JAKA Robotics Overseas HRBP (Human Resources Business Partner)
Where is home/Where did you grow up?
Digital Media Studies and Business Administration (double major), class of 2018
What was your overall UR experience like? What did it teach you?
I loved my time at UR! I made lifelong friends, learned a lot, and had amazing opportunities in and outside the classroom. I learned at UR that it’s important to build up a variety of skills and experiences before you graduate. You never know what you may end up doing after you leave school so having a wide tool kit will be extremely beneficial.
Do you have any general fond UR memories you'd like to share?
I miss studying and hanging out with my friends around campus especially in Rettner and outside Starbucks. Even if it was just for 5 minutes you could always find someone to chat with in between classes.
What drove you to work at your current job?
I’ve been living in China for 4 years and living and working abroad is a passion for me. In this role I get to work with people from 15 different nationalities and it will provide opportunities for me to work in other countries as well. This has always been the driving factor for me at work and it is exciting to see the options I will have in the future.
What exactly you do day-to-day?
Currently my day to day revolves around building our overseas recruitment team so a lot of recruitment, interviews, offers, onboarding, and then in the future more on the policies and practices of the department. I’m getting to speak with people from dozens of different countries and backgrounds which makes every conversation I have unique and interesting – I love it.
What are some of the things you like most about your job?
I really enjoy that I am getting to do a job that is perhaps quite traditional (insert joke about how boring HR is) but in a field that is extremely high tech and is growing quickly. I will be able to travel and live-in other countries in the future and too me that is the most exciting.
What are some of the difficult things about your job?
Covid of course! We’re currently heading into a 5-day citywide lockdown where we aren’t allowed to leave our apartments for anything. This makes onboarding new hires difficult and with less and less overseas talent living in China it makes the talent pool even smaller.
What has your career path been like? How did you end up where you are?
If you told me I’d be working in HR back at UR I wouldn’t have believed you. I originally moved to China to teach English and travel, but I ended up falling in love with the country and started working in recruitment with my first company. After 2 years working in recruitment, I realized that what I really love to do is talk to people, tell them about my experiences in China, and offer them opportunities to grow as well. The opportunity was then offered for me to continue in HR at a robotics company that is working on its global expansion, and I couldn’t turn it down because how cool is that!
What are some skills that have served you well through your career?
My communication skills have been extremely important in my career. Firstly, because I spend most of my day speaking to people and trying to understand their background and strengths within an hour. Secondly because when you work on an international team miscommunication can happen easily. You need to be able to step back, rethink your questions or answer, and communicate in the most effective way depending on who you are speaking to.
Flexibility has also been key in my career so far. With Covid and especially in China things change quickly and you need to be able to adapt. Learn how to use what you were doing before to be affective in your new circumstances and don’t let small changes bog you down.
Do you have any cool hobbies/side projects you'd like to tell us about?
Whenever I have a chance, I try to travel! There are so many places in China I had never heard of before moving here and I don’t know another time in my life that I will have the opportunity to go. I’ve been to where the movie Avatar is based on, walked on a lot of glass bridges, and biked across China and there is still a long list of things I’d like to do before leaving.
Any advice on how to transition from college life to “real” life?
Be flexible and open minded to what will come. Really think about what you like to do and how you can do it within a role. For me I like talking to people, but I am also a competitive person which makes recruitment a perfect fit for me. When I was at UR I thought I would go into marketing though, but project based work is absolutely not for me so I adapted. Also don’t be afraid to try something new or challenging – moving to the other side of the world was maybe a bit extreme but think big!