My name is Lois, I’m a Global Trainee from Shanghai, China. Working in a multinational corporation like Husqvarna Group I have had many chances to work on projects with colleagues from all over the world. However, working in a project is completely different from working in a foreign country. I am currently working on my international assignment at our facility in Nashville, USA, focusing on Materials Management. I moved from one of the biggest cities in China, to the American countryside where I will be for 6 months.


Being a Global Trainee requires a high level of adaptability to new environments. Here in the U.S. I am challenged by the cultural difference from the workplace in China every day. The colleagues here have a much higher sense of cost-effectiveness and are much result-orientated. The conversations at work can be very direct sometimes, so it requires a different way of problem solving and business communication. Language is another challenge for me since I learnt British English and used mostly Chinese back in the Shanghai office. But the immersion here helped me to pick up the American English gradually.

I am involved in tasks related to Asian factories/suppliers. Being the only Asian here, I feel responsible for explaining to my American colleagues the Asian business culture and mindset. Sometimes I help translate the ‘indirect’ message in a more ‘direct’ way so my colleagues can understand more about the meaning behind a message. I am very glad that my colleagues are open to these new ideas and I believe this can be beneficial for the cooperation across the world. And I wish to continue to do that to create a better platform of communication for the Nashville office to our Asian counterparts.

Besides the work, in the Nashville office, we may not have fika like in Sweden, but we have a monthly Potluck where all team members will bring a dish to the office and everyone share some great food together! It is a great chance to mingle with people from different departments as well. I have decided that next month I will bring some authentic Chinese food (not fried spring roll nor chow mien) to the Potluck for everyone to get a taste of China.


Our monthly Potluck in the Nashville office

Since it is a really small town with only around 5000 people, everyone knows each other and everyone takes care of each other. Even though I came here alone, I never feel ‘lonely as a pine tree in a parking lot’. Being a newbie in town, my colleagues show me around and introduce me to people here. They also invite me to their family events and to watch local high school football games, one of the biggest events in town! I feel more integrated to the community here when I start cheering for our football team and picking up some southern slang like saying “How y’all doin’ at work”.


Local High school football game, our team was winning!

Last month we had a Global Trainee training in Charlotte, USA. My favorite training sessions were about the Multi-generational workplace and Personality Analysis. The Multi-generational workplace workshop gave me an overview of different backgrounds and characteristics of each generation in America and how these affect their behavior at work. The Personality Analysis workshop on the other hand made us understand more about ourselves and how we can be aware to adjust our behavior in different environments. These trainings are crucial for working in a multinational company because it reminds us on always being open to differences and utilize the strength of different cultures and different individuals. While working in another country right now I get to practice that every day!

DSC_0868_w1000As a Global Trainee I really treasure this international assignment opportunity and feel blessed to live in such a diversity where I can embrace, enjoy and learn about the beauty of differences in culture, not only at work but also in my daily life.

Ain’t that awesome?

Lois Lau
Global Trainee