A career in Hong Kong, Sweden, then Paris with Schneider Electric

A career in Hong Kong, Sweden, then Paris with Schneider Electric

 April 29, 2021

"The best office is no office at all," says Vanner Ka-Ying Chow, Global Event Lead for the Home & Distribution Division at Schneider Electric.

Born and raised in Hong Kong, Vanner holds a BA in Sociology and MA in Communication. She started at Schneider Electric as a Graphic Designer Intern in Hong Kong, then after one year she moved to Stockholm, Sweden as a Global Marketing Manager for the Retail Segments. Recently she relocated to Paris in France as she picked up an event position in Global Marketing with a focus on customer experience. In her spare time Vanner enjoys going to art museums and does classic boxing.

Vanner reflects on her journey as a traveling millennial.

An ideal workplace environment at Schneider Electric

Hong Kong

Vanner recollects a note she left herself when she graduated from high school: “I will not have a boring 9-5 office job”, she wrote. 

There are a few things that Vanner looks for in a job: excitement around her all the time; meeting new people with different backgrounds and mindsets; an environment that enables her to express her ideas; trust from upper management and her team; and a peaceful workstream.

"You might think that I actually have a checklist for job applications, but no, these are the exact reasons why I am loyal to Schneider Electric," she adds.

Working in Schneider Electric's Global Hubs

Schneider Electric

At Schneider Electric, Vanner is living a journey that 10-year-old her would have never imagined. She moved from her hometown Hong Kong to the northern hemisphere, Stockholm and lived there for one and a half years. After that, she moved again to what she describes as "the city of everything", Paris.

"I could tell you that the struggle in the popular Netflix show “Emily in Paris” is real to me. Even though I have done my bachelor’s degree in Taiwan, living in Europe is a totally different story. The language, the culture, the food, the people, the metro lines…being in an unfamiliar place, everything becomes a challenge. However, I was lucky. I started from Hong Kong. In this company, we do not have so-called headquarters," she explains. 

"Instead, we have “Global Hubs”, including Hong Kong, Boston, and Paris. I remember in the HK office, we had many expats, pretty much 2/3 of the population there. I was lucky because I made friends with the expats who gave me a sneak-peak of the French culture. They would organize raclette and wine gathering, they would teach me some basic French slang," she adds.

"In exchange, I have also given them a taste of HK like taking them to local restaurants and introducing my local friends to them. What surprised me, was that my colleagues actually know more about HK than me even though I was born and raised there! I would not have expected to have such a cultural exchange when I went back to HK after college. But I did, and that was a great year that I would never forget."

Schneider Electric supported her relocation  

Working in Paris

This move hasn’t been as easy as moving to Stockholm from Hong Kong, because Vanner arrived two weeks before the national lockdown. "I wouldn’t lie to you that everything is great and dreamy here. Because of the confinement, there are many days that I just look at the window and stare at the sky and imagine that I was sitting by the Seine enjoying the sun," she explains. "My friends at Schneider helped me a great deal with settling down in Paris. I had support for my apartment search, which is an impossible mission for the locals, let alone an expat like myself who doesn’t speak French fluently. I was able to get the home that I desired and move in right away. With the language program, I have also started learning French, I can totally see the day coming when I become fluent like a real Parisian."

"I love Paris just like literally everyone on earth," she adds. "This place has magic. You just fall in love with her."

Proud of Schneider Electric's diverse workforce

Schneider Electric workplace

It is not easy to adapt every time you move to a new city, and Vanner believes it’s the same story for every expat. But having worked in two Schneider Global Hubs, she is equipped to be successful. She is always proud to tell people that Schneider Electric is very diverse. She hasn't met a single person here who would disrespect anyone because of differences.

"In fact, we are all very curious and would even go all the way and get a taste of the different cultures, whether by having a home-cooked authentic cuisine or language exchange. The flexibility we have here is absolutely amazing," she adds. "I’ve been travelling and moving a lot in my entire life, looking for a home. I think this time, I might actually stay in Paris. But who knows."

Enjoy a global career at Schneider Electric

With a job at Schneider Electric, the possibilities are endless. Work on teams you enjoy, explore new cities and take ownership of your career.

Jumpstart your global career at Schneider Electric by applying for one of their latest job vacancies.


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