JESSICA, UT AUSTIN
What I have learned from my GLS China Internship
About Business & Social Enterprise
My internship this summer opened my eyes to the rise of social enterprises in China and how important this trend is for the country’s rapid development.
It also connected me with a large network of social and non-profit businesses from all over Asia. Most importantly, I gained hands-on experience in a high-energy, fast-paced work environment that I would never have had in a typical cubicle-sitting internship.
My boss allowed me to work on projects that I was genuinely interested in and gave me plenty of room to make my own action plans for those projects. No two days was ever the same!
As a result from working for a social enterprise, I have a greater heart for the brokenness of this world.
I always understood that poverty, human rights, and other issues were important, but I did not feel personally called to address these issues. Now I understand that everyone is called not only to love their neighbors, but to actively bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives, and release prisoners from darkness. We, the Body, are his answer to the world’s brokenness.
We cannot simply acknowledge or grieve for the way things are in this fallen world. The question is, what am I doing today to actively bring his love and healing to this world?
This summer I personally experienced what Jesus means when he tells us that “the harvest is plentiful …” The potential for the News in China is unparalleled in this generation: the Chinese people are feeling their emptiness and are hungry for what this world cannot offer. For my coworkers and fellow interns, the search for meaning in life is a real and significant part of their lives. During my time with them, I learned that he has opened wide the gates for his love and truth to enter their hearts. And graciously, he has allowed us to be his vessels and witnesses.
My love for China grows more and more as I continue to learn about the Chinese people and how the Spirit is at work in their hearts. I have been transformed by my experiences in being intentional at work and among my new friends with whom I still keep in touch.
First and foremost, I learned that my personal intimacy with God really counts when I go out to make disciples of Jesus Christ. My love for others is an overflow of the love I receive from my Father. Like a funnel, I can only pour out a fraction of what I am filled with. Second, from this intimacy with my Maker, I am able to visualize the special calling he has given me. Finally, I am motivated like never before knowing that I still have so much to learn in order to fulfill his calling for me.
My studies in the business school, my team projects, my relationships, and even my work experiences are suddenly all very relevant to this greater calling.
About My Future Vision
He has truly enlarged my vision for serving overseas. I have a clearer understanding of what it takes to work in China. Furthermore, God has renewed my passion for service in China by showing me how I can be a part of his work overseas as a business major.
Social enterprise is only one of the ways in which I can combine my faith and my education to serve others tangibly. There are so many opportunities in China for development. I no longer have to worry about whether or not God can use me or, specifically, my chosen line of work to bring about change.
After experiencing what it is like to share my life on the job, I am also excited to learn more about being a missional professional. There are practical steps that I need to take to become a useful, God-glorifying vessel in the workplace. In summary, my internship has not only spurred on my passion for China but also for business as a major!