A cultural chameleon, I am committed to helping people from the Western and Chinese cultures to understand each other deeply in a number of different contexts. I have been honing my skills in Mandarin and the Chinese culture for nearly a decade and want to put that to use for the Dutch labor market.
My vision for myself stems from combination of a void that I have seen here in the Netherlands and my own specialty. This space that has been left open in the Netherlands is a lack of services for Chinese expats and Dutch companies working with China. There is a lot of growth between Chinese and Dutch companies and different types of organizations. The Dutch and Chinese are working together in the pharmaceutical, agricultural, horticulture, transportation, smart home, fuel, etc. industries. This means that there is a lot of space for miscommunication but also a lot of space for growth and common ground.
I studied International Relations in the United States. The first professional job I took was as a Project Manager in a quality control company in Shenzhen, China. I took that job when I was still in university and completed my last credit hours by writing a thesis while working full-time. For me, that job was full of realizations about myself. Overall, I wouldn’t describe it as my best job, but if it were not for that experience, I may have given up Chinese, which later came to form the basis of my entire career. I’m very grateful that I had an opportunity at that job to learn how to be an employee. I had multiple English teaching roles and translated freelance following that first job.
If I could summarize the main lesson that I learned from my work, it would be that I shape my work, and my work does not shape me, meaning that I have control over my working attitude and my opportunities. If I take initiative, I can make my situation good and earn opportunities for myself, and if I am inactive in going for what I want, then my situation is more likely to be negative and my opportunities will be few.
From my previous jobs to my move to Eindhoven, I would have to say that one thing that changed about me is my tenacity. When I want something bad enough, I go after it viciously and believe in myself with fierceness. For me, I grew up as a military child, so the transition to the ‘partner of a knowledge worker’ has really been a natural transition for me, like the others that I’ve faced; it’s required active reflection and adaptation.
Since beginning the Women for Women program, I realized that there is a gap between the skills I was marketing and the labor market, and that I could find more opportunities by marketing a different skillset. During my transition and the Women for Women program specifically, my mentor has really become a confidante for me and has warmly extended her network, connecting me with people and opportunities that match my skills and interests. At the moment, I am looking ahead with a lot of hope and seeing a bright future; I am beginning a part-time job in an International Business school and also volunteering part-time with Expat Spouses Initiative, which brings me a lot of satisfaction to give back considering the value the Woman for Woman program has provided me!