The Halfpat Life – Devrim

Thursday, July 5, 2007 0:28
Posted in category The Halfpat Life
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Originally hailing from Turkey, Devrim came to Shangahi via Phoenix and New York and has been in town for the last 2 years with a global logistics company (current assignment opening branch in Urumqi). Right now, the plan is for another 2 years, but his relationship with China has been “Love – Hate”, so sounds like anything is possible,

An active member of the AIESEC , Devrim is well traveled (over 50 countries under his belt), and was dropped into China with a corporate parachute

Language Background:

On a scale from 1 to 10, what level is your Mandarin? 3

How often do you use Mandarin in general? Avoids it as much as possible

How often do you use Chinese language skills at work? 10-25%

To get ready, Devrim only the business climate… and he wishes he had taken more time to learn more… and suggests those looking to learn about China read Culture Shock – China.

Living in Shanghai:

A typical day….

Most time is spent at work and the office, with a lunch / dinner / drinks shared with a friend afterwards. Not too much different than a day in any other country.

Top 5 Things about living in China:

1. Experience

2. Cost of living

3. Developing market

4. Lots to see / explore

5. Food

The bottom 5 :

1. Lack of language skills

2. Lao wais are always lao wai’s

3. Pollution

4. Hassle of getting around

5. Finding English books / reading

Living in an apartment, Devrim’s employment contract provides insurance, housing, and some other unexplained perks

Career path:

Not concerned about what career opportunities exist back home, his firm is global and can provide options all over the world (including Urumqi) and he is learngin a lot while being here:

Business skills, knowledge of local business environment and most importantly a network

Do you have a business plan on the shelves? Yes

Have you ever carried 2 cards? Yes

Hindsight being 20/20 … Devrim WOULD do it again if given the choice, but for those looking to follow her footsteps, it depends on their own experience and interests:

China is not for everyone, people should consider seriously why they want to move here and what they want to do.

What keeps her in China? The job and the experience

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