Alexander Beaton

Business Consulting Intern | Shanghai
University of New South Wales, Australia
26 December 2011

Allow me to start by stating simply that Connect-123 has been one of the best organisations I have had the pleasure of working with. From my very first e-mail, to the interview and their subsequent meticulous follow-up, the sheer effervescence of everybody involved made the application process an exciting, rather than overwhelming, experience. I knew if I sent an e-mail I would have a response the next day, and usually within the next hour, even though being Australian I live in one of the world’s most inconvenient time zones. It’s that kind of customer service that would bring me back, without hesitation, to Connect-123 again.

I worked (the use of the word “intern” is actively discouraged in my organisation) for a boutique management consultancy. That they are a small organisation means I had plenty of opportunity to get actively involved simultaneously in any number of projects, ensuring that I was learning new things all the time. The work they do is incredibly diverse, and saw us doing research for a global cable news channel one day, and helping plan an MBA seminar series the next. There is a real focus on professional development too, and my supervisor was very careful to ensure that I returned home having gained genuine value from the experience.

To say that I have never been anywhere like Shanghai is to wildly understate the allure of the place. It’s an amazing city to be in right now, the very definition of worlds colliding. Each day on my way to work I walked down one of Shanghai’s poshest streets, yet within two blocks I also got to see a more typical version of the city, the parts of town that China’s massive economic growth has not touched yet. It is these kinds of juxtapositions that make Shanghai such a fascinating place to live and work in. There is never a dull moment and always something new to discover, including an abundance of great bars and restaurants. There really are too many to try to visit, though we are trying very hard!

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I am the kind of person who is always extremely skeptical of testimonials especially when they are filled with praise. I always condemn those to be exaggerated at best. I must admit the irony now as I can only praise my Connect-123 experience. I was connected to a handful of very interesting local consulting firms, all of them fitting the exact requirements I demanded without any slips. I don't know...

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