An Overseas Internship Experience with PwC China

By Zhenglin (James) Jia

Zhenglin (James) Jia completed an internship with PwC China as part of the Business and Economics Internship subject, securing a job with the firm.

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to complete the Business and Economics Internship over the 2020/2021 summer period. I participated in PwC's highly structured internship, and following my graduation from the Master of Finance, I will commence work at PwC's Assurance division in Beijing.

Zhenglin (James) Jia

My experience was unique as I was based in China but studying at Melbourne Business School remotely online. I had been selected for PwCs graduate program in the Beijing office, where I could opt to have an in-person internship experience, prior to starting work in the graduate program.

I had the added bonus of gaining credit towards my Finance degree. As part of the internship subject's requirements prior to the commencement of the in-company component, I set my career goals and listed what I hoped to gain from my self-sourced internship. I also identified the goal of gaining a competitive advantage in my career through being fluent in English; to continue to develop my skills and continue learning post-graduation.

As an intern, the first challenge for me was to become familiar with different Accounting and Audit standards across countries, and attend online staff training which featured case studies run by PwC's senior management. Once I completed my training, I worked in the Beijing office to service clients in the Energy Resources and Manufacturing industry. My internship was intensive and included several weeks of fieldwork at the client's factory. There, I worked on the client's annual financial statements in Mainland China, Hong Kong, and the United States.

Zhenglin Jia (top row, 3rd from right) and his graduate program cohort. Qing Ni (top row, right) - Funds Audit Partner, PwC China Private Equity Group, PwC China

The most valuable experience in my internship was applying theory from my Finance degree to real practical tasks, including work on capital markets. My manager coached me as I consulted with the client's Financial Controller on what information should be disclosed to the Stock Exchange. We discussed how information can affect  share prices and advance businesses. Following our discussion, I realised that I understood the Financial Controller's points as I had knowledge on economic logic in capital markets - I learnt this from the Master of Finance, even though I could not recall my lecturer's exact words.

I wholeheartedly recommend BUSA90525 Business and Economics Internship - it is an effective way for students to gain industry placement experience as part of their university program. Completing a placement allows students to gain experiences impacting their intellectual, professional, and personal development through exposure to work environments that they may not otherwise encounter in class. I would like to thank my academic subject coordinator and Melbourne Business School's Experiential Learning team, who continue to support students like me, despite the challenges from COVID-19.

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