What position do you hold at Au Pair Shanghai and why do you like working there?
Silvia: I am a Marketing Manager and Coordinator for Northern, Central, Eastern Europe and Russia. I am responsible for following up our partner agencies in those countries and also for Au Pair Shanghai marketing strategies, mainly in social media platforms.
I like working in Au Pair Shanghai because it gives me an opportunity to speak languages that I know, be in contact with Chinese people and at the same time with foreign au pairs. My colleagues are helpful, kind and there is a nice relaxing atmosphere at our office.
What is your favorite story of a participant's experience in the program?
Silvia: Chinese people are still extremely interested in Western looking people. They admire their big eyes, colored hair, and beautiful faces. When they have a chance they take photos of foreigners literally whenever and wherever. A few of the au pairs went for a trip to Beijing, to see the famous Great Wall. Chinese people instead of taking photos of the landscape and the Wall took pictures of girls. This happens everywhere in China. Au pairs are not just au pairs but also kind of stars who have thousands of Chinese fans.
Were you an au pair? If so, where and what inspired you to go?
Silvia: I was an au pair in France for 6 months. The first and main reason why I decided to go there was to improve my French. It was very hard for me at the beginning though. The family where I stayed had different habits and a life style than me. They used a lot of slang words and it was hard for me to understand them. I really felt lost for the first few weeks. However, after some time with their help, care, understanding and my strong will to get as much as I can from this experience I started to love their lifestyle and I became a real member of their family. I don’t regret my decision to be an au pair and I would recommend it to everybody with an open mind and ready for challenges.
What do you find most fulfilling about your interactions with au pairs?
Silvia: As I mentioned, I was one of “them”. I truly do understand their feelings, concerns, worries, problems and I am always trying to comfort them and help them to solve everything. When I see their relaxed smiling faces while saying thanks to me, I feel that my job has deeper meaning than people might think. It is great to meet people from around the world, share the experience, talk about common hobbies and realize that even though people might come from different countries but they can be best friends.