Min Li’s voyage to Nova Scotia from China was different than most new arrivals—she came by car. She and husband, Shiyuan, son Jack, now 10, and daughter Ryann, 3, had lived a short time in Seattle, Washington, and drove across the continent to arrive here in December 2016.
Min had been accepted through the Nova Scotia Nominee Program. She had studied accounting and international finance in France, having earned her Master’s of Business Administration in 2003. Back in Beijing, she worked in a state-owned international finance company, and often travelled throughout Southeast Asia. She spent eight years as a data analyst at the American Embassy, which included two trips to the United States.
Min was ready for yet another change. “Recognition of Nova Scotia in China is very little,” she explains. “I looked at the map and got to know Halifax is the largest city; I thought it won’t be too bad because it’s near the sea.”
Min says ISANS was helpful to both her and her husband. They enrolled upon arrival and received a language assessment. She attended job search strategies workshops, and Shiyuan, a former CEO in information technology, continues to attend English classes. Min’s employment specialist at ISANS identified the job she now has as an airline planning analyst at Halifax Stanfield Airport. “First day we met, I said I was good at analysis and she said there might be a job for you.”
Min helps air carriers determine their future in terms of capacity, types of flights and business plans. Although she was new to the airline industry, she was instrumental in getting a cargo flight to Halifax that can deliver 700 tons of fresh lobster direct to China in 14 hours. “I started from scratch, but I can see opportunities in China.”
Her personal life is also satisfying and she appreciates the work/life balance here. “Especially for husbands,” she says. “There is much more pressure on the male in China. Here men and women are more equal.” She is thrilled that her son has time for activities—cello, swimming and basketball—as school is not as demanding as in China. “There, everyone takes extra classes, even in English.”
She has found it easy to make friends but has no spare time beyond work and family. She hopes to study drawing once her daughter is older. Min is committed to staying in Nova Scotia, especially if her son remains here after high school.
For now, her focus is connecting her new home with her old one, including attracting a commercial airline to fly direct from Halifax to Beijing. It’s an exciting challenge—all part of Min’s future in Nova Scotia.