News Xina 4
I have had the chance to meet Spanish people who have either gone to work in China or been posted there. For many, China was their first international posting and very often their own choice of destination. Spain does not have a huge portfolio of multinational senior managers because we do not have many large corporations with a long multinational track record. However, this is changing, particularly with people who have gained experience in Latin America.
The Chinese opportunity has been seized by many young people who have found a way to study a Master’s degree or gain work experience there. Some have even gone there to make contacts, learn Chinese and possibly get a job.
Broadly, people are happy with the experience. They have met up with other Europeans and Americans who are doing the same thing and there is a decent network. They use chambers, international bodies and internationalisation agencies from various countries as a connection mechanism and tell each other about events and important visits to China. They help each other get their children into schools, find apartments in the right places and attend events of interest.
Overall they are happy, despite the difficulties of getting to grips with a new culture and language. Couples with children who have learnt Chinese and been to good international schools who both have interesting jobs and who live in a comfortable place with good transport links have had to work hard for it but are clearly satisfied. You can see that the experience has empowered them to make their lives work even in difficult contexts.
However, I have not come across many arrogant people. I have always felt that there is humility in the air. This lends weight to an idea I often transmit which is that international success calls for humility. When you come into contact with different cultures and different proposals to the ones that you would make you need humility and respect.
Executive President. China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), Shanghai
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