My name is Wesley Woolf and after coming over to China in 2004, I have been with Aston taking different positions within the company over the years from teaching, to managing Foreign Teachers to taking a position within the management of the Franchise Division.
Over the years I have met so many really wonderful people and built friendships that will be important to me no matter what the future holds for me. The company is very close knit and I have had many special shared experiences over the years from interesting annual conferences, to team-building activities to taking summer camps into exotic locations.
When I first came over, my transition to China was quite smooth because I was ensconced in the city of Jinan with quite a large expat community and a helpful roommate called Dan who knew everything about everything in that city. The city orientation was also really helpful.
I have recommended Aston to many friends back home for a few reasons. Moving to a country with a culture as different from Western culture as the Chinese culture is really pushes you to grow and to explore yourself. I have learnt so much over the years in many different cities and parts of the business.
For anyone considering working at Aston, I would give the following advice. I have very fond memories working for Aston and have found the experience really enjoyable, but a have also seen Foreign Teachers come over and really struggle to adjust. Firstly, I must admit that there are cultural differences and the ways of getting things done are not always the same as what you will have back home.
You need to be open to new experiences and flexible. You will have days when you are frustrated, but it is really important to focus on the bigger picture and work towards goals….learn the language, or learn to cook Chinese food, or do Taiqi…whatever your hobbies are, pursue them; and also strive to be the best teacher you can be. Despite the odd frustrating day, it is a very rewarding experience once you get the hang of things.