In the middle of October, Trine Lindgren from Greencarrier Freight Services left Oslo for a new adventure in Ningbo, China. She will live and work at our office there for half a year. The office in Ningbo is one of our eight offices in China and it was opened in 2011. Now they are a team of 32 dedicated people and they recently moved to new and bigger premises. We recently had a talk with Trine about her thoughts and first impressions when she arrived in China.
What are your first impressions?
To arrive in Ningbo in the new office and get to meet all my new colleagues was a highly positive experience, I was warmly welcomed from the start and I felt like a part of the “family” right away. China, in general, is one of our biggest markets and a key focus area for Greencarrier. With Ningbo as one of the busiest ports in the world, I must say that this is an exciting city to experience and to work in. Ningbo is a beautiful city and with over 6 million inhabitants in total, it is still called a small town in China. The city is in constant change, for example came the first subway in 2014.
In addition to that, they have the past few years gotten better infrastructure, they build new areas to expand the city and it’s getting more and more popular to establish international companies there.
What do you like the most about Ningbo so far?
What I like most about the city is that it’s very local but as well more international than I expected. When you first start to understand the culture and how things work you found that it is a very convenient and good place to live. Not everyone around in Ningbo speaks English, but there are plenty of people who are willing to try and you can always find someone on the street to help.
Also, the food here is amazing, very unique and there are a lot of specialties you have to try out when you’re here. Let me say it like this, it’s not possible to compare the Chinese food in Norway to the real local food here in China.
How long have you been working in Greencarrier and with what?
Greencarrier and I started our relationship 4.5 years ago, when I started as a trainee with ocean freight in 2013 in Oslo. Since then, I have worked with both air freight and road freight and is currently working as a sales assistant for the Ningbo office as well as being an ocean freight coordinator for Norway. The cooperation between China and Norway can sometimes be challenging, not only because of the time differences but also because of our different ways of working. I hope that this can contribute to creating a stronger bond and getting a better shared understanding.
Why did you want to go to Ningbo?
I wanted to try something new! Whether it’s at work or in your spare time, it’s sometimes easy to forget what it’s like to go beyond your comfort zone. When this opportunity appeared, I simply had to take the chance! Culture has always interested me, why are we all different and why do we do things in different ways? Now I have a great way to get acquainted with “a whole new world”. Exciting!
What experience do you hope to bring with you after half a year in China?
I want to leave with a good understanding of how things work here, that means everything from the ways of working to how people live and raise their children. I hope to grow personally, by not having anyone around that I know and “starting from scratch” in a way. It’s a new experience for me. I have to be open and humble, talk to the people I meet, be curious and open. Anyways, 6 months is flying by so fast so maybe I just have to stay here longer to learn even more…
Do you have any hobbies you will be practicing in China or are you going to try something new?
Well, I’m going to sign up for a fitness center as it seems like food will be my new hobby! Apart from that, I would love to learn a little Chinese. My colleagues are very engaged in this but a challenge for me is to find a good method so I can remember all these words and the different vocals. I also hope to have some time to travel around Asia, really spend the weekends exploring my new country.
Thank you for talking to us Trine. Good luck with your continued adventure in Ningbo, and with the Chinese-studies! Here you can read more about when Trine started out as a trainee at Greencarrier.