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[Rennes SB Taiwan X WillStudy留學計畫]法國留學啟蒙之旅後,開啟的創業篇章

Updated: Apr 23, 2020

我們終於訪問到本校臺灣校友會會長Johnny,畢業於國際行銷碩士。

從草創實踐大學國際事務處、成為連鎖手搖飲&下午茶品牌( 木衛二嘉義鑄茶所 X 茶水間有限公司)創辦人到任職科技部 GASE 全球事務與科學發展中心 經理, Johnny 一路運用他的經驗與所學在台灣各領域發揮影響力。

曾是傅立葉獎學金的得主,完成學位後如何利用規劃學思歷程來最大化自己的優勢,讓學涯符合職涯路線,一起來看看他如何槓桿自己的人生吧!

我發現要真的鑽研一門技術,要讀得非常符合當地市場需求,同時兼顧所學技術未來發展的話,綜合型大學將不會成為首選,重新接觸到國際各所學校、學院,突然讓我覺得走回原本的路,也就是回到歐洲去完成學業,其實不失為一個好選擇。

關於 About Johnny|

教育背景 :

Rennes School of Business – MSc. in International Marketing (法國雷恩商學院  國際行銷碩士)

淡江大學 國際貿易學系 / 日本語文學系(輔修)

目前職位 :

科技部全球事務與科學發展中心(GASE) / 經理 臺大全球集思論壇 (GIS Taiwan) / 指導委員 木衛二嘉義鑄茶所 X 茶水間 / 創辦人兼執行長 雷恩商學院臺灣校友會  (Taiwan Alumni Association) / 會長

過往經歷 :

法國傅立葉獎學金得主 實踐大學國際事務處 / 主任 實踐大學華語中心 / 主任


留學之前的學經歷


大學期間,因應未來有留學的想法而提前累積許多國際經驗,整體四年可以分為兩個階段、兩種心態來陳述。


學士學位就讀淡江大學國際貿易學系,初入大學的兩年,大部分的時間都用於讀書加上參與娛樂性質的社團活動,同時也選擇日文系作為輔修來培養第二外語的能力,希望可以為將來的職涯道路上掌握更多的主動性及選擇,在這階段,對於生涯的方向和規劃還沒有架構式的鋪成和足夠的實際歷練;均衡發展商業知識及外語能力是提供未來工作選擇多樣性的基石,並且也培養時間安排以及負責任的態度;課堂外培養社交技能,參加社團接觸多元化的聲音以及增加合作能力更是這階段一大收穫。於大一、大二開始對畢業後的規劃有所摸索給足了我更多的時間提前準備實力。


大三那一年選擇到歐洲捷克交換,前面兩年的積累讓我取得學校所提供的公費留學名額。在社團中接觸過多國文化以及語言之後,我始終理解英文是溝通的基礎但並非唯一溝通的工具,所以決定選擇一個非英語系國家去學習第三外語(繼英文、日文),且希望把握寶貴的一年來累積不同的海外經歷,所以它不能是一個太主流的歐洲國家,最後清單內剩下捷克(Czech Republic)、波蘭(Republic of Poland)、瑞典(Sweden)及奧地利(Austria),後來我選定位於捷克布拉格的Charles University。


結束大三一整年的交換學生生活,從大四一開學便認真思考,要如何在最後一年完成專業的學思歷程建構,首先我創辦淡江大學的國際大使團(TKU VOIS),同時爭取APEC亞太經合會的第一屆青年代表,當時跟隨蔡宏圖(國泰金控董事長)跟王雪紅(宏達電創辦人、董事長),以及當時中華台北代表連戰出訪到新加坡參加2010的APEC Summit,透過整個活動對於 APEC 事務的學習,回到學校以後持續對於 APEC事務繼續關注,也投注更多心力國際大使團之中,期間也有到浙江大學參加論文發表活動,爭取海外參訪計畫等。受到出國交換的啟發,我更希望到不同國家語不同文化背景的人事物交留。


畢業之際,原定規劃就是無縫接軌的繼續升學,所以送出澳洲幾所心儀大學的申請,像是新南威爾斯大學(The University of New South Wale ; 簡稱UNSW)、昆士蘭大學(The University of Queensland;簡稱UQ)、雪梨大學(The University of Sydney) 等學校,因為優異的學術成績加上國際經驗,申請不久也順利取得錄取通知,最後在全家人的討論後,因為擔心兵役問題影響到畢業於當地就業的問題,決定將收到的offer遞延一年,完成兵役再繼續完成學業。



進行升學規劃,為何考慮留學而不是國內研究所

為何受到啟發,例如同儕影響或是在交換時體認不足?


當時出國遊學的風氣不如現今盛行,全班只有我選擇海外升學這一條道路,剩下大部分的同學都已經錄取台灣各國立大學,但就如同出國交換的決定,我選擇去更多元文化的環境增廣見聞。在布拉格時我發現,我自認為在淡江很優秀的成績、讀書方式在捷克不太受用,捷克布拉格是一個大城、一個多元文化的都市,查理大學本身也是一間在東歐極富盛名的老牌學校,在我前往的學年就超過1500名以上的國際學生,每一次的課堂討論都非常多元且同學及老師的想法時常令人驚豔;學生發言的踴躍程度、製作報告所具備的挑戰性,都是我前所未聞未見。滿腹傲氣出國讀書,結果沒有想到只是交換學生就遭遇滑鐵盧,不過也讓我更早體認到在淡江所取得的榮譽與表現,讓我對自己身為最頂尖學生的這件事不疑有他,好在擁有那一年的交換,讓我得到如此沉重的一個教訓,讓我更直覺要離開舒適圈,而不是再選擇留在台灣升學,在同一個池水裡面游泳,如同溫水煮青蛙,等到出社會之時,當實力直接面臨真正戰場早就為時已晚,所以才會有留學的這個決定。

為何選擇澳洲,以及如何選擇自己的主修 (Why Australia?)

基於什麼樣的考量,把主要的申請選擇都留給澳洲


大學修課時的多元嘗試,讓我發自己對行銷學的興趣,也決定將它作為繼續升學的專業,至於為什麼原先打算赴澳洲攻碩,說來慚愧,是當時在研究時發現澳洲的許多碩士學位是因不用繳交畢業論文的,我知道自己在撰寫論文、專題這方面並沒有很受過很紮實的教育或相關經驗,所以在選擇學校則有點逃避的心態,因為知道去國外讀書已經很辛苦,如果澳洲可以不用寫論文是一個好選擇,雖然坊間略有耳聞,澳洲碩士不被認可為做真正的碩士,但對當時的我來說,選擇一張最安全的牌,有排名然後又可以在一年內完成的碩士學位,那澳洲當然就是我的心之所向。


什麼契機,讓你重回熟悉的歐洲?

經歷轉折,放棄澳洲名校的錄取,回到歐洲


快要退伍的幾周,開始收拾要到澳洲的行囊,首先要開始制定自己的Project plan,才發現留學所需的費用果真不是一筆小數目,第一個 : 學費,基準就已經跟美國、紐西蘭、英國一樣,第二個 : 生活費方面,澳洲屬於物價水準相當高的國家。


面對這筆龐大的經濟開銷,讓我從完成兵役,有時間就會思考,我是不是馬上升學? 選擇的科系真的有助於就業嗎? 申請學校時,我只知道我討厭什麼,但是我還不知道想要什麼,比較喜歡行銷,是否就要將行銷學設定為碩士主攻專業,對於以上種種問題,當時的我並沒有得到答案。


在疑惑沒有得到解答以前,最終我選擇提前進入職場,當面臨產業跟職能選擇方面,大學國貿系專業的關係,讓我覺得踏入商界是理所當然的選擇,不過因緣際會之下,卻因為在大學期間多次的國際交流,參加過很多的國際會議、承辦非常多僑委會或是外交部的活動,讓實踐大學找上我來主導成立國際事務處。在此之前,大學職員此類型的職缺從來不在我的考量範圍,因為我認為學校不是一個富有變化性的環境,久而久之會不會成為繁瑣的工作型態?但是目前提供的職位是國際事務處的創立團隊,是一個相當難得的內部創業機會,工作內容還包含發展姊妹校,我想我找到了一個契機,或許可以透過成立辦公室期間,去驗證、重複查證,我選擇的求學路是不是對的,所以我就決定接受這份工作機會。


開始國際事務處成立的籌備工作,讓我接觸到各種不同的大學,已經顛覆了先前對於國際大學的認知,從前我只知道University (綜合型大學),沒想到像在德國還有 University of Applied Science (科技大學),或是在荷蘭稱作應用科技大學,我對於 Applied sciences 以及 Institute of Technology 的認知都還停留在非常基礎的階段,甚至是只有學院 (College),這時才發現要真的專研一門技術,要讀得非常符合當地市場需求,同時兼顧將所學的未來發展的話,綜合型大學將不會成為首選,重新接觸到國際各所學校、學院,突然讓我覺得走回原本的路,也就是回到歐洲去完成學業,其實不失為一個好選擇。對於學校的要求,我希望是一個完全不用英語的生活環境,但要兼具全英語上課的教學環境,所以在那個時刻我就決定澳洲已經不再是我的最佳選擇,應用當時工作專業去選擇一個更適合我的學思歷程的學校。


至於為什麼輾轉之間選擇法國,是因為在業務往來的機會下,我發現法國在獎學金方面對於國際學生是非常友善的,而且提供的額度非常優渥,再加上當年法國對於留學生的福利政策規畫得相當完善(房屋補貼、學習購物補貼),大幅的減少經濟方面的壓力,讓我在工作兩三年後,決定是時機在留學這條路上重新出發。


當時除了申請雷恩商學院(Rennes School of Business)以外,同時申請當時在台灣職場較知名的幾間學校,像是 SKEMA Business School(歐洲知識經濟與管理學院) 、 NEOMA Business School(諾歐商學院)、 ESSEC Business School(高等經濟商業學院),權衡之下投遞這四間學校的申請,基於對於商學院有認知,不打算申請一間排名靠前,但在台灣沒有任何資源的學校,因為已經開始工作的緣故,我更沒有時間去摸索跟浪費,我必須要找到一些在台灣資訊非常公開的學校,刪減之下的結果就是上述所提到的幾間學校。


對於未來職涯的規劃或想像?

出發法國留學前,對於畢業之後的職涯想像是什麼?


當時對於完成碩士學位後的職涯想像,認為過去讀商加上參加過非常多國際事務活動,尤其是在最後一年參與 APEC 的盛會,又投入亞太經合會還有企業諮詢聯會,專業能力加上經歷,讓我覺得人生大概會往外貿或是國際企業的路線前進,只是一個陰錯陽差下進入教育界,所以我在教育界的任務結束後,就已經選定了我的下一個學思歷程,打算完成海外學位後,可以更專精碩士專業,並用於正式進入業界的工作,像是跨國企業、國際貿易的產業與職能。


雷恩商學院賦予你的價值

針對你的職涯發展和目標,在雷恩商學院不論是老師給予的價值觀或是課程安排,你認為有滿足到你的需求嗎?


確實許多申請者這樣請教過,為什麼當時我會選擇到雷恩讀書,其實對於我來說,我發現不管選哪一間學校,只要讀書態度積極,只要是一間師資正常且資源充足的學校,完成學位後的結果都不會差距太大,畢竟成就在於環境、資源、更在於自己;學校排名是前五、前十、前十五,甚至是前二十,對我來說似乎是大同小異,因為在商學院想要賦予學生的能力是,你有沒有辦法培養獨立思考並且成功執行的能力?


就像身處同一個班級,有些人學期成績『E』也可以過得很開心,但對於我來說簡直是天方夜譚,若沒辦法取得『B』以上,是完全沒有辦法符合我對自己的期待以及糟蹋資源的表現。從課堂投入方面來說,亞洲人跟歐洲人的競爭力差距就可以明顯體現出來,法國人在學術表現上的自我要求很嚴謹,再加上大部分都是從職場重返校園,沒有人會希望取得碩士學位期間,所作所為只為了交差了事,更多的是期望自我實現與加深不足的專業能力。


套用到我身上也是一樣,已經明確自己的職涯規劃,選擇這間學校,就是為了要馬上轉換職涯跑道(Career Switch),所以我更沒有浪費時間的權利,我也在留學期間,從中發現當學生態度很積極時,老師同時也會針對某些很特定族群的學生,投以非常積極的態度給予回饋,但是我覺得確實在某一個方面,台灣教授與國外教授不太一樣,國外的教學態度會希望把自己的資源集中給予積極努力的學生上,並不會認為全班『應該』享有一樣的受教權。

我個人做事講求效率,所以非常喜歡雷恩商學院的一點是,聘請師資很大比例是業師,業師的好處就是充分運用課堂上的每分每秒,因為沒有人會想搭三個小時的高鐵從別的城市過來,只為了教你在課本上面自己就可以讀懂的理論,所以業師們通常也不會用課本授課,他們會用Case Study (案例教學)跟自身在公司的決策經驗教學;缺點就是能跟每個業師的相處時間非常少,沒有辦法像專聘教授一樣一直在學校裡面等著學生發問,或是隨時約得到人,他可能在結束三天的密集式教學後就會離開,換句話說,雷恩商學院所聘請的業師群,讓我可以最快地吸收批評跟指教,完完整整的實戰報告與討論,但背後要應付的是一次三天、全天八小時的疲勞轟炸,必須快速釐清教學內容中希望得到的回饋,所以每一次的投入力道都會非常強,沒有辦法像其他一般科目,可以慢慢的分配我的時間,慢慢學習、吸收,再去請教老師。


雷恩商學院提供學生非常多元的業師選擇,來自世界不同的國家、不同產業,讓我們可以在校園中接觸業界,該產業是不是未來希望發展的目標 ? 還有每位業師思考模式、邏輯還有對於產業行內人的意見與看法,是不是符合原本對於職涯的期待,這些曾經或正高居各跨國企業 C-Level 的高級經理人們所提供的回饋,對於正在往跨國企業的努力的我來說,當時許多真知灼見對於我往後在做每一個決定的影響都很深遠。


畢業時的求職經歷


就算已經擬定非常明確目標,但當真正面臨求職時,仍然會陷入迷惘的處境,在法國留學的第二個學期我就開始瘋狂的投遞履歷,當時我也發現,自己喜歡的是歐洲的讀書環境、 文化多元性,也喜歡各種語言、各種人的想法,但是對於當地的生活步調跟生活習慣,明顯不是我這種做事以效率優先的工作者可以接受的。


所以投遞履歷時的地域選擇,除了台灣以外,也有中國、日本跟韓國等亞洲國家,可能是我個人奴性比較高,還是覺得回到亞洲職場,工作才會比較快樂更符合我的期待,但是影響更大的因素在於,從大學開始,每一個學生看似都累積許多專業知識,卻沒有實務的工作經驗可以相互驗證,就我自己的觀察,這是台灣大學生在國際職場上最大的一個弱點,導致就算在一年碩士留學生活中,學術上再多努力地去學習跟去思考,忽略掉可以呈現在履歷上面的實務內容。大部分外商公司的 HR 給予的評價和回饋,皆表示只有學歷,但是並沒有所謂的經歷,因為工作經歷是在學校的緣故,對他們來講就是「學歷」,因為產業調性、工作內容並沒辦法馬上轉換,這件事讓我吃足苦頭,一直沒辦法找到理想工作。


經歷半年的拒絕,決定畢業後暫時先回到台灣,不過就在回台灣不久,有一間海外企業主動與我取得聯繫,是一間日本專門開發鑰匙跟鎖的公司,因為他們的總部位於崎玉,不過因商務需求時常需要往返台灣,希望聘請一位台灣在地的員工,不過徵選已久,一直找同時擁有日文、英文、中文流利溝通能力,還可以自主商業開發的應徵者,所以在台灣經歷一次面試之後,雙方都覺得一拍即合,因為我會講中文、英文,又有學過日文(大學輔修日語系),因此公司方覺得可以投資我去學日文,然後前往日本工作,工作內容也完全符合我對跨國商務的期待。


不過後來又是一個可怕的轉圜,當我開始辦理簽證、就職程序,甚至連日本住宿等一切事物都安排好以後,突然爸爸的朋友跟我討論了關於日本職場的經驗談,他認為日本職場環境的階層化相當嚴重,當時25歲的我對於自己的夢想很遠大,尤其對於自己的職位發展設定許多目標,但如果沒辦法在同一間公司熬超過10年,或是希望藉由跳槽的方式去升職的話,日本絕對不是一個適合的市場,第一點是這間公司不屬於新創的範疇,很大的可能擁有嚴重的階層制度,雖然公司願意培養員工,不過是把你當成一個你即將要在公司留10年或是20年的人來培養,如果立刻跳槽很可能會影響未來在當地的職涯發展,因為日本人不喜歡這種文化。


這番討論過後,讓我開始感到害怕跟猶豫,有趣的是,在這個時間點,老東家實踐大學又與我取得聯繫,希望完成海外學業的我回國際事務處繼續任職,不過無論是工作內容以及職涯發展,都不足以吸引我回歸同樣的工作崗位,所以校方又再祭出,希望我去成立華語中心,而這個在一次的內部創業機會,意味者一個全新的挑戰,校方也願意提供更高的職位和更好的薪資待遇,華語中心、國際事務處的主任職位,讓我重新選擇回到實踐大學、回到教育界,希望藉由這一次的重新開始,更去磨練我在工作經歷上的缺乏,去草創華語中心跟經營國際事務處擔任主管之職,期待藉由更多的合作簽訂以及實際成績去造就下一個工作機會。


創業歷程的甘苦談

經歷兩次校內創業的經驗,如何轉換為實際的商場經驗


加上出國前後的工作經歷,在實踐大學也足足服務七年,我一直都不曾忘記希望從商的念頭。


雖然這七年的工作生活相當美好,美好在於我一路平步青雲,成為辦公室的行政主管,也成為兼任教師,大家都幫我貼上最年輕的主管或是最年輕老師的標籤,不過在單位發展穩定以後,反而沒有發展也失去原有的挑戰性,整理好思緒後,我就決定辭掉在實踐大學任職的工作。


當時在雷恩商學院受到最大的啟蒙是,我發現其實做飲食跟住宿的業者,因為說的故事與消費者息息相關,所以在行銷方面的宣傳顯得特別有說服力且容易將人帶入其中,當然其他的產業也會有各自的行銷策略,但更多要靠客人自己想像。不論是餐廳業者或是飯店業者所提供的服務等級都有低、中、高的分級,我發現經營高檔價位的品牌更習慣去營造讓消費者投入的情境,我在雷恩商學院的碩士畢業論文,也正是專門分析當地跟國際餐廳品牌所擁有的客戶黏著度。


畢業時我也希望擁有自己的一間餐廳,用我自己行銷策略與創業經驗去經營餐廳,然而首先要面對的現實就是,餐點對於技術方面是很要求的,這也是為何大部分開餐廳的人本身就是廚師,或是甜點師,因此我選擇的方案是入門最低的就是手搖飲加上下午茶,但因為我自己不會做甜點,所以我希望透過發揚手搖飲的品牌,將它營造成如同精品的品牌,再去找其他的下午茶業者合作來槓桿。


我把當時所有的積蓄全部投入創業,完成一個我一直心之所向的職涯,順利完成手搖店的開設,同一個月,除了在嘉義完成開幕以外,同時也完成台北的展店作業,更開創線上品牌,就是希望一圓夢想,把所學的應用到實戰上面。


創業前夕,主要面臨的抉擇不外乎,在實踐大學,收入很穩定、生活過得非常安逸,頻繁的出差機會,可以一覽許多國家的面貌,其實這樣的工作內容,旁人聽起來都非常有發展性,會想要說服我如果再待久一點,說不定能往更高的方向爬,但正是因為這樣,如果我30歲沒有實現從商、創業這條路,未來可能也沒有離開的機會。我只有兩種選擇,留在實踐或毅然決然的離開,當時的我,決定帶領我所開設的行銷課的畢業、在學學生,一同去經營這個品牌、探索創業這件事情。


鳳還巢,事業得意後回歸教育

是基於什麼考量,讓品牌發展如此成功的情況下,回歸教育業


這件事情看起來匪夷所思,因為經歷如火如荼的快速展店之後,無論在心靈或生理上都感到疲累,進入飲食產的半年內,從剛開始的裝潢到產品開發、行銷策略通通一手包辦,許多項目的嘗試都讓第一次經商的我吃足苦頭,不過因為這是一個入門很快的產業,同時也就意味不需要大型的管理,很快就可以大致掌握如何經營,其實經營這種小店半年以後,剩下的只是要如何去因應市場環境跟消費者習慣去優化,但我總覺得並不需要浪費人生的所有時間去經營。


同時經營飲料品牌的情況下,到底有什麼職務是我可以繼續深造的呢? 這個時間,機會點就來了,台灣大學在今年(2019)四月份時來電,希望我可以回歸教育界,以台灣的最高學府的角度去協助推動國際交流以及科學發展的事務,晉升到科技部層級的工作,讓我感受到實踐工作七年的工作經驗,昇華到一個我理想的高度,加上我認為自己完全可以勝任這份工作,雖然可能需要一些額外學習,但相比投入一個全新的產業,我可以更容易斜槓我的人生,不論是手搖飲品牌的管理經營,或是接下來的新工作,我可以做到兩者兼顧,所以我決定接受台大的職位,重回教育產業。


目前職位的工作內容

與先前所接觸的教育內容有什麼差異嗎?


以前在實踐大學負責的國際交流,就是比較狹義的國際交流,比較常見的業務像是處理交換學生、交換教師、暑期營隊還有一些英語的授課共創課程,還有包辦海外招生這類事宜,因為上述項目都是校務上無法割捨的事項,就是必須要辦理每年的例行公事才能維持學校的營運。


但是上述的事物,如果到了科技部全球事務科學發展中心之後用全國的層級來審視時,已經不再需要去做最基本維持學校營運的事務,反而是拉到政府的角度看,因為我們的中心主管的業務是國內頂尖大學的國際交流跟科研發展,如何讓每間學校有效利用政府提供的資源。


以目前的職務內容來講,我的眼光不會侷限在一所大學,我必須要將有限的資源,分配在所有學校無限的要求上,舉辦營隊、諾貝爾大師論壇、雙邊成果,每一個活動都要去考量到整個台灣教學環境的地域性還有每個學校的獨特性,去做活動的制定,包含經費預算、政策制定。


工作上最有挑戰性的地方,是必須要更全面性了解每間學校的發展近況,這是一個Top-down,再也不是像以前一樣是Bottom-up。除此之外,行事也不能錦衣夜行,再有使命感的政策,只要人民沒有感受到就是白搭,台灣政府最大的問題就是團隊有非常多idea,有非常棒的資源,可是每次只要施行這個政策出來,結果總是人民無感。


當我進入中心擔任管理職,我希望它不落巢臼,需要佐以商業的思維去搭配政策的執行,短短成立一年多的執行成效,幾乎讓我們成為科技部的公關單位,不是名義上的公關單位,而是因為我們把所有台灣在國際間的科研發展、國際交流成果用藉由辦公室的角度發散出去,小至 Logo、大到講座活動都設計得非常精緻,有曝光、有討論度,讓全台的大專院校、公家單位、博物館都爭先要找辦公室合作,因為我們讓外人感受到科技部把成果執行做得極具質感,藉由先例,大學才會開始省思,其實國際交流和科研交流的宣導、曝光,不再淪為紙本交差的白皮書,其實有許多辦法將它具象化的。辦公室最重要的使命還有目標,是讓人民覺得台灣的科研高教是有感的、科技所做的教育輸出跟貢獻都是有感的。


Study experience before studying abroad

As I planned to study abroad in the future before entering the university, I determined to accumulate as much international experiences as I can. My 4-year university life can be described in two stages and two perspectives of view.

My major in Tamkang University was International Business. I spent most of the time on studying and participating in student association. Meanwhile, I chose to take Japanese as my minor, hoping to cultivate my second language in order to gain more competence on the way to my future career path. When I was a freshman, I had not had a well-organized career plan and sufficient practical experiences. However, learning and developing the business knowledge and foreign languages will be the foundation for having a career diversity in the future. In addition, in order to be involved in several student associations, I developed the skill of time management and the attitude of responsibility. Accordingly, I have built up my social skill, made friends with different background, and learnt the way of cooperation, which benefited me a lot at this stage. With the experiences gained in the first and second year, I have more time to prepare and plan my future goal in advance.

Because of my efforts and experiences in the first two-year, I got the tuition-waived slot for exchange student program. I chose to be the exchange student to Charles University, Czech Republic, in my junior year. After experiencing a variety of culture and language in the student association which I have met lots of people from different countries, I believe English is only one of the languages for our basic communication. Therefore, I determined to choose a non-English speaking country to learn a third language (after English and Japanese). Also, I have the tendency of adventure and exploring new cultures and languages. There were some countries I took into consideration, which were Czech Republic, Poland, Sweden, and Austria. Eventually, I chose Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic as my destination.

Returning from my exchange student life, I started to plan how to end my university life in a more fruitful and dynamic way. Therefore, I founded a student association named Volunteers of International Service, Tamkang University (TKU VOIS). Simultaneously, I fought for the opportunity to be the 1st Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Youth Delegate representative along with Dr. Hong-tu Tsai (Chairman of the Board of Cathay Financial Holdings), Mrs. Cher Wang (Co-founder and Chairperson of HTC Corporation) and Dr. Chan Lien, the representative of Chinese Taipei, to attend the APEC Summit in Singapore in 2009. After that, I constantly put efforts to run TKUVOIS and seize opportunities of overseas visiting, which I also attended a symposium in Zhejiang University. Inspiring by studying abroad, I was eager to see the cultural differences by meeting people in different countries and understand different languages in the near future.

As my original plan to further my study after the graduation, I applied for my dream universities in Australia such as the University of New South Wales, the University of Queensland and the University of Sydney, and so on. With my outstanding academic reports and fruitful extra curriculums, I received the offer letters soon after I submit the application. However, due to the compulsory military service in Taiwan, I decided to defer the offer for one year and complete the military service first.

What makes you certain on the thought to further your study abroad?

While I was studying in Prague, I realized that my previous study methods in Tamkang University were not applicable anymore. Prague is a big city with diverse culture, and Charles University is one of the prestigious and historical universities in Eastern Europe. There were more than 1,500 exchange students from all over the world in that year; therefore, I was always surprised by the in-class discussion gathering all the various points of view and idea. To my astonishment, comparing to the learning environment in Taiwan, my classmates in Charles University were strongly interactive with the professors and each of the presentation was really challenging since all of us took it seriously all the time. No sooner had I met my Waterloo in Prague than I realized the achievements and honors I gained before were so subtle. Thanks to the experience I had in that year, I learned a big lesson. Accordingly, I determined to step out of my comfort zone and don’t let myself be a boiling frog. I insist to further my study abroad rather than in Taiwan, since I believed it was vital to challenge myself in a different environment and make myself more unique in the crowd.

What made you choose to study in Australia and how did you choose your major?

As I had tried to take various professional courses in the university, I found my favor in marketing field and decided to specialize it in the future. Much to my embarrassment, the reason why I chose to study in Australia is that there is no graduate thesis needed in master programs. Since I was not well-trained and had few experiences of writing graduate thesis, I was hesitated and tried to avoid from writing it at that time. However, the credibility of obtaining a master degree in Australian universities by course work has been doubted by the public from time to time. Thus, the only goal in my mind at that time was to choose the safest way to get a master degree from a top university in one year.

What made you choose to return to Europe rather than Australia in the end?

Few weeks before leaving the military service, I began to prepare my luggage and project plan for studying in Australia. I found out that the expense would be considerable, since the tuition was as expensive as those in the U.S., the U.K. or New Zealand, not to mention the cost of living in the big cities in Australia.

Facing this great deal of expense, I began to reconsider the necessity of getting a master immediately without work experience. In addition, I was wondering whether the profession I were going to study could benefit for my future career or not. When I was applying, I did not certainly sure what I want but what I hate. Was it really necessary to specialize in marketing if I were interested in it? I even could not find the answers to my questions eventually.

Before finding out the answers, I decided to enter the workforce first and defer the master offers. Graduating from international business and trade made me feel like working in the business field without a doubt. Unexpectedly, Shih Chien University came to me at that time and offer me a position to assist them with setting up the Office of International Affairs. This was because that I have been devoted in international affairs, participated in different kinds of international conferences, or organized several international events no matter in the university, Overseas Community Affairs Council of Taiwan, or Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Taiwan. Seldom did I thought of working in a university, for I considered there is little flexibility and variability. However, since it was an opportunity to organize a new office, I would like to seek this chance to challenge myself. There were actually lots of job contents when it comes to international affairs in a university, such as the partnership development with universities around the world. Fortunately, I found the chance to collect further information and reverify my decision for studying abroad while working in Office of International Affairs.

Upon working in the office for several years, I found out that French government is quite friendly to the international students in terms of the student welfares, especially the scholarship. Joseph Fourier Master scholarship offered plenty of subsidy, such as the VISA application fee, learning materials fee, and etc. Moreover, French government offers housing subsidy (CAF) for all the students as well, which offered me a great deal of financial support. Therefore, I was attracted and decided to choose France as my destination. Since there was still a big workload for me during my work, I did not have time to wander and hesitate; I decided to choose a French school with sufficient and open information in Taiwan. Apart from Rennes School of Business, I applied other business schools which were also highly aware among the workforce in Taiwan, such as SKEMA, NEOMA, and ESSEC. In fact, I did not intend to apply for top business schools with high rankings but not well-developed in alumni network or being well-known in Taiwan. Meanwhile, after comparing the scholarship given by each school and the cost of living in those cities, I determined to enroll in Rennes School of Business. Moreover, I was awarded both Joseph Fourier Master scholarship from French government and Talent Scholarship from Rennes School of Business.

The value given by Rennes School of Business

Did the values given by the professors or the course arrangement of Rennes SB meet your demand according to your career goal?

Honestly speaking, I realized that it is not the school or the surroundings make you successful, it is your own attitude. Only if you are aggressive and positive, the results will end up accordingly just as your expectation. No matter the school ranked top 5, 10, or even 20, it makes no difference to me. It is because that European business schools strongly put their emphasis on cultivating the independent thinking of each student, and the ability of implement what they have learned in the class.

For example, students in a class can have lots of different attitude toward their learning methods or the involvement in group discussion. European students take their academic performance really serious, and most of them have work experience already, so they are eager to enhance their professional abilities rather than doing the assignments perfunctorily. I happened to be one of them since I already had a specific career goal which was to switch my career path; therefore, I did not have the right to fool around.

One of the best parts of Rennes School of Business to me was the high rate of instructors from the industries. The instructors are usually from other cities with a tight schedule, so they definitely will not teach what we can read on textbooks, but the “case study”. They will ask the students to do research on specific case studies from the industry and to share their own practical experiences in the field. As a result, the students will have to cherish every moment in the class since the instructors are not able to spend plenty of time with you in an office unlike the full-time professors. Sometimes the instructor will only have a three-day intensive course, and the students have to digest the lectures and the comments from the instructor in a short period of time. Soon after, students have to discuss and come out with a precise presentation. It was really challenging to complete all the tasks within three days and 8 hours a day. This kind of intensive course is rather tougher than other courses since you will not able to have sufficient time to review step by step after classes.

The faculty of Rennes School of Business composed of professors and instructors with various backgrounds, coming from different countries, industries and professional fields. It makes the student access to the industry easily, having the chance to clarify their career goal in certain industries. With the comments and feedback given by those C-Level managers, I have benefited a lot on planning my career path to work in an international company.

Work experience after graduation

Although I seemed to have a specific goal, I still sometime got lost and hesitated while looking for jobs. I started to submit my resume since the second semester, and I realized that what I liked about Europe is the environment and culture diversity as well as the different languages and thinking of the people. Nevertheless, speaking of the lifestyles and the pace of life, obviously is not suitable for me who always value the efficiency the most.

Being as a workaholic, I feel like working in Asia might be more comfortable and adaptable. I sent out my resume to the companies located in Taiwan, China, Japan and South Korea, etc. According to my observation, fresh graduates in Taiwan usually have fruitful experiences of extra curriculum rather than experiences to prove their professional abilities. This problem will be the biggest weakness while finding a job, which also happened to me. I did not get any job offer at that time due to my insufficient related internship or work experience. It might also because of the previous work experience I had was in the education industry, so it is hard to see the relevance between the education and business industry.

At that moment, Shih Chien University contacted me again. They asked me to return to Office of International Affairs, and set up Chinese Language Center, which was another challenging opportunity for me. As the school willing to offer a better position and pay, along with the challenge of taking two management position, I decided to return to education field. I hoped to train myself and accumulate my work experience by the chance of organizing the Chinese Language Center as well as managing and leading the Office of International Affairs simultaneously. Moreover, I expect to develop my networking and collect more resources with the involvement in the international affairs so as to seek and incubate my next career opportunity.

The ups and downs on the road to start-up

In spite of the fact that the 7-year working life was smooth and well, I become the director of the office, and the instructor in international business department. People considered me as the youngest director or professor in the school; however, after the office turned mature and stable, I realized the position was no longer challenging to me, so I decided to resign from Shih Chien University.

I have been dreaming of running a restaurant on my own, applying the knowledge and professional abilities I obtained in the classes before. Therefore, I invested all my savings at that time for starting up a tea shop, and I implemented the marketing strategy and my teaching and managing experiences to run the shop. In the meantime, after opening one shop in my hometown Chiayi, I also started to planning another new shop in Taipei, and establish an online brand.

Before starting up my own business, I was hesitating whether to remain my position at the university with a stable income and lead a cozy life. There were lots of chances for business trips and meeting other education workers from different countries, and even have the opportunity to involve in industry-academia cooperation. Those wide varieties seemed promising to my future career, and I could even have a chance to get a doctoral degree, then seek for higher position in the university. Nevertheless, driven by the reality, I believe that if I have not started my business in my year of 30s, I will not bold to take this challenge in the future.

What makes the phoenix returns to its nest?

Undergone all the ups and downs of starting the business, I suffered from the fatigue both mentally and physically. I tried to deal with all the preparation on my own, from the interior construction, product development to marketing strategy, and even the warehouse and storage management. It was a significant challenge for me to manage all the things without any experience, but opening a tea shop is actually easier to pick it up comparing to other industries. When the business has been on the track, the rest of the parts will be the adaption to the market and optimize our strategies according to the consumer behavior. Therefore, that was another turning point which made me start to plan for my next career goal.

Coincidentally, I received a job offer from National Taiwan University. They offered me a position which is to assist them with promoting the science and technology international cooperation and development, and work with Ministry of Science and Technology of Taiwan. However, it was another new challenge for me to get to know the international S&T cooperation and development within a short period. Although it takes time to learn new terminology and abilities, I consider it would be easier for me rather than shifting to a brand-new industry. Working in an upper level in a government institution, I finally well-leveraged the work experiences accumulated in the past in terms of the higher education and international mobility. Since the position seemed to meet my expectation, and I considered that I could strike the balance between these two jobs, so I took the offer and started my Slashie life.

Please share your job in National Taiwan University.

The position and job contents in Shih Chien University mostly were partnership development, exchange students/faculties cooperation, short-term program organization, international student recruitment, etc. and manage the English-taught programs. The above work is usually the main jobs for internationalization development in the university, so it was necessary for me to go through those daily routines in order to sustain the office operation.

Regarding my current job in Center for Global Affairs and Science Engagement (GASE), Ministry of Science and Technology, my job is no longer basic routines of the office operation, but the international cooperation and S&T development in top universities in Taiwan. Our main mission is to evaluate and observe deliberately from the governmental aspect to distribute the resources to each university, and even stimulate the international cooperation among the industries, governments, and academic institutions.

As for my main job, instead of focusing on one specific university, I have to distribute the limited resources to meet the unlimited requirements from each university. We organize events such as Global Talent Internship Program, Nobel Laureate Lectures, International Symposiums, and etc. The organization and the size of each event should be evaluated according to the geomatics and uniqueness of current higher education environment in Taiwan, and even to consider the trade-off between the expectation from the industry and government.

Positioning as a manager of GASE, I prefer not to follow the beaten path while leading my team. Therefore, I hope to implement the policies with a business mindset which we had successfully reached our brand “GASE” out to the public. Established within one year, we have assisted Ministry of Science and Technology with promoting their recent international research cooperation results by community-oriented approaches as well as holding lectures and forums opened to the public. We have raised our brand awareness and media exposure, becoming one of the inevitable teams in Ministry of Science and Technology. Plenty of higher education institutions, government institutions, and industries started to approach us seeking for cooperation opportunities. However, the main vision and mission of the center is to make our people more sensitive to our science and technology research results in higher education, and our technological devotion and contribution to the education, which covered our mission off recruiting, nurturing, and cherish the talents.


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