Born into an East German working-class family, I would have never thought my career would one day take me halfway around the world.

After leaving school, I completed a three-year apprenticeship and had various jobs since I was a teenager. At 22, I left my hometown of Berlin for London to work for a chauffeur car drive. I entered the higher education sector when I took up a role in business development and project management for a London university which also sponsored me to study an online undergraduate degree on weekends. After a stint at an arts and design university and in need of a change of scenery, I relocated to Ghana’s capital Accra in West Africa to manage education and health projects. I returned to London to work for the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, while undertaking an evening MSc in International Business and Development at Birkbeck, University of London, with a focus on Asia and the economic rise of China. It was at that stage in my life that I began to specialise in technology- enhanced learning and teaching which was the stepping stone to my current role at UNNC.

I developed a strong interest in pursuing a career in transnational higher education and relocating to Asia in my previous role where I was responsible for setting up digital education services for several East Asian higher education franchise providers. UNNC ticked all the boxes for me: an educational philosophy I am familiar with and believe in, an international campus, the opportunity to use my existing skills and experience, to continue to grow and develop, and the privilege of exploring the cultural heritage of the world’s oldest civilisation on my doorstep.

I head UNNC’s educational technologies service which promotes teaching excellence through the application of digital solutions and pedagogical innovation. We manage a range of platforms, systems, applications, and creative solutions designed to enhance learning, teaching, assessment and students’ digital and employability skills. Due to the fast-paced nature of digital technologies and the impact of generative AI on education, it’s important to keep abreast of the latest, international trends and harness the opportunities they present, which has led me to be involved in and lead a number of interesting initiatives and projects.

Working at UNNC has, at times, been both very stimulating and challenging alike due to certain aspects of its hybrid organisational and work culture, which has been shaped by the British model of education and with Confucian-inspired learning and teaching philosophies. However, the university’s in-house leadership staff development programme has provided valuable approaches to addressing some of these challenges. In addition, the trust placed in me by the Library management has allowed me and my team to embrace best practice in the sector and to implement parts of the university’s long-term vision for education and the student experience. I really appreciate the freedom to introduce improvements based on my experience and expertise, rather than following a top-down, rigid approach.

My colleagues are empathetic and willing to lend me their ear and offer their advice, expertise or opinion. We genuinely care about each other’s wellbeing and that of our families, and we have shared many moments of laughter and banter. This is a great environment that allows me to be myself at work. I have made many local and international friends at the university and in China.

I love our campus and have chosen to make it my home. It’s a picturesque oasis of manicured gardens, diverse dining options, and sports and entertainment facilities, all accessible without the need for perfect Mandarin. All this has helped me to feel at home in Ningbo.

I really enjoy the local cuisine as well as the affordable and high quality of life that Ningbo offers. As an avid hiker and cyclist, the beautiful mountains, lush suburbs, and temperate climate with long, hot summers and short, mild winters provide the perfect backdrop for my outdoor pursuits.

Find your perfect role here