Gympie girl Kate Stephens is off to China to take up an internship in a Chinese company.
Gympie girl Kate Stephens is off to China to take up an internship in a Chinese company. Craig Warhurst

Student's big China break

THREE years of hard work and hitting the books has paid off for Gympie university student Kate Stephens who has secured an internship in China.

The 20-year-old will move overseas for two months after she graduates from her Business and Marketing degree at the Sunshine Coast University in January.

"I'm excited now," Kate said.

"At first I was shocked I didn't really expect to make it through."

Kate had been applying for a lot of internships but didn't think she would have a chance of getting the job in China after the exhaustive application process.

First she had to send her academic transcript (she is averaging sixes and sevens), then sit an online exam before being selected for a phone interview.

After the phone interview she thought she had better tell her parents she had applied for the position in China.

"I can't wait. It will be a big culture shock," Kate said.

Kate doesn't speak mandarin but has started taken lessons.

"Once I am over there I have two days a week learning the language," Kate said.

Further job prospects look good for the former St Patrick's College student.

"They say 90% of people get a job opportunity," Kate said.

"My lecturer who worked in Beijing for 20 years said even if I didn't take a job in China it would be great for my resume and open up other opportunities." Kate said she wasn't sure what she wanted to do when she left high school and did a gap year.

Working for her father's business, Tony Stephens Refrigeration, she became interested in the workings of business.

"Working with dad really helped me," Kate said. "Most of my assignments relate to TSR and what they are or could be doing."