For many first-year Chinese students, the first quarter at Harris was an especially challenging experience due to the pandemic. However, with support from faculty, staff, students, and alumni, they are now in an advantageous position for their 2021 summer internships.

To help the first-year Chinese Harristas better prepare for their summer internship applications, the Career Development Office (CDO) and the Harris China Working Group jointly organized a weeklong series of internship panels in late October in which second-year Chinese students (read their bios here) shared their internship experiences in the fields of strategic consulting, financial services, and the internet industry.

During the panels, students not only learned about the internship application process and timeline, but also dove into deep conversations with panelists regarding career paths and professional development. Recordings of the sessions, conducted in Chinese, are summarized and linked below.

Strategic Consulting Panel

In the strategic consulting panel were MPPs from the Class of 2021—Fan Yang, Timmy Yang, Luoqi Li, and Diya Zhou. They shared information about their internships, application timeline, interview preparation tips, and discussed various resources from CDO. Li was a summer intern at Strategy&’s Beijing office, and she compared her consulting experiences in the U.S. and China. She also shared some practical networking tips: “Stay patient and don’t get discouraged when you don’t receive an immediate response… Keep your messaging short, polite, and to the point.”

Timmy Yang emphasized the significant support he received from CDO. The panelists agreed that coaching sessions were very helpful and recommended first-years leverage CDO as a resource.

Zhou  shared a fun fact that all of the panelists became good friends after they met at Career Camp during orientation: “We formed a mock case practice group and we meet every week to prepare cases and interviews. We spent Thanksgiving and New Year together, like family away from home.”

Internet Panel

The internet panel was composed of Class of 2021 MPPs and one MSCAPP: Heda Yang, Jiahao Yu, Yue Kuang  (MSCAPP), and Yuetong Feng. Yu shared that before entering the internet industry, he explored many sectors seeking to find his niche.  In January 2020, he became a product manager intern and found it was a great fit for him. Kuang recommended the book Cracking the PM Interview to the audience, which helped her prepare for the interview at Ali Pay. Heda Yang, who is currently a product management intern at Bytdance, shared how her summer internship at Tencent Products inspired her to start her own financial knowledge sharing self-media with a friend, which now has over 40 thousand followers on Tik Tok.

Financial Services Panel

The financial services panel included Class of 2021 MPPs Spencer Qiuchen Zhang, Zimu Wan, Jingxin An, and Wentao Tong. In this panel, Wan shared her perspective coming from a humanities background and now working in the finance industry. Zhang shared his internship application timeline starting from July 2019, which included flying to New York and Boston several times during his first quarter for interviews. An highlighted how internships are an invaluable investment. “Investment banks often hire internally and prefer people who can join their work immediately, so an internship is very important.” Tong discussed the application timeline and interview experience for her internship at the China Development Bank.

The panelists also suggested that first-year students should be open-minded when looking for internships and utilize the time between summer internship and autumn recruitment to consider career options.