Staff Spotlight: Serena Chang

Internship Placement Manager


Serena is a hardworking young lady that relocated to Beijing a few years ago. When she is not working, she usually spends time with friends, and likes watching movies, music and traveling.

What is your favorite travel memory?

One of the best places I have visited here in China is Yunnan Province. Yunnan is a special place occupied by different minority groups, these people usually speak a different language to the Mandarin Chinese that we are used to, their food is different but they have preserved their cultural heritage very well, so much that their way of life attracts lots of Chinese and foreign tourists. I think it is amazing that we can all be in China but still have groups of people who haven't gone mainstream; they still have their unique traditions that people travel many miles to go see.

Which destination is most underrated? Conversely, which is most overrated?

When I first joined Go Abroad China, our main cities of operations were Beijing and Shanghai. Having branched out to southern China, Chengdu city in Sichuan Province is actually becoming quite popular, this is a great thing because people can still have great experiences even if they are not in Beijing or Shanghai. Chengdu seems to be getting some spotlight now especially from foreigners who are looking for language learning and work opportunities. Many firms are also relocating there because the average cost of living and production is still quite low, meaning better profits compared to if they were located in Shanghai.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

Yes, I think the top thing I still continue to learn even today is maintaining good working relationships with our partner companies. In our go abroad and education sector, we have collaborations with many different companies inside China, and schools too. I feel like my people skills are always being put to the test because part of my job duties involves communicating directly with them. And during the busiest months when we have many clients, our communication is even more frequent. So keeping a good connection and relationship with such companies is the most important thing that I have learned and have to keep doing.

What unique qualities does your company possess?

I have seen that a large portion of our clients are usually happy with how we arrange placements for them, it makes me feel proud of our company's service delivery department, their job is very important as our company is judged based on that. With the company doing well, we are able to help even the clients/applicants who have a limited budget to customize our services so that at least we can reach a satisfactory agreement. For a few lucky ones, they might even get a partial scholarship if they prove that they are hard-workers and fit the requirements.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

We had a young student from Australia who joined the language program in Beijing, when her program came to an end, like many others she was saying how much she would miss Beijing and that she would come back. At the time, of course, I thought it was a polite conversation, but a year later I was surprised when she called us back as said this time she wants to do an internship! I thought it was special because due to the expenses of traveling to China, it takes a lot of time to save up and have a new budget to travel again. Our management over here was so impressed that she got herself a sweet discount, she is now considered a friend here at our GAC offices!