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I was just offered an internship from European architecture company at their
Beijing office. I have two years of professional experience out of school.
The salary they offered me is 5000 RMB. I am used to making about 43,000/year
here in US... Was looking for foreign experience before I head back to grad school
Is that too low, even for money value in Bejing?
Should I try to negotiate / ask if there are any benefits?
It's not unheard of, but it is definitely on the low-end. I have friends with less experience working part-time (3 days per week) for European firms making more than that.
How long is the internship, how large is the office and how much responsibility will you assume in the office? Is there room to renegotiate after a certain period? What are the office hours?
Benefits that you could discuss...paid housing with other interns, visa sponsorship, emergency healthcare, monthly performance bonuses and transportation/meal reimbursement for working late. Many of these benefits are rare in todays market but certain firms may still offer them if they want you bad enough.
It will for about 7 month, and it is a full-time.
The office itself is not too big (I think in their main location in Berlin they have about
20 people, and in Beijing I am not sure)
I think I will be doing many main duties in the office - the interviewer knows
I have experience in US and have been doing main modeling/presentation
duties. I was thinking of asking for 6000RMB, and discuss benefits.
When I ask for benefits, should I list them out or just simply ask if they offer
any benefits? I have not done much negotiating (in firms I worked for in US
they offered ok salary in first place as well as benefit package so I just accepted)
Thank you so much for your help!
Negotiating in China can't be explained on a forum post but it is different from the US. An increase of 1000rmb doesn't go as far if you're paying for housing(which is likely since it sounds like it's not a corporate office). I'd just work out your monthly expenses plus the cost to get over there and that should give you some clarity if 5,000 or 6,000 will be enough. I'd shoot for more, but negotiating with smaller offices can be quite difficult.
Another cost I forgot to mention, is visa renewal. Depending on your visa, I don't believe they give out 6-month stay business visas anymore, you may have to leave the mainland for a day to renew your visa. Firms can renew the business visa within China but they will have to incur the cost of doing that and many firms do not do this for interns.
Thank you so much!
5k a month is doable but you will need roommates, will only eat local food and won't be able to travel. You will most likely just make it by financially if not be in the red. Secondly if they are only offering 5k/ a month I highly doubt you will get any benefits. If you are doing a 7 month internship you won't be on a z visa and thus will not be part of China's newly provided social services for expats. I'd just wait it out in the us with your decently paying job and do this for a summer when in graduate school.
5000 is pretty low. I have more experience than you but I make twice that much and you can make up to 3+ times that or so at your level at more profit driven firms. Pay in china is completely firm dependent and really crazy sometimes though. Sometimes it's best just to take a job and then leverage a real salary with another offer. Also benefits are a joke here and no one is going to pay for your visa for a temp stay.
You should be aware that the economy isnt doing as well here any more so architects here dont have the upper hand in negotiation like they did a few years ago. Please dont let offices take advantage of you here though. Intern manipulation here is approaching US levels and if you take a low paying job dont put your heart in it. Just use it as an excuse to see china...
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