The Value of my TI Internship
TI intern Sun Zheng shares a reflection on his spring 2021 experience.
美国是一个令无数人向往的国家，它有充满童年快乐的迪士尼乐园；有充斥着奢靡气息的“天使之城”；也有世界上著名的公立大学系统，加利福尼亚大学。七年前，我怀揣着对美国的种种向往登上了飞往美国的飞机，开启了我的留学之旅。七年的时间里，我有许多难忘的经历。比如，努力之后的成功和快乐，与朋友分别时不舍的泪水，当然还有COVID-19带来的恐惧。这些经历帮助我不断地学习和成长，也正是这些难忘的经历帮助我成功毕业，并拿到了The Tai Initiative的实习资格。
The United States is a country to which countless people aspire. It has a Disneyland full of childhood happiness, a “City of Angels” full of luxury, and the world’s famous public university system, the University of California. Seven years ago, I boarded a plane to the United States with all my dreams for America and started my study abroad journey. I had many unforgettable experiences during the seven years. For example, the success and happiness after working hard, the tears of reluctance when I parted from my friends, and of course, the fear brought by COVID-19. These experiences helped me to keep learning and growing, and it was these memorable experiences that helped me to successfully graduate and get an internship with The Tai Initiative.
Before the internship started, I was very nervous, as most people are. Not only because it was my first internship, but also because I was in a foreign country. Initially, I tried to talk to people who had interned with the organization, asking them about the job and some details. After asking various questions, I learned that my supervisor, Carson Tavenner, was a very kind and friendly person, which helped to ease my nerves. After the first phone interview, I was even more convinced of this.
实习期间，我认识了许多新的朋友，我们在工作上互相帮助，私下也建立了讨论组去讨论工作问题又或是工作以外的事情。在此期间，每次China Cabinet会议都会使我学到许多新的知识。比如，有周恩来和乒乓外交这样的经典历史人物和事件，有中国八大菜系和茶道的传统文化，也有哪吒和孙悟空的神话故事。China Cabinet的每一位成员都会尽心尽力的准备和完成每一次的演讲，这使我在实习期间感到无比的充实。终于在二月份的一天，我迎来了自己的第一次演讲。由于自己的准备不足，我对于第一次演讲的结果并不满意。但是，Carson不断的鼓励我，并且帮助我寻找自己的不足。
During my internship, I met many new friends, and we helped each other at work, and privately created discussion groups to discuss work issues and things outside of work. I learned a lot of new things during each China Cabinet meeting. Each member of the China Cabinet prepared and delivered each presentation with the utmost dedication, which made my internship incredibly fulfilling. Finally, one day in February, I had my first presentation. Due to my lack of preparation, I was not satisfied with the results of my first presentation. However, Carson kept encouraging me and helped me to find my shortcomings.
With the experience of the first speech, I thought of the topic of my second speech — Yao Ming.
Because the topic of this speech is something I am more familiar with, I planned the outline of my speech at the beginning. I planned to start with basketball to enter the topic, followed by an introduction of Yao Ming’s experience and his career. To better reflect Yao’s influence and hard work, I searched the Internet again to find the Barkley incident and Yao’s contribution to society. At the end, I also added a paragraph about Yao’s place in my heart and influence on me as a veteran fan. Yao made me aware of basketball, basketball made me love the NBA, and the NBA motivated me to come to the United States to study. Without Yao’s influence on me, I might not really have come to the United States to study. There are always two sides to the story. Yao Ming’s frequent participation in the NBA and international tournaments (Chinese men’s basketball) caused his body to become too tired, and he eventually announced his retirement in 2006 due to ankle and knee injuries. If Yao had given up one of his accomplishments, I think he could have played at least three more years of basketball. But it is this spirit of his pursuit of teamwork that has deeply influenced our generation of young people. This spirit inspired me when Yao refused to come off the court injured and decided to return to the court to continue to finish the basketball match. And because of this team spirit, Yao also made the Rockets win as a team on the road against the Lakers led by Kobe, despite not being favored by the outside world.
我认为姚明的精神激励着我们这一代年轻人，让我们懂得了什么是团队精神。我通过学习姚明的精神，来到了美国并且成功完成了学业。也是这种精神，使我在The Tai Initiative实习期间过的十分愉快。因为我们的团队懂得如何去进行团队合作，只用了短短2周的时间，就使我们的会议顺利走向正轨。这里面有Carson明确的领导力，但更重要的是我们团队之间的协作。无论是谁遇到了困难，其他成员都会去帮助他解决问题。就是这种默契的团队协作能力，使我快速的融入了这个友善的集体。最后，我希望我们这个集体可以继续拥有这种团队精神，完成Carson的Fellowship计划，我衷心的祝愿The Tai Initiative的各位成员可以在以后的道路上一马平川，更好的促进中美交流。也希望其他实习的小伙伴们，可以在The Tai Initiative的实习期间，学到自己想学的东西，让我们的团队精神薪火相传！
I think Yao Ming’s spirit inspires our generation of young people and teaches us what teamwork is all about. By learning from Yao’s spirit, I came to the United States and successfully completed my studies. It was also this spirit that made my internship at The Tai Initiative so enjoyable. Because our team knew how to work together as a team, we were able to get our meetings on track in just two weeks. This was due to Carson’s clear leadership, but more importantly, it was the collaboration between our team. No matter who was in trouble, the other members were there to help him solve the problem. It was this cohesive teamwork ability that allowed me to quickly integrate into this friendly group. Finally, I hope that we can continue to have this team spirit and complete Carson’s Fellowship program, and I sincerely wish that all members of The Tai Initiative can have a smooth path in the future and better promote the exchange between China and the United States. I also hope that the other interns will learn what they want to learn during their internship at The Tai Initiative and let our team spirit be passed on!