My first week of the internship started with the final preparation for Michigan China Week, an event hosted roughly 200 Chinese officials and business executives during May 6th – May 9th, 2018. Although I was experienced in assisting relatively large-scale events, the preparation for this event was somewhat different.
As an intern, my manager placed a lot of trust in me. I was given tasks like background researching on the Chinese officials and business executives in both Chinese and English; drafting background briefings for Mayor Duggan and Governor Snyder; designing a U-M campus tour; translating documents, welcome letters, and menus, etc.
Here are a couple of tips on how to do background research on international officials and business executives:
- Sometimes Google is just not enough. Use Linkedin, Facebook, Baidu (Chinese Google), Sino (Chinese Twitter) and many other search engines; basically, anything you can think of, use it. If you are bilingual or trilingual, search keywords in different languages may give you more information. More nets catch more fish!
- If they are not famous enough, or simply don’t have a lot of information online, search them by images. This may take longer, but it most like will give you something as long as their pictures were taken somewhere at some important events.
To be honest, this first week made me feel like an assistant in Madam Secretary or House of Cards, American political drama TV series. Every task was urgent and had to be taken care of right away. Sometimes government or business delegations make last-minute changes about their visit, and as the organizer and sponsor of the event, we need to promptly accommodate them in a professional manner. Communication is the key under such circumstances, both with the manager and team at Michigan-China innovation Center and with each delegation.
My first week was challenging but very exciting! More to come in my second blog!
Hope this is helpful for you out there. 😉