Kaiyu Xiao came to Denmark from China to do a PhD in law. Not long after her studies, she had the unique opportunity for a position in Blue World Technologies as an executive assistant, and now her position has grown into Head of Executive Office.
During Kaiyu’s PhD research at Aarhus University, she decided to settle in Denmark. She was looking for a job in the focus of her advantage areas; being a Chinese national, the Chinese language, her education in law, and not the least, her speciality in intellectual property. Those were the keywords she used searching for a job.
She had two job opportunities: either as an IPR Lawyer or as an Executive Assistant at Blue World Technologies. Due to very successful and down to earth interviews at Blue World, she decided to take the job as Executive Assistant.
As Kaiyu has competencies beyond the requirements for the position, she has been gaining more and more responsibility. She is now Head of Executive Office in Blue World and is considered personal assistant to the Chief Executive Officer. Anders has the function to manage the whole company and her task is to support him. By the Chief Executive Officer maintaining relationships with shareholders and investors, Kaiyu’s tasks are to organise investor meetings, general meetings, board meetings and company management meetings, to handle legal documents in relation to that, and to act as ad-hoc interpreter in meetings with Chinese stakeholders. Additionally, she is supporting the Commercial team with interacting with Chinese business partners, the Technology team with managing the IPR portfolio, and the PR & Communication with press release translations.
Flat company structure
One of the things that also really appeals to Kaiyu, is the flat hierarchical structure in the company. She already experienced it at the interview, as Anders was an atypical Chief Executive Officer from what she had experienced before.
Kaiyu also stated that the relaxed environment she experienced in the job interviews also represents the culture of the company – everyone is appreciated. Even though the environment is relaxed, it is not unserious. Everyone is dedicated to making the company succeed.
Kaiyu has previously worked at other Danish companies and explained that it is not always easy to be a foreigner in a company especially if the company culture is not pro internationalise. Even though foreigners are often very valuable to companies, it takes a lot of fieldwork for them to test and understand what Danish colleagues are expecting of you and how you get along. She explains that you kind of have to learn by yourself, especially with the language barriers and cultural differences when everyone else is Dane – and you have to learn their rules of how you socialise. However, she states that it is not the case when working in Blue World Technologies.
In Kaiyu’s daily work she is part of the administration department. Even though she is the only non-Dane in her department, she rarely notices their different cultures as the department is very open, and there is room for difference, not just cultural differences. The personal differences prevail over other differences which makes the department comfortable.
The social aspect is also an important element for Kaiyu. It is not only the work that is in focus in the company, but also that there is room for getting to know her colleagues privately. The company is very focused on the employees to have the best circumstances of getting to know each other, also across departments.