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ENGINAIRS: Interview with Zoe Guo

Zoe Guo (31 y.), Senior Quality System Engineer Aircom Nanjing, visited the Aircom’s HQ in Pietrzykowice to train ISO14001/ISO45001/IATF16949 norms.

Tell me about yourself. What do you do for a living? What studies did you graduate from?

I graduated from Changchun Institute of Technology. My major was Applied Chemistry. Changchun, north-east China, is famous for production plant of Volkswagen Group. They mainly produce Audis there.

After graduation you moved to Nanjing.

Yes. I come from Taizhou in Jiangsu Province. So I decided to get back to my family home. Nanjing is located nearby and has a great number of job possibilities.

When you joined Aircom last year, was It your first job?

No. At the beginning I worked in a private company, I took over a position of a project manager in an R&D center. My job was to develop some cleaning techniques in the automotive industry.

When you joined Aircom last year, was It your first job?

No. At the beginning I worked in a private company, I took over a position of a project manager in an R&D center. My job was to develop some cleaning techniques in the automotive industry.

Then I moved to the Italian company Brembo. They have their office also in Poland, in Dąbrowa Górnicza. The company produces brake systems for cars.

Then I had a short break from automotive. After Brembo, I worked couple of months in the electronic industry. It was the time when my child was born. The automotive industry is more challenging and pressuring than electronics. It is more related to the safety norms in China. Sometimes things happen immediately, and I just needed to spend more time with my family then. But after all, since the work seemed to be constant, I just got bored. Luckily then some headhunter called me and offered me a job in Aircom.

So automotive again.

I’m a person who eventually needs more challenges and more passion at work. I prefer a more diverse kind of job. And automotive is full of varied challenges. Otherwise, you just waste your life.

You joined to Aircom to develop production line in Nanjing.

I was really interested in air compressors in Aircom. I worked before with the customers that also supplied the compressors. But they didn’t have a factory to produce them. They used our resources to produce a compressor. We were kind of an outsourcing company for them. We worked like that for almost one year.
Therefore, I thought Aircom would be a good choice. Not only was I experienced with air compressor production, but also was I involved into making some tire sealant.

Can you describe the automotive industry in your country?

I think the automotive industry in China has now slowed down. Many OEMs have now long summer vacations. Some plants have been even shut down for almost three months. We are just learning automotive sales and marketing in China so far. Several years ago, the sales rank rapidly grew. People got rich, and they could afford to buy a car roughly at the same time. Imagine that there are 1.4 billion people in my country and one out of four persons uses a car. It’s 350 million people driving! Chinese people use car about six years. The need of possessing a car in China has become more stable. So now for OEMs it is a time of waiting. I suppose this trend will change within 2-3 years, and the sales will pick up the pace again.

I can also observe the big players acquire smaller ones. It is a proverb that a big fish eats a small one and a small one eats a shrimp. Great OEMs are still expanding.

Chinese government inspires new brands to develop. There has been a huge amount of money invested in these companies. There is a willingness of cars developed locally by ourselves. Before, we had just implemented ready-made solutions from Europe or USA.

You are visiting Aircom HQ in Poland now to find out quality standards we implement. Is it your first time in Europe?

No, I have been in Europe before. This is my 2nd When I worked in Brembo, I was in Bergamo, Italy, during global quality system engineers meeting. I met the employees from America, Italy, India, Poland and China. Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough time to explore Italy because my stay lasted only one week. Anyway, I found Bergamo really beautiful. But not as beautiful as Wrocław.

Really?

Yes! I really love the churches here. I’m really fascinated with different kinds of classic architecture here. I noticed every traditional building here has a different style, different color. This is really amazing for me. In Nanjing, we have numbers of similar modern high buildings. They don’t fascinate us. And here I was really surprised. Also by dwarfs!

Wrocław is really famous for our dwarfs.

We should also settle one orange dwarf here, by the company, I guess (laughing).

ENGINAIRS-Zoe-interview-Aircom-website-news

Has anything else (but dwarfs) surprised you in Poland?

It is a different lifestyle. People in Europe enjoy life more than Chinese people. I noticed so many people here in the restaurants or cafes, talking to each other, hanging out together. People in China usually don’t meet in the afternoon after work. Every day we start our work early and finish late.
Another thing that surprised me was amber. You can buy it everywhere here! So I have bought lots of amber jewellery like necklaces or bracelets for my family. We also have amber in China, but I think there is the best amber quality worldwide in Poland. At last, my wallet started to cry here (laughing).

Have you visited any other places during your stay?

Yes, I have visited Prague and Dresden. Dresden seems similar to Wrocław. And there are a lot of tourists in Prague, too. This Czech city reminds me some of Chinese tourist cities. For me, it was a little too noisy and crowded. So I prefer Wrocław and Dresden regions because of all of these beautiful churches and castles. I have had an opportunity to visit two nice medieval castles in Lower Silesia. I also found out marvelous legends about the former owners of the castles as well as I saw great numbers of beautiful paintings there.

And how about Polish food?

Well, to be honest before I came I was frightened I would have to eat tons of potatoes here. And we eat rice every day in China. It’s an absolutely different food. I was worried if I’d survive in Poland (laughing)! I haven’t tried here typical Polish cuisine yet but I must admit there are lots of good international restaurants in Wrocław. One can eat tasty hamburgers here. We also enjoyed great Indian food.

What are you planning (professionally) in your future?

I’m sure the Chinese automotive market will get back on track and car sales will speed up again. This relates to my own professional career progress. I was a Quality system Engineer before. When I joined Aircom, I’m more responsible for process control and material inspection. In Aircom, I learnt how to read technical drawings. Even though my major is Chemistry, I started to learn technology. I feel I can develop my potential and talents here. In the future, I hope I can manage the whole quality scope – materials, suppliers, systems – in Aircom. Appropriately implemented quality systems mean savings for the company. They also help to control risk and become a reliable partner for our customers. Taking care of the environment and safety is necessary to our employees. Quality shows directions of development and lets the company grow.

What do you do in your free time?

I devote all my free time to my daughter. I love her very much. My mom is going to retire in two years. I’m planning then to travel with all my family around China and around the world. I think we will start with Europe. I’m totally inspired with European architecture. I took lots of picture here. I will share photographs with my parents when I’m back, but I’d love them to see this architecture live.

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