Employee Stories

Rong Qiu - Forum

  • Shanghai

I am currently a research associate in the Shanghai Forum team. I joined the research team in May 2021, after gaining one year of experience with the Shanghai Forum operations team.

Third Bridge is actually my first official workplace. Before joining Third Bridge my experience consisted of co-founding and operating a career support centre at my university, where I was responsible for organizing peer-to-peer career consultations and seminars. We would initiate an event after investigating students’ needs for academic and career development, open registration channels for attendees, manage events and collect feedback.  In a way this is somewhat similar to what we do in Forum, except that we used to provide non-monetary rewards to our speakers. I also interned at the concert hall of China’s National Centre for Performing Arts, helping with the reception and management of orchestra bands from Europe and the US.

The main driver for my joining is that Third Bridge is in a sector which fits my own career agenda. I majored in English, and I was aggressively looking for something beyond a typically “reasonable” career path, namely to become an English teacher or interpreter. Forum enables me to see how various markets work from an investment perspective and be a part of it as well. It was a desirable way to learn about what was outside of my then small range of experience.

I chose Third Bridge against others for a few more specific reasons. First, the progression of the interview was steady, and all interviewers were polite and quick to answer my questions, which shows that people at this place work according to plans and know what they are doing. Second, clear statements were given on my future career path and the company’s support for personal development. This was a convincing sign that Third Bridge cares a lot about the growth of its employees. Third, Third Bridge is a multinational company where cross-cultural conversations happen all the time, and my academic background would in a sense give me an edge during work. 

Apart from all the above, the culture at Third Bridge is very inclusive – different people work here, yet they all give out a very relaxed and happy vibe. To conclude, I was convinced that I would grow at Third Bridge, that I can provide value to the company, and that I will be happy working here. That is why I joined.

When I came onboard my first impression was that it was a highly automated office. We have a fully structured intranet and office system and I had to learn about all of it to work here. My seniors put a lot of emphasis on compliance rules and made sure that I understood this was one of our highest priorities. Therefore, compliance has been significantly important to me from day one.

The highlights of my first month were getting to know everyone. I am not a very outgoing person in general but I couldn’t help but want to know more about the team. The atmosphere in Shanghai Forum is very relaxed, with conversations happening not only about event topics but our personal lives as well.

The most surprising thing to me is that we would regularly hold global town halls to update employees on the company’s newest financial performance and new product schemes. This was a much higher level of transparency than I had imagined. It is a welcoming sign that Third Bridge cares about and respects employee involvement in the company’s management.

The most exciting part of my job is the degree of support I get for personal development. I am the first employee at Third Bridge to transfer from operations to the research role and I received overwhelming support from my managers and peers, even though it might mean extra work for them during my shift. I know that this was because the value of mutual-support and people development was embedded in our culture – and that I will be continuously supported by colleagues and the company in the future. 

My advice to someone who was considering applying to us at Third Bridge would be to learn something about the value chain of prominent sectors in your regional market so that you can more efficiently search for the right specialist from day one. Also, do not overlook project management skills – since we are usually managing multiple projects at the same time. If I could describe Third Bridge in three words, it would be supportive, resourceful and fun!