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Abe Sorock Leads U.S.-China Talent Placement Start Up / 引领中美人才配置 推动商业发展和互信

“Abe Sorock HNC ’10 Leads U.S.-China Talent Placement Start Up to Boost Business Development, Mutual Understanding”

Author: Cristina Garafola
2012-09-18
Two years ago in May 2010, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton officially launched President Obama’s “100,000 Strong Initiative” in Beijing to expand the number and diversity of young Americans studying in China.Fast-forward to 2012, and the program is picking up steam, with support from Washington and Beijing as well as the private sector in both countries.But after these students graduate from high school and college and look to develop their careers in China or a China-related field, how can they find dynamic jobs in companies that can best leverage their talents? For companies in China both domestic and multinational, how can they find bilingual and cross-cultural young professionals that meet their needs? Enter ATLAS, a start-up founded this year by HNC ’10 alumnus Abe Sorock. ATLAS aims to link up bilingual and culturally competent recent graduates with companies operating in China that seek to expand their businesses, especially into second and third tier city markets. NanjingConnect.com sat down with Sorock to find out how ATLAS works and how businesses can harness ATLAS to enhance their cross-cultural business capabilities.
Q: Talk about your own background studying Chinese and China—what made you want to focus your career on China and in China?
“I started studying Mandarin in college, studied abroad in Beijing and spent a year at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center after graduation. My initial interest in China came from a desire to learn more about the classical Chinese philosophies which present such a different view of the self and society than those in the Western tradition. Learning more about these philosophical differences and how they manifest in business and in other aspects of contemporary Chinese culture convinced me that there currently exists a tremendous need to help Westerners and Chinese manage expectations and engage each other constructively.”
Q: How does ATLAS work?
· For companies operating in China?
“Chinese and Western companies engage ATLAS to find and support bilingual Westerners who will add value to their operations in China. We work with companies to identify specifically cross-cultural needs and help our clients recruit, retain and develop talent effectively in order to achieve their business goals.”
For young bilingual professionals?
We are always accepting resumes from bilingual professionals who are interested in working for ATLAS client companies in China. We screen candidates to evaluate their suitability for positions with our clients and if they are successfully hired, we provide support services to reduce their learning curve, guide their professional development and enhance their ability to create value for their employers.
Q: Why focus on second and third tier markets? Do you see them as the new frontier in international business in China?
“Absolutely. Beijing and Shanghai are thoroughly international cities that attract professionals from all over the world. There are another hundred cities in China with at least a million people, an emerging middle class, new consumers, new development opportunities, and new transportation infrastructure—but limited experience dealing with foreigners locally and a limited ability to attract the kind of international talent that could facilitate deeper engagement with the rest of the world. Rationally speaking, in terms of creating economic value, Beijing and Shanghai should probably have fewer international professionals and the rest of the country should have more and the ATLAS platform can help bring that about.”
Q: Any challenges you’ve run into as you’ve been developing your business?
Sorock says that as with many SMEs, distribution can be a challenge: it’s difficult to find “the people in position to purchase the products,” or, in this case, determine who at the company has the sense of vision to advocate hiring bilingual young professionals. Finding those advocates makes the link up process between a company and a young graduate run much more smoothly. In terms of matching up recent graduates with companies, Sorock notes that not all young professionals are willing or able to partner with companies in second and third tier Chinese cities. For some bilingual grads, family concerns or student loans may be other obstacles to leaping into a position in an emerging city.
Q: What kind of skills do ATLAS-affiliated professionals have that can help businesses take their international expansion to the next level?
“The conventional wisdom on cultural knowledge is due for a major shift from the realm of ‘soft skill’ to ‘key business competency.’ In order to get an agreement drawn up, signed and seen through to completion, people on both sides of a deal need to thoroughly understand their counterparts—and too often Sino-Foreign deals are derailed because that understanding proves superficial at best. ATLAS professionals have the cultural, linguistic and business skills that our clients need to operate effectively in a new business environment, and these professionals’ placement in China can greatly enhance a company’s ability to process information and to build relationships over time.”
Q: In “Go East for Your Country, Young Americans,” an article for The Diplomatic Courier, you and your co-author wrote that “To preserve competitiveness, American institutions, businesses, and individuals must create mutually beneficial networks that draw upon diverse strengths as America adapts to a world driven by growth beyond its borders. It is vital that more young American professionals go to China to develop the language skills and cultural knowledge needed to ensure that this generation becomes responsible stewards of the U.S.-China relationship.” How do you envision current or incoming members of the ATLAS network playing a role in the U.S.-China relationship in 10 or 20 years?
“ATLAS professionals’ jobs are likely to be taxing in a variety of ways, not least for the culturally immersive responsibilities that our professionals are expected to take on in a highly sensitive and competitive business environment. That being said, ATLAS professionals will be able to utilize their experience thus far to cultivate a deep experiential understanding of international business and society in China. If you look back into the histories of many of today’s current leaders in the US-China relationship, they were pushing their limits at the beginning of their careers by pursuing growth opportunities within their powers but well outside of their comfort zones. Particularly as some of China’s emerging market cities become more prominent commercial centers, American ATLAS professionals will be able to leverage their knowledge of and experience in these areas to take on constructive leadership roles in the next generation of US-China engagement.”
Q: Do you have any advice for small or medium-sized businesses looking to hire recent graduates who are fluent in Chinese and Chinese culture?
“Well, of course I’m for it! ATLAS is not fundamentally about job placement so much as job creation—positions like these for recent graduates were not as necessary before, nor were there necessarily the right candidates to fill them, but in the current business environment and looking at the talent pool that has developed in recent years, bringing someone aboard with a cross-cultural background and fluency can be a sensible investment that eliminates a number of seemingly disparate issues that are not addressed in the current staffing configuration. So I think companies that realize this and take advantage will become more competitive than companies that are not as adaptable. There can be, however, some difficulties in managing expectations on both sides, reducing turnover and making the most out of the arrangement which are all problems that ATLAS helps companies solve.”
——————————————————————————————————————–
If you want to learn more about ATLAS, Abe Sorock can be reached at 邮箱是abe@atlas-china.com. ATLAS’s website is www.atlas-china.com.
Writer: Cristina Garafola, Hopkins Nanjing Center Certificate 2011-2012

引领中美人才配置 推动商业发展和互信——访HNC2010届校友Abe Sorock

作者:Cristina Garafola
2012-09-18
两年前,也就是2010年5月,美国国务卿希拉里·克林顿在北京正式启动了奥巴马总统的“十万强计划”,旨在增加到中国留学的美国年轻人的数量并推动其多样性。到2012年,在中美两国政府及一些私人部门的支持下,这项计划已经得到了很好的发展。然而,当这些从高中和大学毕业的学生在中国或与中国相关的领域寻求职业发展时,他们如何能够找到发挥其聪明才智的理想工作呢?中国的本土公司以及跨国公司如何才能找到跨文化的双语人才来满足它们的需求呢?为此,我们采访了ATLAS的创始人,HNC2010届校友Abe Sorock先生。ATLAS成立于今年,致力于将精通双语并熟悉两国文化的应届生和那些在中国经营并希望扩展业务的公司联系起来。它更关注于中国二三线城市的市场。
问:请谈谈您个人学习中文和认识中国的经历,是什么促使您将事业集中于中国并在中国开展起来?
答:我在大学的时候开始学习普通话,然后在北京留学。毕业之后,在霍普金斯-南京大学中美中心学习一年。我最初对中国的兴趣源于中国传统哲学,它代表了一种完全不同于西方的关于个体和社会的观点。在深入了解了这些哲学与西方的差异,以及它们在当今中国的商业及其它方面的表现之后,我确信当下存在一种巨大的需求,那就是帮西方人和中国人建立合作关系并达到他们的要求。
问:ATLAS是如何运作的?
答:在中国运营的公司方面: 中国和西方的公司雇佣ATLAS来为他们寻找有双语能力的外国人来提升他们在中国的运营价值。我们与公司一同确认他们特殊的跨文化需求,并帮助客户进行有效地招聘,留下人才以实现他们的商业目标。
年轻的双语专业人员方面:我们一直接收双语专业人员的简历,只要他们有兴趣为ATLAS在中国的客户公司工作。我们对应聘者的筛选基于客户的需求。如果应聘者被成功录用,我们会提供支持性的服务来缩短学习时间,指导专业发展并提升他们为雇主创造价值的能力。
问:为什么集中在二三线市场呢?您把它们看作是中国国际商务的新前沿吗?
答:完全正确。北京和上海是彻头彻尾的国际化城市,吸引着全世界的人才。在中国,人口百万以上的城市至少有一百座,在那里正在出现新的中产阶级,新的消费群和新的发展机会,还有新的交通设施,但这些城市的人与外国人打交道的经验有限,吸引国际人才以便促进与世界其他国家交往的能力有限。理性的讲,在创造经济价值方面,北京和上海本应有更少的国际人才,其他地区应该有更多的人才,ALTAS的平台能够帮它变成现实。
问:您在商业发展过程中遇到过何种挑战?
Sorock认为在与中小企业的接触过程中,分配是一个挑战,也就是说要找到“在适当的位置上消费产品的人”比较困难,或者,在这种情况下,确定公司里谁有眼光支持雇佣双语的年轻专业人员。找到这样的支持者使得公司和年轻毕业生之间联系更加顺利。提到最近的毕业生和公司的匹配,Sorock指出并不是所有的年轻专业人员愿意或能够与中国二三线城市的公司合作。对于一些双语毕业生而言,家庭的担心或者学生贷款可能会成为另外的障碍,他们不能跳到新兴城市的职位上。
问:在这篇给外交信使的文章“年轻的美国人,为了你的国家到东方去”中,您和您的合著者写到:“为了保持竞争力,美国的机构、商业和个人必须创造互利的网络,随着美国适应这个由边界之外的增长驱动的世界,这一网络将动用多种力量。更多年轻的美国人才去中国发展需要的语言能力和学习文化知识是重要的,这可以确保这一代人成为中美关系可靠的管理员。”那么,您对ATLAS网络目前或即将引进的员工,在未来十到二十年将扮演的角色有怎样的预想呢?
答:ATLAS员工的工作在很多方面都是繁重的,尤其是在文化渗透责任上,我们的人才被期待在高度敏感和竞争的商业环境中得到认可。话虽如此,ATLAS的员工将会用自身经验促进对全球商业和中国社会的深入理解。如果回顾历史,会发现今天许多中美关系的领导人在职业生涯的开始阶段,通过寻找不安逸的成长机会试图来摆脱限制。尤其是随着中国的一些新兴城市逐渐成为重要的商业中心,美国ATLAS员工将能够在这些地区运用他们的知识和经验,并在下一代中美关系中担当重要的领导角色。
问:您对那些想要雇佣汉语流利并熟知中国文化的应届生的中小企业有哪些建议?
答:当然了,我就是做这个的。从根本上说,ATLAS并不是安置工作而是创造工作:从前,这些给应届生的职位并不是如此必要,也没有合适的应聘者与之相对。但是在当前的商业环境下,考虑到近年来发展起来的人才库,引进有跨文化背景的人才会是一笔明智的投资。这一投资将会消除许多表面上不相干而目前人才配置没有解决的问题。所以我认为,意识到这一点并加以利用的公司将比那些适应力不是很强的公司更具有竞争力。然而,这些公司在达到双方预期,降低离职率及充分利用这种安排方面会存在困难,这也正是ATLAS要帮助他们解决的难题。
如果想更多的了解ATLAS,可以联系Abe Sorock <a title=”邮箱是abe@atlas-china.com” href=”邮箱是abe@atlas-china.com” target=”_blank”>邮箱是abe@atlas-china.com</a>
ATLAS 网站地址 <a title=”atlas-china.com” href=”www.atlas-china.com” target=”_blank”>www.atlas-china.com</a>
作者:Cristina Garafola,中美中心证书项目 2011-2012
译者:赵赫,中美中心证书项目 2011-2012

“Abe Sorock HNC ’10 Leads U.S.-China Talent Placement Start Up to Boost Business Development, Mutual Understanding”

Author: Cristina Garafola
2012-09-18

Two years ago in May 2010, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton officially launched President Obama’s “100,000 Strong Initiative” in Beijing to expand the number and diversity of young Americans studying in China.Fast-forward to 2012, and the program is picking up steam, with support from Washington and Beijing as well as the private sector in both countries.But after these students graduate from high school and college and look to develop their careers in China or a China-related field, how can they find dynamic jobs in companies that can best leverage their talents? For companies in China both domestic and multinational, how can they find bilingual and cross-cultural young professionals that meet their needs? Enter ATLAS, a start-up founded this year by HNC ’10 alumnus Abe Sorock. ATLAS aims to link up bilingual and culturally competent recent graduates with companies operating in China that seek to expand their businesses, especially into second and third tier city markets. NanjingConnect.com sat down with Sorock to find out how ATLAS works and how businesses can harness ATLAS to enhance their cross-cultural business capabilities.

Q: Talk about your own background studying Chinese and China—what made you want to focus your career on China and in China?

“I started studying Mandarin in college, studied abroad in Beijing and spent a year at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center after graduation. My initial interest in China came from a desire to learn more about the classical Chinese philosophies which present such a different view of the self and society than those in the Western tradition. Learning more about these philosophical differences and how they manifest in business and in other aspects of contemporary Chinese culture convinced me that there currently exists a tremendous need to help Westerners and Chinese manage expectations and engage each other constructively.”

Q: How does ATLAS work?
· For companies operating in China?
“Chinese and Western companies engage ATLAS to find and support bilingual Westerners who will add value to their operations in China. We work with companies to identify specifically cross-cultural needs and help our clients recruit, retain and develop talent effectively in order to achieve their business goals.”

For young bilingual professionals?
We are always accepting resumes from bilingual professionals who are interested in working for ATLAS client companies in China. We screen candidates to evaluate their suitability for positions with our clients and if they are successfully hired, we provide support services to reduce their learning curve, guide their professional development and enhance their ability to create value for their employers.

Q: Why focus on second and third tier markets? Do you see them as the new frontier in international business in China?

“Absolutely. Beijing and Shanghai are thoroughly international cities that attract professionals from all over the world. There are another hundred cities in China with at least a million people, an emerging middle class, new consumers, new development opportunities, and new transportation infrastructure—but limited experience dealing with foreigners locally and a limited ability to attract the kind of international talent that could facilitate deeper engagement with the rest of the world. Rationally speaking, in terms of creating economic value, Beijing and Shanghai should probably have fewer international professionals and the rest of the country should have more and the ATLAS platform can help bring that about.”

Q: Any challenges you’ve run into as you’ve been developing your business?

Sorock says that as with many SMEs, distribution can be a challenge: it’s difficult to find “the people in position to purchase the products,” or, in this case, determine who at the company has the sense of vision to advocate hiring bilingual young professionals. Finding those advocates makes the link up process between a company and a young graduate run much more smoothly. In terms of matching up recent graduates with companies, Sorock notes that not all young professionals are willing or able to partner with companies in second and third tier Chinese cities. For some bilingual grads, family concerns or student loans may be other obstacles to leaping into a position in an emerging city.

Q: What kind of skills do ATLAS-affiliated professionals have that can help businesses take their international expansion to the next level?

“The conventional wisdom on cultural knowledge is due for a major shift from the realm of ‘soft skill’ to ‘key business competency.’ In order to get an agreement drawn up, signed and seen through to completion, people on both sides of a deal need to thoroughly understand their counterparts—and too often Sino-Foreign deals are derailed because that understanding proves superficial at best. ATLAS professionals have the cultural, linguistic and business skills that our clients need to operate effectively in a new business environment, and these professionals’ placement in China can greatly enhance a company’s ability to process information and to build relationships over time.”

Q: In “Go East for Your Country, Young Americans,” an article for The Diplomatic Courier, you and your co-author wrote that “To preserve competitiveness, American institutions, businesses, and individuals must create mutually beneficial networks that draw upon diverse strengths as America adapts to a world driven by growth beyond its borders. It is vital that more young American professionals go to China to develop the language skills and cultural knowledge needed to ensure that this generation becomes responsible stewards of the U.S.-China relationship.” How do you envision current or incoming members of the ATLAS network playing a role in the U.S.-China relationship in 10 or 20 years?

“ATLAS professionals’ jobs are likely to be taxing in a variety of ways, not least for the culturally immersive responsibilities that our professionals are expected to take on in a highly sensitive and competitive business environment. That being said, ATLAS professionals will be able to utilize their experience thus far to cultivate a deep experiential understanding of international business and society in China. If you look back into the histories of many of today’s current leaders in the US-China relationship, they were pushing their limits at the beginning of their careers by pursuing growth opportunities within their powers but well outside of their comfort zones. Particularly as some of China’s emerging market cities become more prominent commercial centers, American ATLAS professionals will be able to leverage their knowledge of and experience in these areas to take on constructive leadership roles in the next generation of US-China engagement.”

Q: Do you have any advice for small or medium-sized businesses looking to hire recent graduates who are fluent in Chinese and Chinese culture?

“Well, of course I’m for it! ATLAS is not fundamentally about job placement so much as job creation—positions like these for recent graduates were not as necessary before, nor were there necessarily the right candidates to fill them, but in the current business environment and looking at the talent pool that has developed in recent years, bringing someone aboard with a cross-cultural background and fluency can be a sensible investment that eliminates a number of seemingly disparate issues that are not addressed in the current staffing configuration. So I think companies that realize this and take advantage will become more competitive than companies that are not as adaptable. There can be, however, some difficulties in managing expectations on both sides, reducing turnover and making the most out of the arrangement which are all problems that ATLAS helps companies solve.”

——————————————————————————————————————–
If you want to learn more about ATLAS, Abe Sorock can be reached at 邮箱是abe@atlas-china.com. ATLAS’s website is www.atlas-china.com.
Writer: Cristina Garafola, Hopkins Nanjing Center Certificate 2011-2012

引领中美人才配置 推动商业发展和互信——访HNC2010届校友Abe Sorock

作者:Cristina Garafola
2012-09-18

两年前,也就是2010年5月,美国国务卿希拉里·克林顿在北京正式启动了奥巴马总统的“十万强计划”,旨在增加到中国留学的美国年轻人的数量并推动其多样性。到2012年,在中美两国政府及一些私人部门的支持下,这项计划已经得到了很好的发展。然而,当这些从高中和大学毕业的学生在中国或与中国相关的领域寻求职业发展时,他们如何能够找到发挥其聪明才智的理想工作呢?中国的本土公司以及跨国公司如何才能找到跨文化的双语人才来满足它们的需求呢?为此,我们采访了ATLAS的创始人,HNC2010届校友Abe Sorock先生。ATLAS成立于今年,致力于将精通双语并熟悉两国文化的应届生和那些在中国经营并希望扩展业务的公司联系起来。它更关注于中国二三线城市的市场。

问:请谈谈您个人学习中文和认识中国的经历,是什么促使您将事业集中于中国并在中国开展起来?
答:我在大学的时候开始学习普通话,然后在北京留学。毕业之后,在霍普金斯-南京大学中美中心学习一年。我最初对中国的兴趣源于中国传统哲学,它代表了一种完全不同于西方的关于个体和社会的观点。在深入了解了这些哲学与西方的差异,以及它们在当今中国的商业及其它方面的表现之后,我确信当下存在一种巨大的需求,那就是帮西方人和中国人建立合作关系并达到他们的要求。

问:ATLAS是如何运作的?
答:在中国运营的公司方面: 中国和西方的公司雇佣ATLAS来为他们寻找有双语能力的外国人来提升他们在中国的运营价值。我们与公司一同确认他们特殊的跨文化需求,并帮助客户进行有效地招聘,留下人才以实现他们的商业目标。
年轻的双语专业人员方面:我们一直接收双语专业人员的简历,只要他们有兴趣为ATLAS在中国的客户公司工作。我们对应聘者的筛选基于客户的需求。如果应聘者被成功录用,我们会提供支持性的服务来缩短学习时间,指导专业发展并提升他们为雇主创造价值的能力。

问:为什么集中在二三线市场呢?您把它们看作是中国国际商务的新前沿吗?
答:完全正确。北京和上海是彻头彻尾的国际化城市,吸引着全世界的人才。在中国,人口百万以上的城市至少有一百座,在那里正在出现新的中产阶级,新的消费群和新的发展机会,还有新的交通设施,但这些城市的人与外国人打交道的经验有限,吸引国际人才以便促进与世界其他国家交往的能力有限。理性的讲,在创造经济价值方面,北京和上海本应有更少的国际人才,其他地区应该有更多的人才,ALTAS的平台能够帮它变成现实。

问:您在商业发展过程中遇到过何种挑战?
Sorock认为在与中小企业的接触过程中,分配是一个挑战,也就是说要找到“在适当的位置上消费产品的人”比较困难,或者,在这种情况下,确定公司里谁有眼光支持雇佣双语的年轻专业人员。找到这样的支持者使得公司和年轻毕业生之间联系更加顺利。提到最近的毕业生和公司的匹配,Sorock指出并不是所有的年轻专业人员愿意或能够与中国二三线城市的公司合作。对于一些双语毕业生而言,家庭的担心或者学生贷款可能会成为另外的障碍,他们不能跳到新兴城市的职位上。
问:在这篇给外交信使的文章“年轻的美国人,为了你的国家到东方去”中,您和您的合著者写到:“为了保持竞争力,美国的机构、商业和个人必须创造互利的网络,随着美国适应这个由边界之外的增长驱动的世界,这一网络将动用多种力量。更多年轻的美国人才去中国发展需要的语言能力和学习文化知识是重要的,这可以确保这一代人成为中美关系可靠的管理员。”那么,您对ATLAS网络目前或即将引进的员工,在未来十到二十年将扮演的角色有怎样的预想呢?
答:ATLAS员工的工作在很多方面都是繁重的,尤其是在文化渗透责任上,我们的人才被期待在高度敏感和竞争的商业环境中得到认可。话虽如此,ATLAS的员工将会用自身经验促进对全球商业和中国社会的深入理解。如果回顾历史,会发现今天许多中美关系的领导人在职业生涯的开始阶段,通过寻找不安逸的成长机会试图来摆脱限制。尤其是随着中国的一些新兴城市逐渐成为重要的商业中心,美国ATLAS员工将能够在这些地区运用他们的知识和经验,并在下一代中美关系中担当重要的领导角色。
问:您对那些想要雇佣汉语流利并熟知中国文化的应届生的中小企业有哪些建议?
答:当然了,我就是做这个的。从根本上说,ATLAS并不是安置工作而是创造工作:从前,这些给应届生的职位并不是如此必要,也没有合适的应聘者与之相对。但是在当前的商业环境下,考虑到近年来发展起来的人才库,引进有跨文化背景的人才会是一笔明智的投资。这一投资将会消除许多表面上不相干而目前人才配置没有解决的问题。所以我认为,意识到这一点并加以利用的公司将比那些适应力不是很强的公司更具有竞争力。然而,这些公司在达到双方预期,降低离职率及充分利用这种安排方面会存在困难,这也正是ATLAS要帮助他们解决的难题。

如果想更多的了解ATLAS,可以联系Abe Sorock 邮箱是abe@atlas-china.com
ATLAS 网站地址 www.atlas-china.com
作者:Cristina Garafola,中美中心证书项目 2011-2012
译者:赵赫,中美中心证书项目 2011-2012

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