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Talented returnees benefit from new lives in country

By Yu Ran in Shanghai | China Daily | Updated: 2023-02-20 07:13

Difficult time

After spending her childhood in Shanghai, and adolescence in the United Kingdom on her own, Ruan Chengrui, 26, landed a promising job at JP Morgan in London, but she missed her family so much that she quit in 2020.

When she was 14, Ruan wanted to study at a girls' boarding school in London, two years earlier than her family planned, as she was keen to explore the world and adapt to life overseas.

"The first semester was particularly hard, and I panicked every day, but I began to master English and adapt to local life," said Ruan, who believes this experience enabled her to mature more quickly.

By the 10th grade, she was thinking about living and working in the UK after graduating from university, where she studied economics, and in spring 2017, Ruan received a summer internship offer from JP Morgan.

After graduation, she enrolled for a three-year management trainee program with the company's finance and business management department.

"Everything was going so well that before I realized it, I had completed my work in different departments, during which I was preparing to land a permanent position," Ruan said.

However, she abandoned these plans before the end of her first year of work in 2019 for a number of reasons, one of them being that her mother wanted her to live closer to the family.

"Another reason was that many friends chose to return to China, so I was largely on my own for a whole year, and was keen to regain a sense of belonging," Ruan said.

Job hunting in China did not go well for Ruan, who submitted dozens of resumes in early 2020, but failed to find a position that met her expectations for salary and working conditions.

Benefiting from her overseas experience, she received an offer from media monitoring and social analytics platform Meltwater in Shanghai, which also made her an offer in her third year at university.

"I communicate with more people, help customers with personalized services, and gain a sense of responsibility and achievement by working in a friendly atmosphere and living in a city I call home, which totally meets my expectations," said Ruan, who was promoted to account manager within eight months.

In 2021, she experienced some hard times, which hit her hard. Ruan thought her return to China had been meaningless, but with friends' help, she took part in a variety of activities, and earlier this year she developed a passion for cycling and skiing.

Ruan now cycles three or four times a week and flies to ski at the Beidahu Ski Resort in Jilin province almost every weekend.

"Although I've gone through hard times and am now single again, I've had lots of happiness in a busy life full of belonging, which I definitely couldn't experience in the UK," said Ruan, who launched her own cycling club with friends in August.

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