Helping to open the door of opportunity for PAs and Secretaries in Shanghai!
Steve Lowe, Manager of Linguarama Stratford, reports back from two weeks in Shanghai helping PAs and Secretaries improve their career opportunities by developing new skills in English.
The sheer size of Shanghai is staggering. With over 30 million inhabitants, competition for jobs is tough and demand for Personal Assistants/Secretaries who can communicate effectively in English is high. So Linguarama was asked to run several courses in Shanghai last month targeting this pivotal role.
As a result I found myself on a plane to this dynamic and fascinating city looking forward to a new experience. A real Englishman in Shanghai, I was not always sure of what I was eating or where I was going, but considering it is 4 X the size of London it is remarkably very well-organised. Some of the highways make Spaghetti Junction in Birmingham seem insignificant!
The students were a pleasure to teach; open and welcoming. Participants came from sectors such as Banking, Pharmaceutical, Engineering and Hospitality.
They appreciated the international perspective of a native English trainer, up-to-date with current business trends. They also greatly valued the quality of the training, especially the Linguarama way which uses a needs-driven hands-on approach with frequent practical language feedback. This maximizes progress and the students were happy to be leaving with a tool-kit of language that they could put into immediate use to:
• screen phone calls, enquiries and requests, and handle them when appropriate;
• meet and greet visitors at all levels of seniority;
• organise and make appointments;
• deal with incoming email, and post, often corresponding on behalf of the manager;
• organise and attend meetings to take notes
• liaise with clients, suppliers and other staff
I found a little spare time to view the city of Shanghai from the iconic Pearl Tower which has amazing views of all the surrounding buildings, the river and the cityscape. A walk along the Bund, which is the famous promenade along the Huangpu River, will bring you to the traditional area of Pudong, now a vibrant business area and home to the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
Reflecting back on my experience in China I can see that on a business level Shanghai is full of potential for those PAs and Secretaries who wish to broaden their English knowledge. And I leave with the satisfaction of knowing that after a Linguarama Course, these participants are well-equipped to provide effective support to the senior management and directorial staff of the ever increasingly international companies located here.