Perspectives on China business, culture, and career development

Meet Abe Sorock and Eliz Rowland

Abe and Eliz share their experience of China business, culture, and careers on the Atlas Journal

Abe Sorock

Abe has personally been on all sides of China’s expat hiring process. In 2011, he found himself in the same place as many high performing young expat professionals in China: in a comfortable job that didn’t seem to be leading where he wanted to go, or building the skills he felt he would need down the line.

While seeking a way out, and learning firsthand the challenges in China’s expat job market, Abe resolved to help foreign professionals like him link up with companies in China that would use them in innovative and valuable ways.

He created a little company called ATLAS-China to do just that. He built a database of some of China’s top companies & startups in need of expat professionals, and begun matching them together.

Today, Abe is actively linking up China’s top talent with China’s top companies, as well as building his own team from the ATLAS-China database (that’s right, he uses his own product!).

Before founding ATLAS-China, Abe graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 2009 after studying abroad in China through the Associated Colleges in China intensive language program administered by Hamilton College.

He then spent a year in Nanjing earning a graduate certificate at the Johns Hopkins University – Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies, and served as a legal assistant at American law firm Reed Smith.

As well as running ATLAS-China, Abe is an active event organizer in the American business and international alumni communities in Beijing. He is part of the Steering Committee of the Alumni Clubs of Beijing all-universities networking platform, a resident of Moishe House Beijing and a volunteer with AmCham China.

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Elizabeth Rowland

Elizabeth has worked in government policy, law, and politics for nearly a decade in both the US and China, gaining insight into intercultural communications at the interpersonal as well as organizational levels. Having worked as an entrepreneur conducting trade with China, Elizabeth also has significant first-hand experience with the misunderstandings and complications that can arise in cross-cultural business.

From 2007 to 2011, Elizabeth ran her own jewelry company, Abella Galleries, sourcing products from and negotiating with Chinese factories, in order to export and sell jewelry online in the US. From 2010 to 2012, she worked at the American Chamber of Commerce in China (AmCham China) as a policy analyst and editor of the Chamber’s annual policy document, the American Business in China White Paper. In 2012, she joined the Beijing office of Covington & Burling law firm as senior manager of policy analysis (a non-lawyer), and served as the Vice Chair of the AmCham China Policy Committee.

After living in China for almost five years, Elizabeth recently returned home to Knoxville, Tennessee, and founded Rowland China Advisory, a consulting firm that advises foreign companies doing business in China on Chinese government regulatory and industrial policies, market access barriers, economic reforms, political developments, and other dynamics that create opportunities and challenges for foreign business ventures in China. She also assists clients in identifying potential sourcing/sales channels, joint venture partners, investors, and acquisition targets and advises clients on strategies for improving intercultural communication in the workplace.

Elizabeth received her master’s degree in international relations with concentrations on international economics and China studies from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in 2010. She received her bachelor’s degree in 2002 from the University of Colorado at Boulder in international affairs focusing on Latin American studies. She is fluent in Spanish and proficient in Mandarin Chinese. Elizabeth was born and raised in the rolling hills of East Tennessee.

Elizabeth’s contributions to the ATLAS-China Journal reflect her ideas and opinions alone, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of her present or past employers. She is currently writing a book on American-Chinese intercultural communication in the workplace. Contact her at elizabeth at atlas-china.com if you would like to be interviewed for the book, or are interested in publishing her writing.

Read more articles by Elizabeth