By Jo Taylor, Welocalize Project Manager UK
I am a Project Manager based at Welocalize’s UK Headquarters in Cheshire. Recently, I got the fantastic opportunity to spend a week with the Welocalize teams in China as part of our Office Exchange Program.
We have two offices in China – Beijing and Jinan. I was lucky enough to visit them both. The reason I wanted to visit our China offices in particular is because we work with the Project Managers and Engineers in China on a daily basis as part of the overall account team. I wanted to put names to faces and get to know the people behind the email addresses.
My goal for the visit was to strengthen the bond and the trust between the offices and the people that we work with on a day-to-day basis. I spent the majority of my week in China in meetings and presentations with the various teams I work with at Welocalize.
It was nice to take a healthy lunch break each day and indulge in a diversity of Chinese delicacies. Beijing is famed for its Peking duck, and Jinan for its traditional hot-pot. I was more than happy to give both a go, despite my fellow team members watching me squirm while they fed me sheep’s tongue and duck’s stomach! Sitting around the communal lazy-susan in the hot-pot restaurant gave me the opportunity to spend a bit more personal and quality time with my team members. We spent a lot of this time discussing differences in customs between our countries, ranging from living arrangements to marriage, from eating habits to pets, from the weather to royalty.
Beijing was pretty much as I had expected – vast and intense. Walking for miles seemed to only cover a tiny section of the map, and there are people wherever you go. Walking is still preferable to driving though it seems; if you want to get anywhere fast that is! Jinan on the other hand was not quite as I had expected. If you can avoid getting run over by a bicycle in the morning rush hour, then a trip to one of the city’s famed natural springs is a must; a rare spot of innate beauty in an otherwise industrial town.
Although I went out there looking to find the differences between our offices, I was more struck by the amount of similarities we share. Everyone wants to help each other and to do the right things to help their colleagues, everyone is polite and courteous, and everyone enjoys a good bite to eat too.
Welocalize Office Exchange Program 2013 – Jo Taylor visits Welocalize in Beijing and Jinan, China