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Go-getter: At a dreary Beijing job fair, Li Dengliang won me over

Reporters on the Job: I attended a the dreary job fair in Bejing for the story about job prospects for Chinese graduates, and I came away thoroughly impressed with Li Dengliang. The Class-of-2008 business major passing through the area already had a job – selling printing supplies for a big company – and it was clear why.

Unlike the generally mild-mannered job hunters milling around whom I approached to interview, this energetic young salesman, dressed in head-to-toe black, zipped up to me and started talking. He’d heard me speaking English – his latest goal – and he wanted to practice.
The young man was confident, chatty, and full of energy and long-term plans. “As long as you persist, you’ll succeed,” he told me more than once. And he was clearly willing to work hard: His base salary barely matched that of a well-paid migrant factory worker, and he relied on commission for more than half his income.

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If I were one of the recruiters who showed up that day, I’d have hired him on the spot.