Times flies. It’s almost the end of my international assignment in Arkansas USA. 6 months seemed to be a long period of time when I first got here, but right now I wish I would have 48 hours a day to extend my stay here.

It’s been a blessing to work with this wonderful team of Husqvarna talents and live in the peaceful countryside of Arkansas. I have been reflecting a lot lately and I am glad to achieve a lot more than I expected in the past 6 months. I have concluded the following 3 tips to ensure such a fulfilling work experience.

1) A great plan and clear goal set are the prerequisite for a successful assignment. Before the assignment started I spent time with my manager going through the learning plan and performance objectives so that I could get a better understanding of what to expect from the job and what should be my delivery. From time to time I would go back to the objectives and make sure it is on track. 6-month is almost over now, I am confident to say I completed all deliverables as agreed at the beginning.

2) The only thing constant is change. The unexpected would always happen at work. It is very important to keep yourself flexible to adapt to different business needs. Because of an organizational change I am currently taking over a buyer’s responsibility while at the same time working on the original job descriptions of the trainee assignment. It was hard to manage the time at first but I believe you can learn the most from changes and challenges. The buyer’s job may seem to be very different from the original plan, but I got the chance to manage accounts of our sister companies overseas. As the only Asian here, I also try to create a better platform of communication for the Nashville office to our Asian counterparts. This overall is a great opportunity to look at the supply chain of this Group in a global scale, at the same time letting the Nashville team to understand about how to convey messages to our business partners in another culture.

3) Personal goal is as important as career goal. Try to do something different in a foreign environment. I personally had three goals for the time in US, 1) be a Chinese ambassador 2)try public speaking in the foreign environment 3)road trip. With that in mind I have been actively seeking opportunities to do these. So far I have had celebrated Chinese New Year with my colleagues in office, speaking in a speech contest in Texas, and drove all the way to New Orleans by myself last month. This week I will have a sharing session at the local high school on the topic of East Meets West. Doing all of these made the whole experience even more remarkable.

Materials Group in Husqvarna Nashville, Arkansas

Materials Group in Husqvarna Nashville, Arkansas

10 more days I will be moving back to Shanghai for the last assignment in Marketing. It is going to be a new environment (we have a new office in Shanghai), new organization and new role for me. I can feel the butterflies in my stomach already. Meanwhile I am wrapping up my assignment here in Arkansas. It’s hard to say goodbye, but I am up for the new challenge, and again try to get the most out of it.

Lois Lau
Global Trainee