5 Minutes With… IPWS Board Member Vanessa Narvios

In our 5 Minutes With… series, we’re speaking to remarkable women about their career highlights, challenges, who they admire and advice they have for other women. 


Vanessa Narvios (pictured right) with fellow Board Member Amelia Chappelow

In this edition of 5 Minutes With… IPWS Board Member & Events Executive Vanessa Narvios! 

What’s your name? What do you do, and how long have you been in Shanghai? Vanessa Narvios. I’m the Operations Director for the company that produces Brawl on the Bund, which is a white collar charity boxing event in Shanghai, Beijing, Taipei, Macau and expanding to Seoul in July on 2017. We’ve just completed our 2nd season of our reality TV show. We are launching an application in late February, which brings boxing fitness to all!

What do you think is unique about being a professional woman in Shanghai? The sky is really the limit! You have the freedom to do and be anything that you want here. It’s a great place to explore new opportunities and develop your skills or venture into the unknown and uncomfortable.

My biggest career challenge has been… Hahahaha…. My everyday…. Our company motto used to be, “Expect problems and eat them for breakfast.” Due to the nature of the event business, and being at the forefront of an industry and sport in China, there is a lot if room for opportunities, but also for challenges. That’s one of the best parts about living in Shanghai though, you literally never know what the day will throw at you. It’s exciting….and sometimes exhausting. Mostly exciting though.

My advice to other female professionals in Shanghai is… Persistence wears down resistance. This is sometimes a ruthless place to live, that doesn’t mean however that it doesn’t come with high rewards…..it just means that the road to get there might be a bit bumpy. If you’re persistent, and keep striving for what you want, it will ultimately come!

A work or career highlight has been… One of the great parts of my job is that my boss is flexible. When he sees a good learning opportunity or area for growth, he’s keen for us to take advantage of it. This year, I was fortunate enough to have been asked to assist with the European Golf Tour in Shenzhen for a week helping to train the volunteers. Little did I know I’d be overseeing roughly 400 volunteers that week. All in Chinese! It was so inspiring to instruct all these people everyday, even though my Chinese was no where near perfect, by the end of the week, my level had skyrocketed. It was intense to say the least. I was incredibly proud of myself, and thankful to have been offered the opportunity to prove myself. I’m also thankful to my boss for letting me go, it was such a great experience.

What I like most about my current position is… I’m in a leadership role. My team depend on me to lead them to be successful. That’s a great feeling. I know they can count on me and they know I will lead them in the right direction. It’s inspiring!

The career woman I admire most is… My mom, undoubtedly. She has always been my role model. She manages several hospitals and hundreds of people daily, in incredibly stressful life and death situations. It puts my work stress into perspective very quickly. I’ve always said, if I can be half as smart as she is, that’d be more than I could ask for.

I am passionate about… Travel, without a doubt! I love exploring and meeting new people. I love indulging, relaxing and embracing the finer things of life. I work incredibly hard, and I’m not shy about treating myself. I don’t spend my money on things, I’d rather have a passport full stamps. Traveling the world with my friends and family to make memories that will last a lifetime is what fuels me to work so hard.