Zheng en­joys work and qui­etude in Neil’s Har­bour

The Victoria Standard - - Business - CAROLYN BAR­BER

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.

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