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Full Name: Rong Yang
Country of Work: Currently based in Prague, Czech Republic
Position: country group manager Bayer Pharmaceuticals in charge of Czech Republic and Slovakia
Course: MOE in 2000, at that time serve as diplomat at the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Can you tell us a bit about your career path and your motivation to follow this profession?
I started my diplomatic career immediately after graduation from college. Five years later I changed into private sector and worked since in different functions with a few employers. But I always chose career with an international exposure and where I feel my work can make a difference in the world.
How much did you plan your current tasks to be as they are today and how much did you leave to chance?
Well. Some component is certainly by design. For example I like an international environment; I am a curious person and always look for intellectual challenge, so the job or tasks need to stretch myself and leave room for personal development. In the job I need to feel that my work adds value and I can make a difference. Also very importantly, what comes along with the tasks such as work life balance and job location, needs to be supported by my family. Underneath these principles, I would leave the others to chance.
When it comes to influencing the international agenda or shaping public policies in your country, what main challenges do you face in your daily life as a professional?
I see in general that the political agenda worldwide has been defused and increasingly being shaped by non-governmental institutions or individuals. Both the content of social or political discussion and the process of decision making process have become increasingly opaque. It’s certainly a transitional process during which leadership of civil society’s awareness and competence in taking leadership in shaping the societal discussion need to be developed. For me personally healthcare system’s sustainability is certainly a challenge in almost all industrial nations. While everyone agrees, that the current financing model in an ageing society is unsustainable, we are yet to see a plausible solution. Alongside the usual discussion driven by politicians I miss the general public’s discussion from an individual citizen’s perspective. Particularly in Europe that social funds take all with no individual’s cost and responsibility sharing is going nowhere. However, politicians tend to avoid the tough and uncomfortable discussion. Here, I strongly believe responsible civil society organization and individuals need to show leadership and provide alternative view.
Tell us about a pleasant work memory you have.
During a casual lunch with a group of colleagues, someone started off to complain of problems caused by immigrants without noticing I am a foreigner myself. During the discussion I shared my personal story as an immigrant. In the end I believe many of my very kind colleagues take today a different view about immigration and integration. Maybe a small event, but I am glad to see my personal impact.
If you hadn’t followed this career, what other profession could you see yourself in and why?
Probably in academia or start up my own company. I like to be free and see my personal impact. I guess these two professions can fulfill that criteria.
How do you think our alumni network could serve your purposes better?
Well, being connected to like-minded itself is always nice. Plus my wife and I found each other during the training. we are both very much bond to this network. Professionally I think this group of very talented people with an impact in each individual’s country and beyond can make a difference in the world.
How would you be willing to participate in our network?
Actively participate in discussion, contribute my business insights; initiate or participate in projects I feel strongly about and make a difference.
These interviews are the opinion of the interviewed Alumni and do not represent the views of Training for International Diplomats or the Federal Foreign Office. Training for International Diplomats and the Federal Foreign Office are not responsible for the content of these interviews.