Class Year: 2016
Internship Placement: Shanghai Construction and Development Association.
What’s happening? We’d love to hear how your internship is going.
I’m working in the Education and International Exchange department in an NGO called Shanghai Construction and Development Association. The objects of the association are to advance the science, theory, and practice of construction and development and to promote transcontinental exchange amongst international associations of the same discipline for the public benefit. The department had just set up. I’ve been helping with constructing and amending the rules and regulation in the constitution, as well as modifying the objectives of the association with the feedback from the members. Being one of the starters for something new is an enriching and thrilling experience. Several meetings had been set up in order to promote the communications amongst the members. Prestigious academic institutes in Shanghai, consulting firms, and project managing firms for constructions, architectural firms, and even insurance companies were present in these meetings. People discussed and exchanged ideas and thoughts on how the NGO could promote the public awareness of project managing and new technologies in architecture constructing. We discussed the possibility of holding lectures by the institutes so that the newest research could be published and known to the firms. Also the firms would provide data and information straight from their working sites to guide the direction of the research. This NGO is set off becoming a platform for communication and a bridge between the academia and the business world.
Once the objects and the structure of the department is set up, the rest of the work is just simply keeping up the communication among the members. My director is a great mentor for someone in college. Each day at lunch is our “catching-up-my-progress” time. She not only shared with me her past experience as a college student finding a direction in her future career, but she showed great support towards my education and my pursuit of possible careers. She has allowed me to follow up the research groups in the institutes, perhaps even shadow their work if permission is granted. Sometimes the whole office is invited to a construction site or to a newly built building. It has been a place for me to explore so many possibilities.
How I heard about my internship:
Since I wasn’t so sure of what kind of work I’d like to do during the summer, I was searching for an internship relating to architecture/engineering. At first I wasn’t looking particularly at NGOs. A friend of mine knew about Shanghai Construction and Development Association and he suggested that it might be the best to do my exploration there.