Every month International Professional Women’s Society (IPWS) selects an outstanding member to share their experience and story about living in Shanghai and this month we’ve asked Julia Zhu a range of questions, let’s see what she has to say!
Julia Zhu started participating in IPWS events from Spring 2016, and has been a member ever since! Julia grew up in Northeast China and moved to the UK to complete her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in International and European Business Law. After graduation, she started her career in a small practice in the City of London. Julia then moved into the training sector as a Business Development Manager and after six years, she has developed a real passion for business and the international community.
She now works in Shanghai as a Wealth Manager at the deVere Group, an international independent financial consultancy. Julia’s role is to evaluate individual expatriates’ financial circumstances, provide tailored advice and recommended solutions to meet their needs. Her ultimate goal is to help her clients take advantage of their expat life, and achieve medium to long term financial security. With Julia’s personality being a driven individual, she has handled lots of different workplace situations. Julia’s advice about what makes her a successful professional women, “I don’t simply give my clients financial advice, but I tend to get to know them and build a personal relationship with them. On top of this, it has expanded my own knowledge of different cultures, which is a passion of mine!”
Life does get very busy in Shanghai, as we all know, and there are always constant challenges that arise and we are faced with. Being in the Financial Services industry in China hasn’t been a smooth journey for Julia, because it’s a male-dominated industry with a very competitive environment, but also people seem to have a mixed experience with the industry. With a strong entrepreneurial spirit and always having been persistent, Julia has overcome those challenges through providing sound advice, and high levels of service to her clients. By implementing her belief that ‘service is everything’, she has built a stable client base and expanded her business within the company through referrals.
On a personal note, having lived in the UK for 11 years, it may surprise you to learn that Julia has experienced reverse culture shock. However, she has adjusted well after living in Shanghai for 2 years, and that is thanks to the diverse culture of Shanghai and her international client base.
For those who are also new to Shanghai, Julia suggests to be “patient with Shanghai and people in China.” People always say Shanghai is a ‘love-hate’ relationship, Julia totally agrees. As one of the most international cities, Shanghai has so much to offer. “The career and business opportunities in Shanghai are not available anywhere else,” she says, “immerse yourself amongst the international culture and successful entrepreneurs.”
Julia found it very helpful to connect with other expats, both on the professional and personal level. “It’s important to expand one’s network,” she says “because we are now living in a globalised world and one ought to have an international mindset to be really successful.”
“It’s also equally important to get out of Shanghai to get some fresh air and connect with nature once in a while!” says Julia. “On your return, you will feel refreshed both physically and mentally. Then you can excel to the next level. “
Julia not only joined IPWS to be inspired and encouraged by like-minded women, but also to encourage other women as well. She likes making friends with people from different countries and all walks of life. The best thing about connecting with professional women for Julia is to learn from and be inspired by other women, but also encourage others. Julia believes that “Together we can make a difference”.
As for her membership with IPWS, Julia would love to be involved with charities, and she’d love to see IPWS be more involved & possibly to also connect more with the local community, and make a difference in younger people, especially women’s lives.”
IPWS currently works with the World Academy for the Future of Women (raising funds in 2016’s Women Leadership Awards in their name) and we look forward establishing more partnerships in the future!
Thank you to Julia for her time and being a part of our powerful women society! If you’d like to join Julia as an IPWS Member, find all the details on our Membership page!