with all the red-- In a sea of red at first checkpoint

All in all this was a great experience and great to have things to take my mind off the stress built up at work. 

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Sales, Sales, Sales

I have always been told that in order to be a successful entrepreneur you have to be a good salesmen. After all, no matter what product or service you are creating, if you can't sell it you are wasting your time.

For some unknown reason I have always considered myself a good salesmen even though I have never had a sales job. Must be the gift of gab and a little bit of delusion haha. Either way I felt the need to become a great salesmen so I figured I would make the challenge harder by trying to sell in a foreign market. Boy, am I in for a wild ride!! Things are actually going really well but the difference between selling in the states and in China is like traveling to two different galaxies. The main obstacles for me are language and transportation but I'm working on both.

Today I had two sales calls that I had set up earlier this week. The first battle is getting ahold of the right person in charge who can actually make decisions and get something done. Easier said than done, the receptionist usually speak fragmented english or only Chinese. Once you get past them you better pray the next person speaks english! Making sales calls can be quite comical because I have to slow my speech way down. I have always been a fast talker and now it sounds like someone who is talking in slow motion haha. After making telephone contact and setting up a meeting, then you have to find the place.

Once again, easier said than done. Remember, google doesn't operate in china, so although the google maps are useful, they are often not enough. The toughest part, which is getting easier, is getting to and from the sales call. The subway is actually really convenient but exhausting by the end of the day. It's a shame I can't shower once I get off the subway before my meetings lol. It's hot! About 100 degrees with humidity and that lovely smog that I am used to by now. Overall, things are looking up! I will be making my first sale next week and I have a couple other leads in the meantime.

My first good sales call was at the Grace Hotel. A nice 30 room boutique hotel with a manager named Jui who seems extremely good at her job. We sat down and I was offered a drink, I said I would like tea and asked what she preferred. She said she preferred champagne but she was working, I said, well then let's drink champagne. Haha, man I felt like a true salesmen at that point in time. I hadn't drank all weekend, doctors orders for my kidneys but I will go to the end of the earth for that sale! Haha. That felt great and I thought it was quite funny.   

By Justin Ancheta

 

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Why China? Thats random

I've gotten this question plenty of times back home, and to put it short I've repeated it so many times, why not have a typed copy of it. 

Being in China and interning under YMBY has taught me that to be uncomfortable, is to learn. Now, I'm not talking about the sun in your eyes while you are tanning, uncomfortable. Im talking about being a professional in China forces you to raise your interpersonal skills to a different level. 

Since I hardly speak Chinese, communication was a huge problem for me in the beginning. After many head shakes and pity-smiles, I began to learn how to communicate with co workers without really even talking to them. Besides communication, I feel like it the workload and networking with foreigners has basically given me a crash course on how to present myself in the future. Working with digital marketing and also digital design, there are plenty of deadlines- even more so in a part time setting. This taught me to think ahead. Whenever I needed something planned, i would see what would happen and have to project multiple outcomes. Projections means prepared! I also learned that fear is a choice. 

Being around people who are older/wise/smarter can/will be a humbling experience. To be honest, at first I was scared. But soon enough i learned to embrace my fear and turn it into something I could learn from. I gained confidence in completing tasks, and -having a week left- my confidence is now through the roof. I learned to problem solve, to set aside egos and to overall be a better person/professional because of my internship with YMBY. 

By Jonathan Wong

Here is a glimpse of working at YMBY, my eyes throb after staring at a screen for 7 hours

Here is a glimpse of working at YMBY, my eyes throb after staring at a screen for 7 hours

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Back to Rain

Well, while my good friends here at MCO went on their little camping trip, I stayed in dear old Beijing and boiled under the sun. That is, until Monday, when ominous clouds and gray skies rolled in, foretelling the downpour that continued for two days straight.  

On Tuesday, when the rains first set in, I, like thousands of other like-minded tourists, headed to the National Museum of China. 

Thankfully, the queue moved quickly due to the fact that there admission fee came out to a total of zero RMB. All one needed was their passport or Chinese ID to enter into the gargantuan building. 

Tourists resting on the steps after exploring the museum.

The bottom floor was a journey through ancient Chinese artifacts, ending with a life-sized model of Chinese cavemen. The upper floors had jade, money, and buddha collections, as well as a two large rooms filled with African masks and statues. Unfortunately the Africa-centric rooms only had descriptions in Chinese, so I am still unsure of how or why The National Museum had acquired such items.

I finished off my tourism with a trip to Wangfujing Snack Street, which was busy even when puddles lined the alleyway. I ate some Baozi's and grilled corn on the cob, avoiding the scorpions and slimy sea creatures on a stick only so I could perhaps share that experience with a friend. 

 - Percia Verlin

Rainy snack street go-ers.

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Its been a long two weeks…

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Its been a long two weeks…

I’ve been wanting to get blogging, but never got around to it.

Now that I feel, “settled-in” theres been some free -FINALLY- on my hands. 2 weeks back at home (San Fransisco, California), cycles through fairly quickly. While in Beijing, there are so many things to absorb, these two weeks felt like 2 months. The weird thing is, I am finally getting comfortable. Just a little bit ago, I was already ready to go home. Beijing beat me. I felt tired, frustrated and sweaty. (This humidity/air is something to get used to.) But on the bright side, today was the first day that I felt acclimated, to all aspects of Beijing.

Interning with bilinguals helps me pick up really quickly. When I couple this with Chinese lessons every other day, I feel like im really making progress! I can order food with confidence and go around not looking/feeling like a total dumbo. Im not going to lie, I still tell locals that I am Japanese (Na guo ren), hahaha.

MORE TO COME:

THINGS TO BUY CHECK LIST, GOALS, AND LOTSALOTSA PICUTRES/videos..

 

 - Jonathan Wong 

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Summer Palace & A new website

I was going to make a really cool Summer Palace blog post but one of my lovely cohorts beat me to it. So I’ll just give my 5 cents.

It’s not really much of a palace, more of a large hill and a big lake.

The best part was the group trying to get a boat with a motor and a boat where you bike to go the same way at the same speed. We mostly just gave up and had a picnic in the middle of the lake consisting of bread, Nutella, peanut butter, and jelly.

Boats on the Summer Palace Lake

Boats on the Summer Palace Lake

Blond people actually do get asked for pictures apparently.

Heidi Klum is getting a little sick of the paparazzi

Heidi Klum is getting a little sick of the paparazzi

Religious studies can actually be useful in real life.

 

Justin showing us the correct way to meditate

Justin showing us the correct way to meditate

So this week @ WUHAO I’m helping the big boss finally create an actual website where things can be bought and products explored and all that good stuff that we take for granted in this age of technology.

Just because we work in a 16th century Chinese garden doesn’t mean we should adhere to 16th century Chinese practices. Anyway, building a fancy website takes fancy technology and a whole lot of pictures and information to put together, so I’m gonna go get started.

Here is a picture of the cats that live at WUHAO.

 

Only WUHAO cats take naps on Innovo chairs

Only WUHAO cats take naps on Innovo chairs

- Percia Verlin

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A Warm Welcome…Or a Hot One, Really

So the urban legend goes like this: if your Chinese friends have hot pot gatherings without you, you probably need to reconsider your friendship…

Okay, I may have exaggerated a bit. But what’s a better way to welcome MCO’s new summer interns to China than a cozy night with hot pot?

This past Saturday we had a welcome dinner for the new interns at Hai Di Lao, a wildly popular hot pot chain famous for its five star service, unlimited free snacks, and Kung-Fu-style “noodle dance”.

Chris asked a waitress to show us around the kitchen. Apparently this was something you could just ask for here at Hai Di Lao.

Isn’t it reassuring to know what your dishes look like when you are ordering?

Isn’t it reassuring to know what your dishes look like when you are ordering?

It was a great challenge for the new arrivals to put meat and vegetables that they couldn’t even name into their bowls; luckily, our interns are an adventurous group.

Everyone is excited to cook for themselves…except for Percia who’s probably wondering what kind of food she’s been tricked into eating

Everyone is excited to cook for themselves…except for Percia who’s probably wondering what kind of food she’s been tricked into eating

Meatballs and mushrooms in tomato soup

Meatballs and mushrooms in tomato soup

Happy faces!

Happy faces!

- Kaixin Bao

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Day Trip to the Summer Palace with MCO

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Day Trip to the Summer Palace with MCO

If you ask me what excites me more than fancy parties and shopping for new shoes, the answer is—day trip with besties! This past Sunday My China Opportunity took our interns and their friends out on a day trip to the Summer Palace.

Jonathan (left) and Justin (right) outside the gate at the Summer Palace

Jonathan (left) and Justin (right) outside the gate at the Summer Palace

Finally got into the park. Journey starts here!

Finally got into the park. Journey starts here!

To three of our interns, Justin, Jonathan, and Ann, this is their very first outing in China since they just arrived last Friday. Immersing themselves in Chinese culture and experiencing as much as they can is the purpose of this trip.

Houses from the old days

Houses from the old days

First group photo. Everyone is happy and pumped

First group photo. Everyone is happy and pumped

Long before the trip started Jonathan and Ann got themselves “in trouble.” As two newbies in town, not knowing much about the city, Jonathan and Ann hopped on the wrong train coming from their place to the park! Instead of taking the short path on the subway line, which is a circle, they went all the way to the other direction and stayed on the train for almost 30 stops. Hands up if you need to learn Chinese, Jonathan & Ann!

Beautiful scene at the park

Beautiful scene at the park

Interns hiking in the park   

Interns hiking in the park

 

The Summer Palace is always packed, especially Sundays; even the ticket box was surrounded by hundreds of people trying to get the tickets! However, Chris, our group leader who has been living in Beijing for almost four years, “strategically“ got the tickets for all of us with no waiting in lin. How so? He cut the line, just like any other tourist there, of course.

 

Greens that you don’t see in the city

Greens that you don’t see in the city

A cute corner we found in the park

A cute corner we found in the park

Even as a so-called Beijinger my memory about the Summer Palace is so vague and blurry. I’m so glad that after so many years away from home I got a chance to revisit this beautiful park once again.

Fun group photo along the bridge

Fun group photo along the bridge

Waiting to get on the boat!

Waiting to get on the boat!

Everything is fun when you do it with the right people. Our lovely interns made the hiking in the park a fun thing to do although the sun was not so friendly to us. It was interesting to see how our interns were amazed by little things happened around them. 90-year-old man training Kongfu in the park, the Buddha in the temple, trying the Chinese corn dog, “kidnaped “by Chinese tourists to take pictures with them, all of these things made the trip a memorable one to all of us, but the best part of the day has not come yet.

Interns on the boat

Interns on the boat

Good view of the park from the center of the lake

Good view of the park from the center of the lake

I bet you will never guess out the answer that where we spent the last hour in the park—on the boat! Yes, we rented two boats and got everyone on board to have a unique experience on one of the most famous lakes in China. As the captain of my boat, yea I was the driver of a boat though I don’t even hold a driver’s license, I was having lots of fun navigating with my “crew.”

 

Nora the Captain

Nora the Captain

Feet in the water

Feet in the water

The sun was still high when we left the park. Besides all the excitements and laughter we had on this trip everybody got a nice tan that was from the beautiful summer sunshine.

- Nora Zhou

The bridge

The bridge

Buddha

Buddha

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Three Minute Speed Networking Challenge: Senior Executive Speed Connection at Kerry Center

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Three Minute Speed Networking Challenge: Senior Executive Speed Connection at Kerry Center

It’s all about first impressions.  You have a chance to talk to business leaders from your favorite industry – only that you’ve just got 3 minutes with each of them. How do you use the short time to present yourself, seek advice, and even make a personal and professional connection?

It’s like speed dating, but with senior executives.

Kerry’s Centro Bar

Kerry’s Centro Bar

On Tuesday, June 18, MCO’s summer interns joined AmCham YPC’s Senior Executive Speed Connection and Networking Event in the Kerry Center Hotel.  Senior executives and leaders attending the event came from a variety of industries, including aviation, energy, public relations, healthcare and medical devices, sports management, think tanks, non-profits, government relations, beverages, executive troubleshooting, financial management consulting and others.

Our summer intern Percia having a great conversation with Ira Cohen, Executive Director of China EMBA Program

Our summer intern Percia having a great conversation with Ira Cohen, Executive Director of China EMBA Program

The speed networking portion of the evening consisted of an executive networking round-robin, in which young professionals had 3 minute timed conversations one-on-one with each senior executive. Over the course of one hour, the interns talked to the top members of companies and organizations in Beijing, and obtained insider’s advice about entering into the business world in China.

This hour-long session concluded with AmCham’s monthly member cocktail at Centro Bar, located on the ground floor of Kerry Center Hotel. Interns continued conversations with the executive mentors, and mingled with other AmCham members.

- Kaixin Bao

Nora, Kaixin, Miranda, and Percia in the cocktail mixer

Nora, Kaixin, Miranda, and Percia in the cocktail mixer

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True Beijing Tourist

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True Beijing Tourist

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Alright, now it’s time to give my captivated audience what they’ve been waiting for. I finally got my butt to Tian’men Square and The Forbidden City. Tian’men square I honestly found lacking. The large flat square was mysteriously lacking in any sort of seating. Some people simply crouched while others sat on the edges of monuments, avoiding eye contact with the large amount of patrolling guards. The large avenue that separates the Forbidden City from Tian’men Square has to be crossed  by underground tunnels where they funnel crowds through metal detectors. I spent no more than 15 minutes wandering amongst the various pillars and statues, lawns dotted with large colorful flower arrangements and a few very large LED screens showing some wonderfully moving patriotism.

 

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A week later I spent my first day off in the modern, business part of town. I met some friends for lunch and then headed over to the shopping district of Sanlitun. I  just needed to buy a plain black tank top and

thought Uniqlo would be a no fuss option. The staff in Chinese Uniqlos partake in an odd ritual of constantly yelling to each other about what I expect are updates on customers (I really have no idea they could have been talking about their grandmothers).

The Forbidden City left a much more favorable impression on me, even though they refused to carry me around on a sedan chair. My

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first thought was that they really do not call it a City for nothing. It’s a 5-10 minute walk to even get the the ticket lines, right next to the main gate. The lines went pretty quickly and I made my way inside. I bought an audio guide and started my tour. The audio guide had a built in GPS that knew where I was and told me the history accordingly. My favorite parts were the less busy ones where there were small shrines, meeting areas and bedchambers. The weather which had been so hot and sunny the day before was chilly with a solid gray sky.

- Percia Verlin

 

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Initial Fashion: The Luxury Experience

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Initial Fashion: The Luxury Experience

Women’s selection at Initial Fashion

Women’s selection at Initial Fashion

Last week Beijing welcomed the relaunch of Initial Fashion, a boutiques and specialties store from Hong Kong.

 

The relaunch of Initial Fashion is a call for the rich hipsters in town.

Wandering in the store we can see aesthetic designs with a taste of old-day European style everywhere.

 

Exquisite decor can be seen everywhere in the store with a sense of romance

Exquisite decor can be seen everywhere in the store with a sense of romance

Designers never ignore any details in the store, not even the ceilings

Designers never ignore any details in the store, not even the ceilings

Initial Fashion presents a style that is a perfect combination of Chinese fashion and Western aesthetics.

The relaunch of Initial Fashion at Sanlitun Village attracted a good crowd of Beijingers as well as International fashion lovers.

 

The relaunch of Initial Fashion at Sanlitun Village attracted a good crowd of Beijingers as well as International fashion lovers.

- Nora Zhou

 

The collections at Initial Fashion are luxurious and visually appealing

The collections at Initial Fashion are luxurious and visually appealing

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Networking in China: 101

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Networking in China: 101

The first lesson that the summer interns of MCO learned was how important networking is when it comes to doing business in China; networking skills are essential for business professionals to build strong, long-term relationships, and to keep up-to-date with latest information in the industries where their interests lie. The good news is, it’s really not as intimidating as it sounds.

Interns Learn How to Network in China

The interns learn about do’s and don’ts of networking

The interns learn about do’s and don’ts of networking

On June 2, the summer intake of interns came together for a short training session focused on professional networking in China. The interns learned about the basic concept and general goals of business networking, as well as specific details they need to keep in mind.

To start with, the interns discussed their own strengths and weaknesses in terms of communicating with people. Next, Chris and Miranda talked about do’s and don’ts of networking, hot topics and taboo topics in a professional conversation, as well as dress code and other etiquette rules specific to networking in China. “It’s like presenting yourself as a brand.” Explained Miranda.

Interns learn how to exchange name cards in a professional manner.

Interns learn how to exchange name cards in a professional manner.

It was the small things that sounded the most challenging to the interns. How to skillfully join a group conversation? How do you cut off a conversation that’s been going too long? “These are the things that you learn over time.” Said Chris, after answering the interns’ questions and concerns.

It takes time and effort to master the art of networking. With basic ideas as well as specific tips in mind, the summer interns of MCO are ready to take their first steps into the business world.

- Kaixin Bao

 

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Biking Around Beijing

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After my first full week of work,what I’ve generally gathered is that working 9 hours a day for 5 straight days is rather exhausting. This is my first full-time job (internship). It’s all very interesting, since there are so many different parts that go into making a small business work. Though though the different parts work largely autonomously we all report back to the higher ups. I guess I shouldn’t really be explaining this because how a workplace works is only new to me.

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I largely have been working with retail. Which is good for familiarizing myself with the products we carry. A lot of the work we do is updating. Updating visitor forms, what has been bought, how the customers feel about our selection, and the new designer profiles. I really like doing research on designers so that we can know their background when explaining their work. I also recently researched a newsletter site because in order to send emails and invitations to our large clientele list gmail is not up to par. We needed a site that is able to send messages to upwards of 3,500 people.

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Unfortunately because I’ve been working I haven’t had much time to see the sights but that doesn’t mean I haven’t seen Beijing from my bike. The two neighborhoods I’ve visited most extensively are my own (which extends to my workplace) and the downtown business/foreigner area. I live right below the subway stop Andingmen,which I rarely use because biking is cheaper and better for seeing Beijing. My bike was actually only about 150 RMB which amounts to about 25 U.S. dollars. I haven’t had any problems with it except for one day when I came down to go to work and realized my brakes had been mangled. It cost 20 RMB to get them fixed, but I’m still wondering why it happened. I guess my enemies in high places wish to cause me harm.

Anyway my neighborhood is really cutesy and personal and there are a lot of little Hutongs and shops and restaurants and at least 1 or 2 fruit and vegetable seller/ supermarket on every block (why aren’t the states like that?). The downtown area is usually where I go to meet Chris and Miranda (the people who are running this ship) since they work and used to live down there. I’ve been to networking event, peking duck restaurant night, and gotten a massage. I think what is so striking about Beijing is you can turn a corner and see massive steel and glass shopping malls and office skyscrapers not too far from sights more like this one:

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- Percia Verlin

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