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Wang Juan, Department of Wheat Processing


Experience with Courage

Recently, a popular online post, an article of 17 thousand characters --"To us who are still young next year: desire, environment, label, genius, time, life goals, reality, regret and experience" has been viewed for nearly 150 times within two hours. I think a lot of people are touched by this article not because of the writer’s distinguished job and education, but his courage, his thoughts and reflections prompted by his words. Desire, environment, label, genius, time, life goals, reality, regret, experience ... these words that are associated with our life may usually may lie quietly in a corner of our body, but they will jump out to "disturb" you no matter whether you like it or not when you are in a turning point ouf your life. The year when I started to work is also the year when I thought about these the most. When I look back those things I have experienced, answered and unanswered questions will rest in my heart heavily. Perhaps this is the trace of life. If I use a sentence to sum up my life during the half of year when I started my own career, it would be: a non-stop rush and a hopeful persistence.

China Agri-Industries Holdings Limited encourages new employees to learn at grass-roots point of profit, and the Division I am working for has a tradition of practicing at grass-roots level. So before I entered the company, I had already known that I would be running back and forth during this first half of the year. Frankly speaking, out of my mentality of longing for steady life, I repelled and even scared about this kind of life. The ideal is very sexy, but the reality is very cruel. When the ideal meets with the reality, only the braver one will win. My fear of the unknown life gave way to my curiosity and my desire to excel. Then, I packed up and got ready for such a "wander" life! 

The first station, Qinhuangdao Pengtai Flour Factory: after the SpringFestival of 2011, I received the notice of internship. I stayed in Beijing for more than a month before I went to Qinhuangdao Pengtai Flour Factory to learn about production processes, institutional setup and positions of flour enterprises. Pengtai Company used to be a foreign-funded enterprise. Although it is an enterprise of traditional industry, it is more advanced in management compared with similar enterprises. Almost all the colleagues in this Division have stayed in Pengtai before. They are either transferred directly from the Qinhuangdao factory, or had internship in the Pengtai. It is worthy of the name of training base of our Division. Although the condition was limited, but people here were still very responsible to personnel studying here. From production center to sales hall, I always have mentors with me. I can still remember the time when I first came to the flour workshop, my brain was out of sense and could not stand any more. Each time when I entered the workshop, my colleagues would repeatedly remind me to wear a hat and shoes wrap. They would always answer my questions very patiently. Except for the time when I went back to school to attend my graduation ceremony, I spent about two months in Pengtai, and it was the first time when I had close contact with the flour processing enterprise.

The second station, training in the headquarter: in early August, I was asked to go back to attend COFCO new staff training. After the training organized by the Group, I attended a two-day training arranged by the center. To be frank, these two training made me feel that I was member of COFCO, and my floating heart began to have a sense of belonging. The six days training of the Group let me know about COFCO people’s life style, broadened my vision, and also let me know a number of like-minded friends. Although it was very hard, but I did not feel tired. After that, I was not only pleasantly surprised but also touched by the F program of the center. The F program is aimed the new recruits with a training program lasting for one year. As a member of new recruits, I am very grateful to our center for its time and energy invested on us, and also deeply feel the center’s “people-oriented” concept of employment. The F program designed a small part to allow new employees to choose experienced staff as their instructors. Considering my profession and position, I tried to ask General Manager Sheng from the Human Resources Department, he used to work for Mercer. I did not expect a reply, but Sheng soon gave me an answer: "I am not in the list of instructors, but to encourage you to be active and positive, I agree to be your instructor". I had this sentence branded in my heart and was excited for several days for having my desire fulfilled and moreover, being respected. Later in my work, General Manager Sheng also gave me a lot of help when I encountered professional problems. I am very glad that, after leaving university, I can have such a teacher at work. After that, I also attended other trainings under F program. I learned a lot of practical work skills that can be applied to my work from time to time. They make our work more professional and occupational.

Third station, Shenyang Xiangxue: One week after the training, I went to another subsidiary company as planned -- Shenyang Xiangxue. My colleagues joked: the little girl is going to brave the journey to the Northeast. Braving the journey to the Northeast! I indeed had that feeling. I did not have the fear and anxiety as before, but very much hoped to go there quickly. What will be will be. I hope to get rid of this riddle from my chest sooner and find out what is in it.

The two most difficult things in the world are: earn other people's money and convince others with your own ideas. I went to Shenyang Xiangxue with a purpose of convincing others with my ideas. I brought a task that I could not guarantee to complete -- Xiangxue performance management system. What would happen to a state-owned enterprise as old as the People’s republic of China, a newly graduated student and a complete performance management system? I put a question mark in my heart.

On August17th, I arrived at Xiangxue Company. Thanks to leaders of my Division and colleagues of Xiangxue Company, my work progressed well in good order. From understanding the company, system foundation to establishing a working group, we met and discussed repeatedly. From the finalization of our initial plan to plan implementation, I had painful moments  when leaders did not accept my plan, managers did not cooperate, work units argued back and forth and some trivial and incredible things you would never have expected happened. When my ideas were slowly accepted by others and became operational and living system from text, I could feel a strong sense of achievement.

Pain means growth. I could deeply appreciate this sentence. No matter how difficult the condition is, as long as you dare to face and overcome it, it will become a part of your growth. This is just like the saying: those didn't kill you will make you stronger. 

Conditions in subsidiary enterprises are limited. Steamed bread and pickles remained unchanged as breakfast, making me not want to touch pickles any more all my life. In the place where I lived, I was visited by a variety of bugs in the evening. I had the experience of taking a taxi back to the company alone at over seven in the evening,driving in the vast and dark suburb... I also secretly wiped tears alone, asking myself why I bore all these things. But when my work could be smoothly carried out, I felt all these pains worthwhile. After three months of struggle, the Shenyang performance management became operational and Xiangxue colleagues came to fully master the routine work. I felt that I could leave and applied to the leadership to go back to Beijing. On November 21st 2011, I returned to the Division.

Persistence with hope will give you an unexpected return.

I still remember the conversation I had with a colleague in Shenyang Xiangxue. She said, Wang Juan, if I were you, I would never have the courage to come here. When I look back and think about that half a year and this whole year, I would say if I must give me a reason, it would be confidence and hope in addition to courage. These two illusory things have a magical power, making people willing to spend their time and energy. Let’s go back to the article mentioned at the beginning, when talking about time and experience, the writer said: time is the only currency in the world, you can use it to exchange for anything in the world you want.,As newly graduated young people, we have a lot of good things: grand ideals, beautiful dreams, full vigor, ambitions for careers, exuberant growth... We want to use our excellent youth to exchange for those things we think worthy, but these are just beautiful reverie while looking at the sky. My experience since my recruitment has made me realize that I am very trivial and weak and a lot of things are beyond a person’s capability; that the world is not perfect and we must learn to accept and be inclusive; that an enterprise does not want our heroic utterance, but our ability to achieve. We should not only look up at the starry sky but also stand on solid ground.

As mentioned President Yu: "if you don't go to grassroots and the frontlines, don’t start from specific work, fail to lay a solid foundation for the career "Pyramid" from the bottom, and do not chasten your will and quality in the harsh environment, you will find your "foundation" not solid enough and will encounter bottleneck in a certain stage of your development. The debt you owed in the past will be paid sooner or later and the payment may be doubled." I really thank my development brought about by the experience since I entered the company,  terms of my business ability or my mentality.

The world doesn't revolve around any person, but I believe that it is not intended to hide from any person. Therefore, we should harbor confidence and hope at anytime and have the courage to experience.