Finances for non Finance Company


This is my first post and I’m sorry if some of my questions have already been answered. I am graduating this quarter from Cal Poly majoring in Finance with a below average GPA, weak recommendations, and no internships. I have job experience just not in my field. In light of my lack of hard work these last few years I have the opportunity to go to Taiwan and “intern” at a company that has nothing to do with finance. I’m hoping this will be something I can put on my resume to give me a boost. I am also sitting for the June CFA level 1.

Although I recently discovered the company I will be interning at had a strong year in terms of sales (50,000,000 NTD), they have no financial department whatsoever. I assume this is relatively normal in Asia where a lot of back deals go on and they want to keep things off the books. My boss has put me in the international sales department to shadow their leading sales team. They have showed interest in my finance background and I would ultimately like to do some reports and forecasting for them based on their statements and what not. Problem is, I cannot read or write chinese. Of course my family insists I’ll pick the language within a matter of months, I am a little more realistic and am considering taking classes in while in Taiwan. I am an ABC and cannot read or write for shit. I can speak because my family speaks mandarin at home, but I doubt ill understand the “deeper” cultural jokes and what not. I will be in Tai Chung mostly.

First, has anyone done this successfully and returned to the states? As in, have the experience as a plus on their resume? I know it has little to do with finance as I would like to attain just an entry-level analyst job when I return.

Second, can someone point me to some resources for maybe Chinese classes geared towards financial statements or business language? (lol) If not, what are some good schools to learn to read and write in Tai Chung area.

Lastly, I am excited to return to Taiwan. I have plenty of family there and I’m excited for this new journey in my life. Is there something that is absolutely crucial for me to know to thrive in this new environment? I lived in Los Angeles (SGV) half my life so I’ve been around an asian population but I know culturally i’m still pretty murican.

Sounds like a great opportunity. The international experience will look good on your resume. Get involved in as much as you can at your company - offer to take on extra responsibilities and such. That will give you more accomplishments to put on your resume and talk about in job interviews. During the internship, keep notes on your accomplishments. It’s easy to think you’ll remember it, but then forget important details when you’re crafting your resume. Also build relationships and keep in touch with people.

While the internship may not be the ideal opportunity you would prefer, it can add to your credentials and be a valuable experience. I expect that having a leg up on the cultural aspects will put you on the fast-track for enjoying and getting the most out of your time in Taiwan.