Edgar started his own company after an internship in China

Edgar Zillmann spent four months as an intern in the Chinese event company OCCT in Shenzhen and became so inspired that he started his own company.

During his internship, Edgar worked to promote the Grassland Music Festival in Shenzhen, which is a metropolitan city with more than 10 million inhabitants located next to the South China Sea.

His internship lasted from June to October 2015 and provided Edgar with the idea for his company, Asbru management, which arranges events and social experiences about Chinese culture, art and business. Edgar runs his company whilst studying Service, Hospitality and Tourism management at Business Academy Aarhus.

Bridges the gap between Denmark and China

‘China is so large and completely different from anything that we Westerners are used to. I was so captivated and inspired by the Chinese culture, which is so rich in history, their food and lifestyle which focuses on physical and mental balance, and their way of moving and the martial arts of Tai Chi and Kung Fu. The Chinese smile a lot, are very friendly and service-minded. I also like the fact that they haven’t just thrown their old culture away and replaced it with something new. We can learn a lot from them in Denmark. Therefore, my company focuses on how Danes and Chinese people can inspire each other,’ says Edgar Zillmann, who comes from the Hungarian capital Budapest.

Found the internship through his girlfriend’s family

Finding an internship was a bit of a challenge, says Edgar who searched and researched for a place for five months without luck.

‘The language especially is a barrier to finding an internship. Most companies are not very international and they do not speak English. They also don’t have a web page with a phone number or name of a manager. Therefore, you need to use your network – in my case my girlfriend’s family.’

Through Edgar’s Chinese girlfriend in Aarhus, he managed to get hold of the event company OCCT (Oriental Charm Culture Transmitting) in Shenzhen, who employed both Edgar and his girlfriend as interns.

Wrote children’s musicals and marketed a music festival

At OCCT Edgar worked with marketing and arranging a big music festival in Shenzhen and he wrote an English musical for children.

‘In my internship, I was well-qualified to perform marketing tasks and could suggest ideas and new ways to do things in a new and academic way. They were a bit ‘old-fashioned’ in the way they did their marketing.  They used mostly television and radio advertising and not online, content marketing. They didn’t have a customer database either. So I helped them with that.’

Encourages others to go to China

The entire stay in China cost Edgar in the vicinity of DKK 20.000. Some of the money came from a scholarship, the rest via his own savings and his parents helped a bit.

‘To live and work in China is not only a unique, lifelong experience but also a challenge - especially language-wise. No one at my internship company spoke English. Therefore, my girlfriend worked as an interpreter. But it is incredibly instructive. The stay has enhanced my academic and social skills and, above all, my body language,’ says Edgar and encourages other students to do an internship or semester in China.