Allen Zhou - Admissions Coordinator
Allen Zhou is the Admissions Coordinator of LoPair Au Pair China. He is a graduate from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. He majored in Accounting and minored in Math. After working in a world-leading financial firm, he wished to could work with people, instead of numbers. LoPair gives him the chance to do just that.
With a major in accounting and a minor in math, what inspired you to work within international relations?
Actually my parents both majored in languages when they were in colleges. I wanted to try something different, and chose to study business. During my college studies and my previous working experiences, I found it might be my inherent nature that I prefer to work with people, instead of numbers. This job gives me a chance, and I can use my professional business skills to solve different problems.
What made you leave Nebraska and travel to the other side of the world in China?
I was an international student in UNL. I’m a “Husker”. “There’s no place like Nebraska”, and I miss there. When I was in Nebraska, I got questions like “Do you use dollars in China”, or “What languages do you speak in China”. China is different from what many American people thought. I want to build more connections between China and the world, and that’s the main reason I went back to China.
What does the “Lo” in LoPair mean?
LoPair is short for “Lifestyle of Pairing up”.
What intrigues you most working with people rather than numbers?
When working with numbers, such as accounting job, you face the computer screen every day, because you are afraid of making mistakes, which you cannot afford. Working with people, you can be more laid back. Every individual is different but they must have something in common. You may find someone polite or easy going, but there must be someone very picky. That’s the society, and that’s also why we are needed.
What does a normal day look like for you?
Office – gym – home, that’s my daily routine. Work took my daytime away, and after that, I would go to gym or natatorium. Doing some sports are always good. Sounds very boring, huh? How to say that? “Life consists in playing terrible cards we hold, instead of holding good ones”. Finding interest in things in boring life.
What does a normal day for an Au Pair in China look like?
Au Pairing in China is more like a cultural exchange. Normally, Chinese parents expect au pairs to be good friends with their kids. They hope au pairs can be role-models and teach English or other languages to their kids, in return, au pairs practice Chinese here. In China, usually au pairs won’t be assigned too much housework: keeping their own bedrooms clean and tidy, occasionally prepare some traditional food from their own countries.
Why should people choose to AuPair in China rather than other countries?
Good question. Going to another country, who have a similar culture, and speak similar languages as your own country is nice. However, going to another country who has a different culture as your owns’ is challenging. Why not try something different, and that must be a unforgettable experience.
As an Admissions Coordinator, what do you look for in applicants that are considered qualified?
The most important thing is love. We look for someone who love kids, and would even like to stay with them 24/7. We prefer applicants who are easy going, and considerate, because being an au pair, you have to stay with a family for months. According to host families’ preferences, we would also choose ones who have good English skills. Being interested in Chinese culture, or speaking Chinese is also preferred.
What is your favorite part of your job?
Being trusted. There was an American who I answered lots of questions for, not only our program, but also China. Though at last, she didn’t apply for our program, when she said “Hey Allen, I really want to share you this news, cuz I think you are my friend: I got a job offer from a Chinese University in Beijing.” Being trusted by someone is really nice.
What advice do you have for applicants before they choose to Au Pair in China?
Nothing very specific. As long as you choose China, I believe you have already learned or will learn something China from the internet, movies or books. China might be different from what you learned, so come here, and integrate in the Chinese culture, Chinese society and meet Chinese people. Then you know what real China is.