«I’m studying Engineering and Management at the ZHAW. This summer I had the opportunity to do an internship for two months at one of the leading Chinese tool manufacturers, the company Jiangyin SAT precision tools co., ltd. The company didn’t pay me money during my time there, but they paid me the hotel and the meals. Normally we had lunch in the factory and dinner in a restaurant. All the other things were born by myself, but the living costs in smaller cities aren’t that high, so this was no problem. Jiangyin SAT precision tools co., ltd is located in the province Jiangsu along the Yangtze river, near to Shanghai. The city is a small industrial city with their focus on metal industry and shipping industry.
The population of the city is about 2 Million, the factory is based in the industrial development zone of Jiangyin. In the office I was working at different projects, one project was a project for the marketing office, we had to design and correct the website of the company especially the English one. Later on I had the opportunity to go with my boss to visit some customers.
The company is famous for their Hobs and a lot of other types of tools. Their machines are mostly from German or Swiss companies, because they emphasise on European quality and European standards. The company in the last couple of years made significant investments for new machines. Their measuring equipment is at the newest western standard to prove the quality of the tools is the best in China. In the second month of my stay there I had the possibility to give them some ideas about the layout design of the new company building. I did this as well during other short internships in my father’s Company, so I know how to build up an efficient factory layout. I did this together with the assistant General Manager, we tried to apply some fundamentals of the factory layout theory.
On the picture you can see an animation of the new factory building, but until now they have already changed some things. The five workshops are not anymore all the same height, some of them got a second floor and they are only four workshops left, and the office building will get seven instead of four floors. But unfortunately the little park you can see on the picture will not be built like this, because there already is a gas station. The building should be finished with the end of this year and they want to move at the beginning of the next year. The problem was that this project they set up before they knew where they were going to build it. Normally in Switzerland you first buy the land and then start the planning, but here in China the communist party will decide where you can build your factory. You will also not be the owner of the land where your factory is located, it will always be owned by the government. But maybe this will change in the future, when China continues to open itself.
«During the time here, I learned a lot about Chinese business culture and their way of living and doing things.»
During the time here, I learned a lot about Chinese business culture and their way of living and doing things. For me it was a unique possibility to go there for two months. I’ve met a lot of new friends and possible future business partners. Normally in their company they work seven days a week even in the office, but each of them gets a day off if they want. I really could recommend all students from ZHAW to do an internship it’s an enrichment for yourself and a good part for you CV especially if you think about working abroad in the future.
On the picture below we were at a business dinner with the Korean and the two German agents. The other people are friends and people from the local government, our boss invited them to attend the dinner, most of them are part of the «drinking club» (that’s how we call it). This is pretty common in China, normally if you go for dinner with business partners you will meet a lot of people there. And because it is a business dinner everybody wants to drink a least one glass with you, and you have to do the same with all of them, one by one. It is also common that they smoke during the dinner, actually they are smoking everywhere at any time, even if it’s officially forbidden.
After the first month I had the honour to attend a lunch with the local Lions International Club, we enjoyed the lunch in our company. The boss then gave me the driver to send me back to my hotel. Some days later I had the luck because the company finished their last layer of the new building and they celebrated the finish with some fireworks and made sacrifices. Also in the evening they organized a big party with friends, employees and representatives from the local government. All in all there were around 160 people invited, to attend the party.
During my 2 days off I went to Shanghai to visit my parents, we did some sightseeing, we went to the Bund, to the east Nanjing Road, and visited an old part of Shanghai. In the next week I got back my passport for the visa extension, finally I was sure that I can stay until September in China.
A big plus in asian countries are business cards, I first took the business cards from my father’s company with me until I got the cards from the Chinese company. Chinese people like to give business cards to everybody. If you get them take them with two hands and look at it for a short time. Do not put them in your pocket directly after you got it, read them even if you don’t understand a word. If you want you also can create your own business cards as a student, then you can at least give them something too if you don’t have any others. At the picture you can see my business cards for my internship.
If someone wants to go to China for an internship I recommend you to learn the language a little bit, so that at least you can say some basic sentences, it will be very helpful for your time here. For example if you want to buy some things, or want to tell the taxi driver where you want to go. But if you stay in Shanghai there are a lot of people who are speaking English as well. I will never forget the time here in China and in the company, they offered me an unique possibility to learn more form my future
«Hope that I can go back to China as soon as possible.»
Hope that I can go back to China as soon as possible. Best greetings from Jiangyin in the Peoples Republic of China!»
Tobias Florian Bannwart