Adventures of a Powershift Exchange Intern

This is a story of my internship as part of the Powershift Exchange program. It is my journey to Austin, Texas from a town called Taizhou, in Zhejiang Province right outside of Shanghai, China.

My Background

Now I want to share a little background about the main character…me! Here’s how my Powershift Exchange journey began.

I studied at Tongji University, which is located in Shanghai, the most populated city in the world. It is an energetic university with over a hundred years of history, founded by a German doctor in 1907. I majored in Animation and participated in many design competitions where I was fortunate enough to win many prizes.

Why I Chose Powershift

One of the main reasons I wanted to join Powershift Exchange was of course to experience a work environment in the United States. Since I am a senior student, I want to know what the differences are between different countries’ work environments to help me plan my career path. I also wanted to make a lot of friends here.

The second big reason I chose the program was to travel. I love traveling! Powershift Exchange was a great opportunity to see how people live in another side of the world; I was able to learn their cultures, and understand their point of view.

My Accomplishments

During my internship, I designed images and video for marketing and business purposes. I also helped Alli build and support the Powershift Exchange program for future interns from China. Good translations were also important for such a program and I helped with that too.

What I Have Learned

There are a couple of things I learned about the Austin cultural experience:

  • Grocery Stores: One of the first things that surprised me were grocery stores. There are many different kinds of grocery stores. It is so interesting because in China, we have just one kind of grocery store opened by many different companies. I really liked the different types of grocery stores like Whole Foods, how they only sell organic food, and Costco how they sell food in bulk.
    • Living Environment: Another thing I learned was the living environment. A lot more people here like to live in the countryside rather than downtown. This is also another thing that is very opposite in China where most people move into the big cities.
Alli and I went to see the Punch Brothers at ACL Live.
Alli and I went to see the Punch Brothers at ACL Live.


  • Entrepreneurship: There is also a lot of entrepreneurship in Austin. It seems everyone wants to be their own boss. It shocked me when I found that in Capitol Factory that there are so many young people starting their own businesses even though some haven’t finished university. It is not very common in China, but it still encouraged me to plan to start my own business.


  • Work Habits: I also enjoyed learning about other work habits. Our working time in Powershift Group is very flexible, and that was one of my favorite parts of this internship. I really like that kind of work environment. People here like drinking cold, ice water instead of the hot water… that is one thing I cannot do! Sharing My Culture I also showed some of the Powershift team how I make traditional Chinese food. We made dumplings, vegetables, and a chicken dish. Future PlansAfter my internship I will need to think very carefully about my career path. I am planning to do something with games, animations, illustrations and UI design. My big goal is to have my own animation studio in the future.Read more about other internship experiences here. Thank you Powershift Exchange for all you have done!

To see a video compilation of Michela's Powershift Exchange experience, click here to watch.