From Bundoora to Shanghai, Jill Tang is embracing life as an entrepreneur.
When La Trobe alumnus Jill Tang returned to her home country of China after studying in Australia, she learnt some important lessons about resettlement.
“It was like a reverse culture-shock,” Jill explains.
“I was excited and confident about coming back home with my Australian experience, but my expectations were different to my reality.”
Jill says it took time to find relevant contacts in the Chinese job market, as well as re-connect with her peers.
With these challenges in mind, she decided to start her own support network for returning graduates in Shanghai. This developed into CareerXFactor, an online platform dedicated to offering career advice, job opportunities and networking events to returning Chinese students and expatriates. This was her first start-up, where she developed her entrepreneurial skills and applied the lessons learnt from studying a Bachelor of Commerce at La Trobe.
“I went from being lost to exploring and discovering,” Jill says.
I realised that my global mindset, combined with my understanding of the local market and people, could help me succeed.
Jill further established her entrepreneurial skills with The BrewGirl – an innovative start-up company that celebrated local craft beer and its female devotees. Alongside her friend and co-founder, Jill organised pop-up craft beer events around Shanghai supporting local Chinese micro-breweries. Her hope for the business was to challenge stereotypes of Chinese women and raise the profile of the country’s talented female craft-beer brewers.
For budding entrepreneurs, Jill has plenty of advice. “Being an entrepreneur is not just a fancy term but a lifestyle. It’s like a daily roller coaster and requires strong determination and persistence. It can be a lonely journey, so you need absolute passion to start something you believe in.
“You also need to make sure your business is sustainable instead of depending on scalability to raise investment capital,” she says.
Jill is continuing her start-up journey with Ladies Who Tech - a social enterprise to connect Women in STEM and promote gender diversity and inclusion in the Tech Industry in Greater China. Two years after launching, Ladies Who Tech was a finalist of SME and social entrepreneurship at the Australia China Business Awards 2019.
Jill was also an Australia China Young Alumni of the Year finalist in 2016, and made the top 100 Generation T List by Tatler Asia in 2019.
Jill remains connected to La Trobe today.
“The experience at La Trobe was the most enjoyable for me because I got the full student life and campus experience. So not only from an academic perspective was it great, but it also gave me the global outlook I am applying to my work now.”
Last updated: 16th July 2019