Leeds Alumna Holds a Panel Discussion on Building a Network and Career as an Expat in China

On 23 February 2022, attendees gathered online to enjoy an all-female panel of expats discuss building a network and career in China. All panellists had great expertise their industries spanning media, communications, start-ups and innovation.

Through sharing the experiences of panel members, attendees came away with inspiration of what it could look like to proactively build a network and seek opportunities in China and practical ideas they can pursue.

The panel reflected on networking as a great way to build quality and supportive work and social connections. They took specific examples and insisted that one must be relaxed with networking and put oneself forward genuinely and directly.

The language ability of the panel members varied, but they all emphasised the value of language skills and cultural knowledge in your career. Those with language skills may find more opportunities in work and life, especially in terms of building rapport and connections. In this way, Chinese speakers were helped to understand how they can make the most of their language ability.

Panellists also candidly discussed their experiences working in male-dominated industries. While they see a lot being done to improve representation and diversify industries, a panellist suggested that it will take time for big efforts to trickle down to the day to day. Panellists shared ways in which they built their self-confidence and thought mindfully about the way the stand, speak and advocate for themselves.

Following the discussion, the panellists took questions from the audience in a Q&A session. They all agreed that LinkedIn is an important global platform for networking; in making yourself and your achievements visible, finding interesting connections and mentors and staying in touch with contacts. They discussed the challenges that many people face when deciding to relocate and work in another country. This is a chance to start over, so think about what kind of person you want to be and surround yourself with people who reflect that. When embarking on the adventure of a new city and career, one should be open and confident.

This inspiring and engaging panel was very well received by the diverse audience who are interested in living and working in China. It was extremely valuable in providing practical tips relating to networking and career development.