A Postcard From: Jie Gao ’19

I feel so lucky that my first internship is in the Greenovation Hub (G:Hub).

The first reason is that this place resembles Bryn Mawr so much. As a small domestic environmental NGO, there are only seven of us in the office. My colleagues are all women, liberal, independent, brave and intelligent. During the lunch breaks, we often talk about a number of social and political topics, such as LGBTQ communities, institutional discrimination, gender inequality, etc. Although I have been discussing these subjects at Bryn Mawr in the context of the U.S., talking with my colleagues here based on their experiences in China enables me to compare the two different cultures and systems and reconsider some social norms and current trends. Sometimes we went really deep in a subject and may have some disagreements, but I am so glad that all of us can embrace different points of view and argue with logic instead of emotions. Having these lovely people as my colleagues really makes the entire working environment comfortable for me.

More than that, another main reason that I love working in the G:Hub is that there is no strict hierarchy existing among us. Certainly, there are some procedures of work that needs leaderships at different levels, but my supervisor, for example, is more like a tutor and a friend for me. She will not hesitate to praise me for the good quality of my work, and when I make mistakes or fall short in addressing the requirement of assignments, she always points to every detail and gives me suggestions for improvements.

I also appreciate her for listening to my advice and that she is willing to discuss things with me when we don’t agree with each other. For example, I’m writing an article to describe the impacts of climate change for an online lecture that we are preparing for. While she wants it to be quite serious with specific evidence like numbers and graphs and written in a formal way, I prefer making it fun enough so that readers will not be bored soon. I’m glad that we show respect to each other’s concerns and she doesn’t show any disdain for my ideas.

In addition, she is patient with me and shows a lot of caring when I talk about things happen in my life – even though sometimes I just complained about the terrible drivers on the street, she would still listen to my story and remind me to be taking care of myself.

Reviewing my past one-month-and-a-half long internship, I strongly feel that having a comfortable working environment is such an important thing. Moreover, although environmental NGOs in China still have a long way to go, I do consider coming back to this field after graduation to be one of my top choices.