Initially, my role at Covesion involved working with Universities and Research Institutes that buy PPLN solutions. More recently, this has developed into liaising with organisations who buy in larger volumes such as our OEM customers. My role encompasses both the technical aspects of the sale, ensuring that users have the right products for their requirements, but also commercial aspects such as helping with marketing of Covesion.
What are your main areas of expertise?
My background is in material science and I work with colleagues such as Corin who are very knowledgeable about how PPLN will perform in particular applications. I have also conducted experiments in the past, setting up laser systems, which has proved very useful to customers when i discuss projects with customers.
I think the benefit I bring to the team is the ability to quickly get up to speed with what the customer is trying to achieve. Covesion manufactures specialised, technical products and I think being able to understand what customers need, to be able to signpost them towards the right solution, is very important. Some of our customers have a good understanding of what they require but others may be unsure which PPLN solution would work best for their project or research. I am well placed to refer customers to work in similar fields; recommending papers and publications for the customer to read and helping them to achieve their goals.
What are your credentials / past work experience that make you suited to your role at Covesion?
I have a bachelor’s degree in Electronic Science and Technology from Heilongjiang University in China. I went on to complete a Master’s in Material Science followed by a PhD also majoring in Material Science at the Shanghai Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics (SIOM).
What is your favourite part of your job?
One of the favourite parts of my job is meeting our customers at exhibitions. I think it is always good to meet people face to face, if you have the opportunity, as it helps to build up a great working relationship. Our customer base is truly global at Covesion, so exhibitions are one of the best ways to do this.
I also enjoy working with our customers and finding the information they require to solve a problem. Sometimes, because of the technical nature of the product, the information they need might involve a lot of complex details and often this is done remotely. I think I am particularly helpful making complex issues clear, particularly when there are a lot of figures, charts and diagrams involved.
What has been your career highlight so far?
One of the things I am most proud of so far in my career is the Scholarship that I was awarded from the Chinese Government, Ministry of Education. Only 5% of all PhDs in the whole of China are selected for the scholarship, based on your performance and how you compare with your peers, so I was very pleased to be recognised.
I started working at Covesion in 2013, it was my first job outside of university. Since starting with the company I have progressed to become Head of Sales, an achievement I am proud of and I am grateful that I am working in a role where I can apply my academic learning.
What is your personal background?
I was born in Zhejiang province in China, close to Shanghai. It is a lovely part of the country and my hometown of Wenzhou is located next to the sea. I have moved from a seaside town in China to the seaside in the UK as I now live in Southampton with my husband and daughter. My husband works at the Optoelectronics Research Centre at the University of Southampton which has strong ties with Covesion, so it is great that we have that link with our work. Wenzhou is famous for its entrepreneurial spirit and there are many business owners and factories in the area. It is well known for making shoes and leather products and many of the companies in Wenzhou have links with Italy.
What are the values that drive you / What inspires you?
I think of my Dad quite a lot when people ask me this question. He is very self-driven and works very hard. One of his most inspiring qualities is that he is never afraid to try new things especially with regards to his career. When I was younger, he set up a factory making children’s clothes. We would import the fabric which would be machined into clothing to sell into shops around China. My father has changed direction a few times in his career. I love his willingness to experiment with new ideas and the fact that he works so hard. He inspires me a lot.
What are your hobbies, what do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I like travelling. We go back to China at least once a year to see our family. When we visit, we travel to different places so my daughter can see and learn about the different culture. She likes the Chinese food! We also travel around the UK and to other destinations internationally. I also like shopping. When I am at home, I like doing quieter things such as painting and reading.