Saturday, November 22, 2014

Job Search & Interviewing Adventures in China

I've now been in Shanghai for about four weeks keeping myself busy by looking for jobs -- sending out resumes, going to job fairs, doing interviews, and networking a lot. It's definitely been a learning experience and at times has been surprising, frustrating, and enlightening. There are some commonalities between the United States, Germany, and China, like having to send a CV and cover letter, dressing for success, and all those other things you'll find articles about on LinkedIn. I wound up getting my own business cards printed here because I had read that handing them out here is more common than in the U.S. or Germany. I have to agree that this does seem to be the norm here, but as the last time I was on the job hunt was when I had finished my master's, it's a bit different selling myself with my work experience. But there are three things that I've noticed are very unique to my experience looking for a job here in China.

(As a quick side note, I don't have any fitting images to work with this entry, so I'm just adding ones I've taken around Shanghai because they won't end up with other blog entries anyway.)

Looking up at the Jinmao Tower in Lujiazui, the financial district of Shanghai.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Spotify vs. Taylor Swift vs. The Listener

I know that recently I've been posting a lot about moving to Shanghai, but with the news going on regarding Taylor Swift pulling her music from Spotify, I needed to throw my two cents into the conversation and go back to talking about pop culture.  So bear with me.

In case you're living under a rock (or in my case, living in China and a bit far removed from western pop culture news), Taylor Swift released her fifth album this week, 1989.  However, the album isn't on Spotify; in fact, she pulled her entire catalog from the streaming service except for one song.  She explained:

"In my opinion, the value of an album is, and will continue to be, based on the amount of heart and soul an artist has bled into a body of work, and the financial value that artists (and their labels) place on their music when it goes out into the marketplace. Piracy, file sharing and streaming have shrunk the numbers of paid album sales drastically, and every artist has handled this blow differently."

Even so, her album is setting records, her decision to keep her music off Spotify is being intensely debated, and basically, you can't escape Taylor Swift in the media.

As a free Spotify user, I'm torn.  I don't actually listen to Taylor Swift, and, wanting to know what the hype was about, I checked out the first single off 1989, "Shake It Off."  (I keep thinking it should be "Take It Off," but then I remember that was from The Donnas.)  Because I can't listen to it on Spotify, I decided to turn to Vevo and watch her music video, which I happily discovered was directed by Mark Romanek:

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

First Impressions of Shanghai

I've been in Shanghai for a little over a week now.  I haven't even scratched the surface of this enormous city, but I do have my first five impressions.  So here they are:

1.  Shanghai is like living in the future.  

Or Blade Runner.  Seriously.  This is what the city looks like on a beautiful sunny day fairly free of smog:

The skyscrapers are so high, and everything is just so futuristic and shiny.  The Oriental Pearl Tower (the TV tower thing on the left side of the photo) sort of reminds me of what Disneyworld thinks the future should be like in Tomorrowland.  If you don't know what I mean, take a look at this picture I took in 2009 from Hong Kong Disney's Tomorrowland.  The Oriental Pearl Tower totally belongs in that weird idea of the future.  Next time I get around to taking a picture of the city at night, I'll be sure to post it since I'm positive it will definitely look like Blade Runner.