China through the eyes of Celanese, or when you are not a foreigner anymore

I’m writing you from China where I’m first known as a foreigner, then a Westerner, then perhaps a Mexican and, if lucky, as Adrian. I don’t consider this good or bad, it’s just the way it is. As any other country, China has its own cultural nuances.

Years ago, when I got my first full-time job after law school, Celanese exposed me to the idea of thinking — and acting – globally. That was such a revelation. Until not too long ago, Mexican branches of foreign companies (Celanese included), like everywhere else, acted quite independently from headquarters.

Things have changed. Now, it’s clearly reinforced that Celanese is a multinational company. Still, to truly understand Celanese’s global nature, and perform your work accordingly, you need a certain mindset.

In Shanghai, I’ve understood that “thinking globally” isn’t a corporate trend, but a functional approach. It doesn’t stop at occasional conference calls with Dallas or being aware of the various country sites or that we sell products worldwide. To think globally means that, despite a language/culture barrier, I’m  able to perform tasks, and deliver projects working in tandem with those in other country sites. I can only do that with shared objectives and working methods.

I’m also very pleased with how Shanghai employees are more culturally aware of Western countries, which has helped me “make connections” and get things done. Celanese, on its part, adopts those values as their own, using them in business as well as to ensure the welfare of both staff and community at, for example the Annual Dinner, or Sales Open-House.

As mentioned, in China I am recognized by many things before being known by my name. But not in Shanghai.  Here my name’s Adrian, and I belong to a bigger team, a bigger family: Celanese.

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About the author


				Adrian Cisneros Aguilar is an intern in the Law Department at Celanese Shanghai. Before that, he served as Corporate Counsel in Celanese Mexico. He hopes to eventually speak Chinese without embarrassing himself.				

There are 2 comments. Add yours.

  1. Massimiliano Contin says:

    Hi Adrian, iteresting blog…I would like to ask You if this feeling is just related to your China experience or is something that can be connected with other countries too? I”m asking this because I”m a foreigner living in Hungary and at the beginning of my living/working here period, I felt quite the same!!
    Have a nice day!

    • Adrian Cisneros Aguilar says:

      Hi Massimiliano,

      Thanks for the comment. Yes, I think what I”ve learned here could be applicable to other countries, as well. During the course of my work here, I haven”t only had to work with the colleagues in the Shanghai offices, but with people in basically all the other Asian countries where Celanese has business (couldn”t mention that in the blog…lack of space:). My experience is the same, and I”m thankful for that.
      Now, I must say that your comment made me think on another worth mentioning factor: human nature. Indeed, you can”t only rely on the corporate values and working methods and expect to collaborate with people like magic. You might get things done sometimes, but that doesn”t necessarily mean that people will automatically and unfailingly support you if you don”t intend to connect with them. This is especially evident during emergencies.
      But like I said, the factor is human nature, which has common traits. Keep those in mind (which is the equivalent to what the company does when it adopts local values as their own), keep in mind Celanese”s regional and global objectives and savoir faire and you should be able to get things done everywhere. Gee, perhaps I should write another blog on this…
      Best,

      Adrian

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