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Interns Dipping a Toe into the World
Lee Soo-hyun, Junior Reporter | 승인 2019.09.01 02:02

 

  Recently, the exchange of human resources between countries has become more active, and it is certain that each country has different cultures and values. Through this opportunity, why don’t you listen to foreigners’ thoughts about an internship at home and abroad? The Konkuk Bulletin met American, Chinese, and German students, and asked about the business and internship cultures of each country.

America, a global hub of high-quality human resources

Connie Ban

Department of Business Administration

1. What is the American perception of an internship abroad?

  It is a subjective point of view and depends on the person, but Americans usually prefer domestic internships. In our mosaic society1), we have encountered people with diverse ethnicities and cultures since our childhood. However, someone can have meaningful experience from working abroad. Especially, I would like to work globally, because my memories from Korea are really good. I want to go to Japan or Korea for a worthwhile internship.

2. What is the unique internship culture of America?

  In America, the resumé, which includes personal information, is the most important. The interview makes a definitive agreement about recruitment, but they look at your resumé first based on personnel policy. Moreover, all resumés in America need at least two years of work experience, so most people do internships. Nonetheless, we usually do not get paid for internships, so it is highly competitive for paid internships. It is similar to Korea.

3. What is the difference in workplace culture between Korea and America?

  Interns work 20 hours in minimum, and full-time workers do about 40 hours a week. We usually go back home right after work, and actually do not have a workplace gathering. Once in a while, we go to eat lunch. Everybody works individually, and then cooperates together in the final outcome, which is pretty independent.

China, where human resources are connected with one another

Xue Kuang

Department of Business Administration

1. What is the Chinese perception of an internship abroad?

  During an internship abroad, what we want is to actually learn new things. We need courage and determination to do a job in unfamiliar countries, but we experience new thoughts or cultures and meet a variety of people. The Chinese think an internship abroad is more relaxing. On the other hand, internships in Chinese companies give us low pay and hard tasks.

2. What is the unique internship culture of China?

  For employment, the role of job placement agencies is significant. The role of personal relationships, known as guanxi (关系) in Chinese, is really considerable. It is also certain that people lacking basic abilities find it hard to get a job. However, if their parents know someone in high office, the probability of entering major companies becomes much higher. Universities form mutual exchanges with enterprises and support students in their internships.

3. What is the difference of workplace culture between Korea and China?

  In China, people gather together for their superiors’ birthdays or year-end party, and it is our own decision whether we would attend or not. For me, Korean office workers’ clothes are also impressive. They usually wear business suits, but the Chinese dress casually. Lastly, there is a culture that people need to obtain approval once a week or a month in Korean companies. In China, on the other hand, we often hold a meeting.

Germany, an educational venue for professional human resources

Sophia Maunz

Department of Business Administration

1. What is the German perception of an intern abroad?

  Most people are hesitant to leave Germany, because living abroad could be a heavy burden economically or psychologically, as you do not know the foreign country you stay in well. An internship is just short-term work to accumulate personal experience.
2. What is the unique workplace culture of Germany?

  Generally, to receive a degree, we need to be experienced in business. Any students put on the school register can apply for an internship. A decent number of German enterprises prefer that way of recruitment in which they convert interns who have worked together into full-time employees.

3. What is the difference of workplace culture between Korea and Germany?

  Germany is one of the countries with the shortest working hours in the world. Moreover, flextime is fairly common in Germany unlike Korea. I was at BMW as an intern and could adjust my business hours by myself. Furthermore, in Korean business, the relationship between subordinates and superiors is distinct, but Germans usually have a more horizontal form of communication.

1) A society where people with diverse cultural background live harmoniously while keeping their own identities

 

 

Lee Soo-hyun, Junior Reporter  sylvie8@konkuk.ac.kr

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