Business Class for International Executives



My morning online class was a bit delayed today… my student apologized and told me that he was in a discussion with Macy’s on a new marketing and branding campaign.


The designer showed me his work whose theme is pets, be more specific, its about cats and dogs. Unlike the usual design of pets which are colorful and cute, his design is sophisticated and subtle. He chose a dark blue fabric as the background and the patterns of the cats/dogs are relatively small. I know it’s a kind of shirt you can wear to your office while remains your own taste. I personally favor this style, not flamboyant but unique.


He told me that the creative director of Macy’s requires meeting up with him regularly, chatting about his life, and trying to create a story for the brand. Yes, behind every good brand, there are always good stories. It’s not only about design, quality or services; it’s about the common feelings that bring people together.


During our Chinese lesson, we continued with Starbucks' business strategies. We were talking about the differences in market positioning in China and America. The former always equipped with bigger storage space and more luxury interior decorations, but the latter does not. Because in America 80% of the customers taking away their coffee instead of enjoying Starbucks ‘The Third Place’.


My students agreed with that, he said, in Silicon Valley, their life is too busy; and even don’t really have time for a proper meal. Suddenly, I had an idea and shared with him: ‘When we were kids, we enjoyed spending time with our pets, they were our friends, we felt the sense of security and love when we cuddled them, which was a kind of warmness from the bottom of our heart. But, when people grow up, we go to work in offices, high buildings made of iron and cement, people are indifferent and we don’t feel the warmness anymore… However, even in this kind of environment, we can still bring our childhood memories back. Although it’s no more colorful and loud in a subtly adult way -that is on our office shirts. When he heard of this idea, the designer smiled and said: “haha… you are my other mentor.”


If you ever had a pet, you will understand this feeling, how much your cats or dogs trust you, and happy to spend time with you because you are their whole world.


Every day, we are facing different challenges, but the warmness from the bottom of your hearts is always there and inspires you to move on.


When my students thank me to be their mentor, in a way, I also thank them for the opportunities of learning and growing together.


Mandy and I are the kinds of teachers who really enjoy teaching, I ever thought about the future of iMandarin, as our students are keep on increasing, should we hire more teachers. Should we switch our roles from teachers to managers?


Maybe in future, I might have other thoughts, but at present, I am quite sure that l don’t want to let go of my role as a teacher, instead of managing other people, worrying about quality control, human resources, budget management, I would rather spend more time delivering a better lesson and talking to my good students.

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