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Old 02-11-2013, 09:21 AM
 
10 posts, read 14,708 times
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Hey all,

Looking for some advice. Iím a 27 year old American living in China and teaching English at a university. I donít particularly want to stay in education, but I very much enjoy living in China and don't plan on returning to the states for the next four years or so. My bachelors is in MIS and operations management, although my work experience in those areas is a bit weak. I worked at a law firm managing it's client and case information with it's computer systems before I started teaching.

My teaching contract is up at the end of this year. I have a good bit of free time between classes to learn new skills, so I'm trying to decide what I should dedicate my spare time to over the course of this next year so that I can potentially make my transition to finding an entry level job outside of education easier. I already allocate a significant amount of time to studying Chinese and at this point can speak fairly well, so I'm looking to try to develop another skill that I can couple that with.

The fields I'm interested in are supply chain management, accounting, and finance, although I know beggers can't be choosers. I've considered a few different ideas. Taking level one of the CFA test, for example, would give me some hard finance skills I could come into a job with. I'm not dead set on working in finance, but rather just looking for ways to demonstrate that I'm game to learn new skills and use my time productively. I've thought about some other certs (Six Sigma, CMA, etc), but don't know how valuable they are. Maybe people can weigh in.

Like I said, I'm not dead set on working in one industry. I'm more or less looking for a way to add something tangible to my language skills and geographical flexibility.

Happy snake year.
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:23 AM
 
10 posts, read 14,708 times
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Oh, and I should add, I'm working in a small town right now where there aren't many foreigners, so networking is a bit of a challenge.
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:26 PM
 
6,726 posts, read 6,615,943 times
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For non-teaching professional jobs, you should probably try bigger cities. Not necessarily Bejing/Shanghai but at least some provincial capital.

There is a forum for expats in Shanghai and you may ask questions there. Shanghai Expat
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:16 PM
 
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Why do you want to stay in China?
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:53 PM
 
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Thanks, Betta. I've poked around Shanghai expats a bit. For whatever reason a lot of people there seem to be incredibly combative and cynical. Guess everyone is just frustrated with the market right now.

Timing - I like life here. My girlfriend is here, I love the food and culture, and I love learning Chinese. I want to be able to speak at a very high level before I leave. There are things about China that drive me nuts, like the lack of etiquette (spitting, cutting in line, pushing, staring, pollution, etc), but I've learned to live with them. I also want to get an MBA in the states eventually and figure getting good international experience will help my application.
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Old 02-12-2013, 12:55 PM
 
12,327 posts, read 18,433,096 times
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You want the job I have .
But I am not sure you will find it in China, although you might get lucky. My suggestion would be to get connected with a western based international company doing business in China - something in personal electronics or medical. Ironically, the may mean moving back to the west first. I assume you have your degree from a western university? The sets of additional letters won't hurt but don't get too caught up in it. Six-sigma green/black belt - since it has yet to be a proven program (most companies relying on this end up failing) I wouldn't rely on it. For accounting it's clearly CPA, for logistics it might be something more like CPIM. PMP seems to be valuable as well.
But don't expect to be hired right into this job - you have to pay your dues and sort of maneaver into this job. Get into an international company, be the low-payed analyst geek for a few years, then maybe you will get your chance. Speaking Mandarin is a definite plus. Be aware I would usually say that bi-lingual language skills are useless in the international business world - as the world does business in English (except for Brazil for some reason). The offices I visit in China speak english, from the manager down to the administrator. Everyone thinks being bilingual is some magic ticket - it is not. However, there are exceptions in the Asian world so it's still a plus.
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Old 02-12-2013, 01:16 PM
 
Location: The Big O
590 posts, read 664,515 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smog of Life View Post
Hey all,

Looking for some advice.
With your computer skills, you can do what I did several years ago. I created a webpage geared towards foreign tourists and lead tours of China. I didn't get rich, but I made enough to live on. I would advise you to stay in China as long as possible because when you get established in the US, it is very difficult to go back. Being a foreigner is often not easy, but everyday is an experience that we no longer have after we leave.

Regarding the etiquette problems, I found Shanghai to be considerably more refined.
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Old 02-12-2013, 04:19 PM
 
Location: Macao
15,951 posts, read 36,196,266 times
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If China university jobs are like Korea and Japan university jobs, you get 5 months of paid vacation a year. Enjoy it. I'd just look for your next university teaching gig to be either in or closer to Shanghai.

With these types of jobs, you can continually improve your language skills or any other dreams/skills you possibly have. Travel the world, become a writer, become a photojournalist in your spare time. You could even start your own business in your free time. You'll never find a corporate/company job with 5 months of paid vacation.

But, if you're really intent on another course but staying in China. I'd try the next one near a larger population source, and than network from there. Also, most expats I've known in China, if they get tired of teaching english, usually gravitate towards opening their own business - burrito shop, pizza shop, taco shop, etc. It seems the overhead to do that is apparently much lower than Japan/Korea, and easier to do there, for whatever reason.
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Old 02-12-2013, 04:21 PM
 
1,288 posts, read 2,409,545 times
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Originally Posted by Smog of Life View Post
Timing - I like life here. My girlfriend is here, I love the food and culture, blah blah blah blah.
Is she Chinese? What's your intention with her? What are your future plans, if any?
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Old 02-13-2013, 01:06 AM
 
570 posts, read 1,506,631 times
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for MIS, you can look for jobs in Microsoft. They hire many foreigners in China. It will help alot if you have very good computer skill and speak some Mandarin and Cantonese.
Microsoft Jobs in China
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