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Interview with Shurabi Srikaruna

Shurabi Srikaruna is a U3 Economics student doing a double minor in Management and International Development at McGill. During the summer of 2015, Shurabi interned at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong for 3 months.

Looking back, what was the most rewarding aspect of your internship?

Being in a position where I could learn the Chinese business acumen through first hand experience.  The Chamber provides great training and workshops to teach Canadian professionals how to integrate themselves in the Hong Kong business culture.

What was the most memorable moment of your internship?

The most memorable moment of my internship was being asked by my supervisor what I thought would be the best way to reach out new members.  It was nice to be treated as an equal and not looked down upon as an intern.  Since my supervisor was very interactive and really cared about my opinions it made my experience at the Chamber more worthwhile.

What resources did you draw upon to adjust to the new environment?

I spoke to the previous intern quite a bit and others I knew that also lived and worked in Hong Kong before. Talking to people who had already lived there helped me find my apartment and talking to the previous intern helped me know what sort of work environment I should expect when getting there.

What was your favorite thing to do with your spare time in this new locale?

The expat community in Hong Kong is very big and young.  They are also very friendly and everyone wants to have a good time and meet one another.  Since the normal working hours is until 6pm, most people go to grab a drink after work on Fridays.  It was always fun to go to the bar next to our office to meet other foreigners working in Hong Kong as they reign from all over the world.  Hong Kong is commonly thought of as a concrete jungle but this however is a misconception.  There is an abundant amount of hills and greenery on the outskirts of the city.  There are many hiking trails to explore during the weekends.  Since Hong Kong is an Island it is surrounded by water and a common activity is to rent a boat with your friends on aSaturday and sail around the harbor.

What would you recommend to any future AIO interns who might be considering interning at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong?

Hong Kong is a great place to network and make good connections in the financial services industry.  If this is something that interests you, you should really take the opportunity to meet as many people as you can and maintain relationships.  The Chamber provides a great platform to network with other successful Canadians but you should also consider reaching out to the McGill Alumni Network in Hong Kong or even your High School Alumni if it exists.  Networking is a huge part of their business culture.  There are many networking events held on a variety of occasions providing you with many resources and opportunities.