[photopress:Dr_Jan_Gronski.jpg,full,alignright]There are two opposing positions. Many young Chinese graduates have difficulty finding starting jobs which accounts for the mob scenes at Job Fairs. On the other hand, graduates with the right degrees and the right qualifications are seriously courted.
Chen Yiqiu finished her master’s degree in telecommunications from Shanghai’s Fudan University a year ago. At which point she received offers from Cisco Systems, Intel, and Philips Electronics. Intel and Philips offered more money, but she ended up choosing Cisco, where she had previously worked as an intern.
Her boss, Jan Gronski, managing director of Cisco’s Shanghai research center and shown here, keeps on his office wall a big city map dotted with red stickers. Each one represents an employee. Many of them, he says, live within 3 miles of the office.
In Shanghai, as in many other big Chinese cities, the competition for talent is so intense that executives like Jan Gronski have to seriously work at keeping employees happy. In Cisco’s case, that means scheduling shuttle buses to and from the nearest subway station.
There is a crunch for research talent — especially for experienced English-speaking managers. Cisco’s Jan Gronski has managed to build a 500-person division in three years. The average age is only 27.
He predicts the run on seasoned managers is going to heat up further. He said, ‘We see all these companies coming to Shanghai. The crunch is inevitably going to come.’
So there is a plan to prepare for the future. Now there are ‘Cisco Clubs’ at three Chinese universities, giving students a chance to work with Cisco engineers.
For those on staff, Jan Gronski runs management seminars every Thursday. He schools young managers on everything from giving presentations and decision-making to speaking their minds.
He said, ‘I call it management kindergarten class.’