CAI Jiadian (Dawn)
Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and Finance
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Position Sustainable Business Abroad Intern at United Nations Development
Supervisor Wang Yalin
Duration: 30 May 2016 to 26 August, 2016(3 months)
Sponsored by: United Nations Peace and Development Foundation
I would like to thank Ms Melina Lai and Doris Cheung for giving me this precious opportunity. I would also like to thank Ms Yalin Wang and Junzhu Zheng for their help during my internship.
The past three months have been an unforgettable and fulfilling experience undoubtedly, during which I worked as an SBA Intern in the family of UNDP China office. I sincerely appreciate that Peace and Development Foundation (PDF) offered me such a valuable opportunity and sponsorship to enable me to have a better understanding of UN system as well as the issues that I care most, which tremendously broadened my horizons and enhanced my knowledge and working capacity in international organizations.
I attended several conferences about Chinese enterprises going abroad and started to learn about their difficulties. Before coming over to UNDP, I had no idea how government, NGOs, private or public companies work together, and I never knew they have so many problems and troubles. I got to see how NGOs play their role in building a great platform for companies. I have also seen the cultural differences they face and problems arising from the differences. Some companies bring over their own staff members and seldom hire local residents; some companies face the problem of local government they did not deliver their promises. For example, some governments promise to take care of local residents whose land are used for mining, but they did not successfully did a good job on that. I then came to understand what it meant by the integration of “Going Global” of NGOs.
I attended a meeting on China-Africa relationship, I became very interested in this part, I later found the book and read it myself. The experience also made me think. I talked to the vice country director about whether private consulting firms and business, such as law firms or accounting firms provide their services to the Chinese companies to assist their projects.
I also went to a business trip in Hainan. I went to the solar system company Yingli. The experience was exciting!
I was a part in writing our 2016 Report on the Sustainable Development of Chinese Enterprises Overseas. I was involved in translating the questionnaire which was later issued to over 85 companies. I did not understand how important or what an impact it will make. At first, I simply thought that it was just an easy task, however, it actually involved a lot of skills and tricks. After translating the document, I made many mistakes, my translation was very slow and it was not satisfying, my supervisor informed me that I she had to edit the whole questionnaire again. I felt terribly sorry, and I came to understand how important the issue was.
Also, it was great to meet the Secretary-General and our ambassadors .
I later conducted a mapping exercise, we located about 20 Chinese NGOs including China Fund for Peace and Development and China Soong Ching Ling Foundation, I got to understand how much effort it took the Chinese NGOs to go global.
I was later involved in the registration process of and NGO, the NGO was referred to as “Made in Africa Initiative”, the idea was raised by a former ambassador of United Nations. My team did a lot of research but the registration process was still unclear. Hence we went to the Ministry of Civil Affairs. It turned out the actual process was very different than what we read online. When we arrive at MCA, we were informed that the policies were under review, and it would not be completed until the end of 2016. Hence the registration unfortunately could not be processed.
Interns in UNDP are all super cool and staff are all huge helpful.
All interns from UNDP are excellent in multi aspects. They are either fun, with various crazy ideas, or excel in study, or both. When I had the idea of starting a private public policy consulting firm and expressed my opinion on the conflict of interest between justice and profit, he listened to all my ideas with patience
and gave me some suggestions.
I went to various networking activities. One of them was with various NGOs such as Oxfam, Green Peace, World Wide Fund for Nature, and Ford Foundation, I got to understand the different models of how they operate.
Suggestions for future interns:
Do enjoy Beijing as it is an entirely different city from HK, try everything, talk to every interns and staff members, go to every party and gathering and share experiences and opinions as much as possible. Do not stick to just a small group of people. Also, attend local activities and explore Beijing as a whole, go to watch shows, musicals, visit Summer Palace and other beautiful sceneries.
Go travelling during weekends. There is plenty of time during the time apart from the internship, so grab every chance.