STACY TAO APPRECIATES

STENA'S CORPORATE CULTURE

Stacy Tao is the office administrator manager at Stena RoRo’s Shanghai office and says that the longer she works at Stena, the more she appreciates the values and culture. She especially stresses the importance of work with sustainability. Stacy is very committed to her job and has clear ambitions for the future – she is studying Swedish and would be happy to move to Gothenburg.

Raised in Shanghai, Stacy has a university degree with a major in English. When first asked if she was interested in working in shipping, she had never heard of Stena and had planned on taking some time off after a few hectic years at her former workplace. But after finding out more about Stena, she decided to accept the offer. She’s happy for that today. 

“I’m in absolutely the right place,” she says. 

In the fall of 2015, Stacy began working with purchases at Northern Marine Management in Shanghai. The company shared offices with other Stena companies, including Stena RoRo. Six months later, Stena RoRo would move to its own office, and site manager John Kollander was looking for someone who was good at office administration and accounting. Stacy, who alongside previous jobs had supplemented her education with accounting courses, got the job.

IT’S ALL ABOUT CARE

Scandinavian companies have a good reputation among Stacy’s friends, and she feels that her workplace and employer are very different from domestic corporations in Shanghai.

“Working in a Swedish company is very special. There is transparency here and people care about equality, diversity and, above all, sustainability. Everything at Stena is about caring – about the employees and their families, about the community and about the environment and sustainability. In designing our ships, we are striving for carbon-free shipping. The longer I work here the more I feel my choice was absolutely right.”

Other things that she both appreciates and feels is different from the local businesses is that at Stena, she is encouraged to say what she thinks and to learn new things by trying.

“I’m really quite a shy and cautious person, but my boss John Kollander has inspired me to be more daring. Before, I usually thought “I’m probably not ready for this” when facing a new challenge. I’ve now changed that to ‘I’ll try things and learn along the way’.”

WANTS TO SPEAK FLUENT SWEDISH

The impression that Stacy is serious about her ambitions is further strenthened when she mentions that she is studying Swedish.

“I took an immediate liking to the language very much, its accent. It made me happy!”she says, and tells me that she started studying Swedish at the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai. One lesson a week for three months. But since then, she has had to continue on her own. Few people signed up to continue their studies due the complexity of the language, and there was thus no continuation course.

“Now I’m learning on my own by reading eight pages of news in Swedish every day and listening to Radio Sweden in easy Swedish. My goal is to be able to speak fluent Swedish. If you really want to integrate with a Swedish company, it’s an advantage to know the language.”

NAMEStacy Tao
AGE29
NUMBER OF YEARS AT STENA6
TITLEOffice Administrator Manager
COMPANYStena RoRo, Shanghai
FAMILYCohabitating partner
LIVESApartment ni Shanghai
INTERESTSYoga, travel, cardio, music (preferably opera) – and Swedish

LIFE OUTSIDE THE OFFICE

Stacy lives with her partner in an apartment in Shanghai. It takes her 45 minutes by subway to get to the office.

“We’re packed liked sardines in rush hour, but it works fine,” she says with a laugh.

Stacy likes to maintain a high tempo and has found something to help her manage it. During the past two years, she has become a diligent yoga practitioner.

“I usually do yoga at lunch, five days a week. Each pass begins with a few minutes of meditation. Yoga makes me better at concentrating.”

RESTRICTIONS AND TRAVEL

She has four colleagues at the office. Three work for Stena RoRo and one for Northern Marine. Early in the pandemic, in the spring of 2020, everyone worked away from home for six months, and China’s tough pandemic rules greatly affected everyone. The restrictions still make it difficult to travel in and out of China. Locally, life is increasingly returning to normal, according to Stacy. However, it is still mandatory with face masks in shops and in public transport, but nightclubs and restaurants are open.

Stacy likes to travel. Japan is among her favorite destinations, as is Sweden. Prior to the pandemic, Stacy visited Gothenburg four times in conjunction with Stena’s annual general secretary meeting.

“I remember when we got off the plane, the first time we came to Gothenburg. It was in October and it felt so refreshing! My partner, who is a tenor, was along and we visited the Gothenburg Opera. We would love to live in Gothenburg,” as she says in closing.

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