Expat year in China
by Michael Herczog - Senior Applications Engineer
Hello and Nǐhǎo everyone!
Welcome to my experience in China at TGW. First of all I want to introduce myself. My name is Michael Herczog and I joined TGW in the year 2012 as Application Engineer in the sales partner business. In April 2014 TGW was looking for an Application Engineer who will support TGW China in their business period of growth. To be honest, it was not really easy to decide if I want to go abroad for one year. But after some conversations with colleagues and my personal visit in Shanghai for two weeks, I accepted this challenge. Let’s just start with the fact that I just moved 7.000 kilometers away to live in Shanghai for a year. Into a city with 24 Million inhabitants I felt a bit overwhelmed with the crowded places, the mentality and especially with the language barrier. But if you see it in a different light, you will find so many beautiful parks, taste delicious food and see marvelous constructions as well as so many high buildings with amazing views. On a daily basis it´s pretty difficult to communicate in English. Even little things like ordering food or taking the bus become difficult for foreigners. Beside of this you get to meet so many new interesting people from all over the world and you have the chance to visit so many different countries in Asia.
Enough about the city and people, let’s start talking about working at TGW in China. I still remember my first day. Right after I landed in Shanghai, I took a cab and went straight to my new office. I had a very warm welcome back and everyone including me were excited to finally start working together. At the beginning of the year I also started a Chinese language course to get a better understanding of my colleagues.
Just a short time after my arrival I went to my first business meeting in Beijing. Two of my Chinese colleagues and I were lucky to present one of our projects at the bidding meeting. It was a new experience how Chinese sales people handle business. The effort of the TGW sales department in China was incredible. We prepared documents for the proposal in form of a book. The offer presentation all in all took one day.
Another highlight was the TGW annual party. Besides the usual Christmas party in Austria, Chinese people celebrate Chinese new year. For that reason we spent two days in a business hotel about one hour away from the city. There we had great dinner, nice entertainment and lots of karaoke.
I hope everyone liked my story so far and if anybody considers Shanghai or China in general as a place to visit, I can definitely say from my point of view that it is worth the experience. I´m looking forward to further challenges and I´m very excited what happens next.