Tell us about your career. Before coming to Shanghai you lived and worked in London, right?
Indeed! I travelled quite a bit before coming back to Shanghai, as I’m always keen to discover new cultures and languages. In Paris, I studied Applied Linguistics, specialising in Mandarin and English. I decided to take on some new challenges in Brussels, London and finally Shanghai. I wish I was an experienced globe trotter (lol), but I still have a lot to discover. Travelling has enabled me to be more open minded and adaptable.
You discovered Shanghai during a university exchange. What do you love the most about this city?
Studying in Shanghai for an academic year is the best choice I’ve ever made. I was amazed by the fast paced environment, easy access to everything, but especially by the range of activities the city has to offer.
What’s your role at INS Global?
I am the HR On-boarding Specialist; I am in charge of guiding our consultants through their relocation process, dealing with procedures such as the visa application, as well as assisting them with cultural awareness. I am also involved in implementing the company culture within INS Global.
What does your typical day look like?
A typical day as an HR On-boarding Specialist involves arriving to the office at around 9:30 am and enjoying a nice cup of tea with a chocolate muffin (indeed, a very important step to start the day off right, lol). I then start checking my emails and follow up the status of our visa applications. In the afternoon, I mainly focus on finding solutions to challenges within INS Global and look for inspiration and innovative solutions within the company. Finally, towards the end of the day at around 4pm we end with a bubble tea (a true INS ritual!).
Have you worked on any significant projects?
Actually, I didn’t have any set tasks in mind when joining the company but I was mainly ready for challenges. I was particularly moved by one particular project that my colleagues worked on . Unfortunately, one of our consultants had a family emergency and needed to fly home immediately to be with his family. I witnessed my colleagues do everything they could in their power to ensure that he could travel on time, to say goodbye. We should all be reminded that HR is all about being human.
What are the qualities are necessary to work in your industry?
Must-have qualities in HR include: excellent communication skills, being flexible, organised and reactive, but most of all, being human.
And in China in particular, do you need any extra skills?
In China, you have no option but to be adaptable, and always be ready for unexpected changes. As HR, we have to learn how to react accordingly when important changes occur.
What advice would you give to foreigners seeking employment in China?
The main advice that I would give to someone willing to relocate to China would be to be open minded, flexible and always be open to new ideas and opinions. In order to succeed in China, you cannot have your mind set on an idea and not allow it to fluctuate. We must embrace the advantage of living in a fast pace environment where there is a solution for everything, depending on how flexible you are.