by Steven Dee Wrigley
Working for Mondoro Company Limited proved to be extremely valuable to me academically, professionally, and spiritually.
During my four-month internship in Guangdong Province, Zhaoqing, China, I was enrolled in classes that furthered my understanding of Chinese culture and language. My courses enhanced my overall internship experience in multiple ways: they better-prepared me for work; they taught me to more effectively communicate with my employer and co-workers; and they gave me the confidence to take on any task.
THESE EXPERIENCES WOULD HAVE BEEN IMPOSSIBLE TO DUPLICATE WHILE ATTENDING SCHOOL IN PROVO.
My favorite course was my cultural proofs class. As part of the class, I kept a daily journal with entries and evaluations of cultural experiences that reflected the rich traditions and customs of China. These experiences would have been impossible to duplicate while attending school in Provo. I attended Chinese religious and wedding ceremonies; I learned to make traditional Chinese food and moon cakes; and I learned to catch fish using nets and my bare hands during fishing adventures with my co-workers.
Obviously, working in China meant I was surrounded by Chinese people. Not since serving a mission in Taiwan have I been so immersed in the language. The situation afforded me excellent opportunities to improve my Chinese linguistic skills. My understanding of the language reached a new level and my vocabulary expanded to include business exchanges.
As an international relations major with a Chinese and business minor, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to further my academic understanding of Chinese domestic and foreign issues, economy, and business. Before my internship (aside from my missionary experience) my understanding of what it would be like living and doing business in China as a foreigner was limited. My firsthand experience was invaluable.
. . . MY INTERNSHIP ALSO HELPED ME FRAME MY DREAMS AND AMBITION TO ONE DAY WORK WITH CHINA.
My internship was a huge leap forward into the professional world. I gained priceless skills and had numerous opportunities to head projects and see results. I made great friends in the industry which has greatly expanded my network. In addition, I have a new array of good mentors, including my employer at Mondoro, who have taught me so much and who I keep in contact with on a near-weekly basis. My internship experience has served as a valuable highlight on my résumé, and has helped me become much more marketable in landing a good, business-oriented job while yet a student. The professional experience gained while interning with Mondoro included:
› participating in management meetings and helping resolve difficult administrative and management issues
› assisting in developing strategies to enter new markets which resulted in penetrating the Asian market
› helping initiate the company’s philanthropic arm, Mondoro Charities, as a soft marketing approach
› training new employees and assisting in refining company policy and sales training programs
› forming a communicative bridge between our American employer and the Chinese staff
› creating brochures, catalogues, advertisements, and postcards to improve customer relations
› participating in sales and trade shows throughout Guangdong Province and in Hong Kong
In addition to the professional experience that helped me understand how to operate a business in Asia, my internship also helped me frame my dreams and ambition to one day work with China.
The rewards of my internship go well beyond the academic and professional. I am extremely grateful for the spiritual journey that occurred while interning with Mondoro. When people ask me about my internship, I often reply that it was a second mission; I had countless opportunities to serve the Taiwanese people and share my personal beliefs. Each Sunday I attended the Guangzhou International Branch. I soon learned that I would be tested to see if I had desire strong enough to make the four-hour, roundtrip bus ride to attend my Sunday meetings. The trip was always an adventure with late buses, traffic, and bus breakdowns—far from the casual stroll to church I enjoyed in Provo. The weekly trek to church made me realize I took the ease of attending meetings for granted. More than feeling grateful, I felt blessed with an increase in faith and spirituality.
I truly loved my experience as an intern in China. It changed my academic and professional course, and was a treasured, spiritually strengthening experience.
Wrigley is a recent BYU graduate and now focuses on pushing forth the mission of his Global Outreach Foundation that provides educational tools and resources for children, coupled with volunteer mentoring services.