Worked over­seas, works here now

CLEO (Singapore) - - SMART REPORT - AVRIL CHUA Art Di­rec­tor.

I moved to LA when I was 18 and lived there for eight years.

32, worked in LA for a few years be­fore mov­ing back here. She’s cur­rently an

My dad used to work in the US for six months of the year, so he sug­gested I move there to fin­ish school (at the ArtCen­ter Col­lege of De­sign) and gain a dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ence.

I started out in the ad­ver­tis­ing in­dus­try and am still in the same field. What struck me about work­ing in LA was that I got to work with peo­ple from many dif­fer­ent na­tion­al­i­ties. The work cul­ture there is a lot more open, and the peo­ple aren’t afraid of con­flict. They’d rather bring any dis­agree­ments out in the open and sort things out face-to-face than let things slide or sim­mer down.

They’re also more open to form­ing close re­la­tion­ships by shar­ing about their per­sonal lives and hold­ing house par­ties. It’s com­mon for col­leagues to get to know one an­other’s part­ners well. How­ever, there are also a lot more all-nighters there than there are here, at least in my in­dus­try.

When I first moved back to Sin­ga­pore a cou­ple of years ago, I had a bit of a cul­ture shock. I found that some of my col­leagues weren’t as open and gen­uine, and that the con­ver­sa­tions with my co­work­ers in LA were more mean­ing­ful. Com­plain­ing about other peo­ple seems

“Com­plain­ing about other peo­ple seems to be a favourite pas­time here.”

to be a favourite pas­time here.

I de­cided to move back here be­cause I wanted to be closer to fam­ily, and I’ve been very happy be­ing back. See­ing Sin­ga­pore with a new lens has made me ap­pre­ci­ate it a lot more. I’d love to work over­seas again, but not any­time soon.”

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