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Gayle Gao’s TOEFL Hall of Fame Interv...

发布时间:2011-12-12 21:34 来源:字号:T|T

Gayle Gao’s TOEFL Hall of Fame Interview

来历:21英语网    日期: 2011-12-12

Ms. Gayle Gao


Ms. Gayle Gao

“I think TOEFL provided an opportunity to those young people who grew from grass root families, making it possible and relatively fair for them to go abroad to pursue further study and new life.‘Opening policy’ opened another door for Chinese to seek happiness and success. English study is an important facilitator of the ‘Opening policy’, and TOEFL is the symbol of English study.

Ms. Gayle Gao, Regional HR, Asia and Australia

我以为托福测验为来自“草根家庭”的年青人提供了机遇,使他们可以在相对公正的前提下,出国留学、追逐空想以及开启全新人生。改良开放政策为中国的年青人打开了一扇探求幸福和乐成的大门。英语进修是改良开放政策很是要害的促进身分,而托福测验则可以被看作是英语进修的符号。


1. When did you decide to study abroad and why did you choose the major?

I made this decision to study abroad when I had been studying in Peking University. However, since my first foreign language is Russian, I wasn’t ready for that. In college I just barely passed CET-4 at the score of 62. After graduation I started working for P&G and learning to speak English. Working in an English speaking environment provided me both of opportunity and pressure to practice and improve my English intensively. P&G also sent me to take English courses at the British Council. In 2001 I finally was ready to pass TOEFL test and applied for the MPA program at Harvard Kennedy School.

2. Could you elaborate how the TOEFL test helped you pursue the education and the life you want?


At the work, English had been a liability for me. In order to study in the US, I had to improve my English and prepare for the TOEFL test. During this process and struggling, I gradually made progress. Totally I took the test 4 times before I achieve a decent score for my application. My passion is to impact others for good. In college, I have been an avid writer and won the prestigious national journalist prize. The publication of my Chinese writing enabled me to influence people directly. Started with the TOEFL test, both my education and professional paths have become broader. Since then, it has opened a door for me to access a bigger part of the world.

3. How did TOEFL help with your application for the job in multi-national company? Is your study abroad experience helped your career development at Beiersdorf?

I was unable to communicate in English when I started my career in the MNC. P&G hired an interpreter for me during the recruiting interview process. The effort I spent on the TOEFL enabled me to enter Harvard. With such an experience and much improved English ability, I have been able to advance my career with confidence. With the booming economy in China, many global or regional executive positions in the MNC become reachable to Chinese professionals, but English remain as one basic requirement. Currently I am working in Beiersdorf as Regional Vice President for Asia and Australia. Imaging that I didn’t study abroad and couldn’t speak fluent English, it would be impossible for me to take the role.

4. What values you believe that the TOEFL test has brought to China and millions of young, ambitious talented Chinese? Does TOEFL still matter to Chinese young people even if they don’t desire overseas study but desire a career in multinational companies? Why?

The TOEFL test brings more than just English advancement to the Chinese students. It offers an tangible equal opportunity to those young citizens to pursue a career and life they want to choose. It is a grassroots meritocracy that they can rarely experience. While people may argue that TOEFL score can’t fully reflect the actual English capability of a person, still it is one of few fair tests in China by taking which young talents may kick off their journey for a more prosperous future.

Working in the MNC may build a solid career foundation for these young people before they consider studying abroad. Many MNC encourage employees to take the language test like TOEFL or TOEIC to constantly improve their English.

5. Can you share your advice to students who are in college toady on how to prepare themselves in the increasingly competitive world and be successful?

Living in Asia, the engine area of the world economy growth, students in college is facing unprecedented opportunities in their future career path. Meanwhile, it’s critical for one to equip himself/ herself with solid skills to be ready to embrace the opportunities. English is one of many skills that could make you competitive. By Mckinsey report, among the 6-7 millions of undergraduates per year in mainland China, only 10% of them could meet MNCs’ basic requirements on foreign language skills, cultural fit or practical education. Speaking good English may enable a student to automatically surpass 90% of his/her peers.

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