Recently, the Chinese Language Flagship Program hosted Mr. Anthony Chang, who owns Hawaii Chinese News Media, to talk to us about the corporate world. I was honored to attend the presentation where Mr. Chang talked about the different perspectives and different working environments in China and the United States. I personally think that was the most interesting part, because it gave me a general idea of what the environments are like while working in these different countries.

He told us in China, if you are in a high position, such as manager, then there will be people always surrounding you. For example, your employees will help you carry all your bags and luggage. It gives you a feeling that you are the boss and you deserve to have people carry your stuff. Besides the employees helping the boss carrying stuff, the employees do not often reject the boss’ idea or say, “No” to the boss. For example, when the boss comes up with certain ideas and asks for your suggestions, you have to go along with his ideas and said things like “ Yes, this is a good idea. I think we should use this plan.” Meaning you have to say “Yes,” but do not say “No.”

On the other hand, Americans are open to accepting new ideas, and the boss welcome the employees to say “No.” For example, the employees are free to express their own thoughts and ideas or give suggestions. When the boss asks, “What do you think of this idea?” you are able to say “no” in the sense that you can add your own creative ideas to the plan.

For me, the most memorable quote from the presentation was, “In China, they pay you to say,  ‘Yes’ to the boss, but in America, they pay you to say ‘No.’”  


Mandy Ma is a freshman majoring in Travel Industry Management. This is her first Flagship semester. She wants to learn Chinese because she wants to improved her Chinese to a professional level.