From English teacher to human resources manager: leveraging a talent to train and coach people

This Q&A has been edited and condensed.

What is your job title and where do you work?

I am the Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) for ECARX Technology Group and Executive Director and General Manager of ECARX Tech Co., Ltd. I work in Beijing, China.

What does a day in your role look like and how do you approach new projects?

I use my interpersonal skills, my strategic thinking and my strong command of all things HR to lead HR at ECARX Technology Group. At ECARX Tech Co., Ltd., I provide visionary leadership and influence future growth opportunities.

Is there anything about your professional background that people would find surprising?

During my career, I led the transition from an entirely manual HR module of ECARX to digital in just sixteen months. When I worked at Amazon Web Services, I was key to landing the cloud business in China, and when I worked at VMWare, I helped them establish their Wholly Foreign-Owned Enterprise (WOFE) in China. Even though I achieved all of that, which may surprise people, it’s the thing I’m most proud of.

This is my ongoing charity work. I now work with a foundation that helps children with AIDS get a good education and helps put orphaned children in contact with foster families.

Tell us about your journey from graduation to your current job.

I started my career teaching English to high school students. I became a professional trainer at Nokia, then I worked at Oracle and later at VMWare and got my EMBA at Amazon Web Services. I held management positions there, and then after two decades of working in multinational companies, I became committed to helping Chinese companies go global. This is why I chose to join ECARX.

Are you where you thought you were in your career? What are your goals?

Yes, I am definitely on track to achieve my career goals and continue to pursue my dreams of helping people and organizations be more effective.

What Smith resources or connections have you leveraged for your career?

My teachers at Maryland Smith have been my most valuable professional resource. I could contact them for advice, coaching and feedback. My favorite teacher is Dr. Liao Hui, whom I could easily talk to about my thoughts and bold ideas.

I was also helped by the Smith team in China. Their customer service and professionalism are top notch.

Finally, Smith’s alumni network is the best. Whenever I have any challenges or difficulties, I post “ask for help” in WeChat and always get a response. Alumni have world class qualifications and it is the Smith School that has led them to where they are.

How has your training at Smith helped you in your professional career? Are there specific courses, experiential projects, team projects or internships that have been particularly useful to you?

I have always viewed HR as part of a business that should help grow a business and increase revenue. My training at Smith has helped me perform as a business leader who manages human capital as an asset to improve business efficiency.

My EMBA courses gave me groundbreaking knowledge that helped me make the decision to help a technical company grow from regional to global.

Why did you decide to get a business degree and why did you choose Maryland Smith?

Smith has high standards and the learning journey has been challenging which has helped me grow personally. Being there helped me become a better version of myself and gave me the confidence to handle the challenges in my career.

What about your personal journey that led to your success?

I’ve always had a thirst for learning and been a creative, data-driven person with high standards. My interpersonal skills and ability to communicate well, along with my never-give-up attitude propelled me to success.

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