Zheng enjoys work and quietude in Neil’s Harbour
Lan Zheng hails from the “panda bear” town.
That’s what she tells new acquaintances who are not familiar with her birthplace, Chengdu City, located in China’s Sichuan province. Lan has lived in Neil’s Harbour for the last two years since she began working for Victoria Co-operative Fisheries (VCF) as Manager of International Sales and Logistics. She promotes the fishery’s products in the Asian market and builds and maintains customer relationships.
Lan’s journey to northern Cape Breton began with a desire to see the world at age 18.
“I really wanted to study abroad, explore new worlds, learn about different cultures and learn English,” said Lan.
Studying abroad would have to wait over a decade as it was cost prohibitive at the time. Instead, Lan studied International Trade and English at her local university and started her own exporting business in 2008. In 2012, with the company doing well, and in good hands, she decided it was her time to go abroad.
“I told my cousin, I want to go study abroad now, make my dream come true.”
Lan arrived in Cape Breton on August 31, 2012 to study English at the International Centre for English Academic Preparation (ICEAP) at Cape Breton University.she then completed the two-year International Business Program at Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC). Lan’s professor Helen Graham introduced Lan to her future boss, VCF General Manager Osborne Burke, during an international field trip to Brussels. Burke was attending a trade show at that time.
Lan knew when she graduated from NSCC in 2015 that she wanted to resume a career in International Sales, so she completed the paid internship component of her NSCC program with Victoria Co-op Fisheries.
Lan has adapted easily to living in a small village in northern Cape Breton, a far cry from the hustle and bustle of Chengdu.
“It's a beautiful place to live. For me, I like to live in a quiet place. In the summer, there is sunshine and beaches. I walk on the beach in the morning. It’s really nice to get up early in the morning and exercise. I love the fresh air. In the winter, it's a little bit tricky, you have to wait for a good day to go out to walk.”
Lan has found the best of both worlds in her role. Her job involves a lot of travel to China and the rest of Asia giving her the opportunity to see family and friends, and the world-renowned panda bears of Chengdu.
Lan Zheng seen representing the Victoria Co-operative Fisheries in the Nova Scotia Seafood booth at the Hong Kong Seafood Expo. Submitted photo.