Typical First Week Questions

You will have a colleague or student assigned to help you get around, but you may still have some questions.
We prepared here some answers to your typical questions for the first week at WHU:
What should I wear on my first day? Will my phone and email be working? Will I be in training classes my first day or week? (If driving: How will I know where to park?) What time do I go on my first day? Do I bring my lunch; if not, where are places to eat?

  • Hopefully you can clarify some of your questions about your first day (or first week) before you arrive, by contacting your supervisor or manager, or the human resources person you have been in contact with. In general, the attire worn by staff varies greatly, depending on guidelines set by the supervisor or manager, work rules (e.g., Uniforms due to safety issues), and degree of customer service support being provided.
  • Your phone will likely be working, as it is probable you inherited a previous employee's phone. Email, such as the integrated Webmail and Calendar is usually set up within the first two weeks upon arrival. Please keep in contact with your manager and explain if you need this done sooner.
  • Your supervisor/manager/HR coordinator names a person (colleague or student) to provide orientation assistance.
  • If you will be driving and parking on the main campus, please talk to the person designed to help you about what you require to park your car within the campus.
  • It is important to clarify your manager's expectation of your work hours prior to your first day. If your offer letter did not include the hours you are expected to be at work, contact your hiring manager/supervisor or the human resources coordinator at your department to find out what time you should arrive on your first day. The typical work hours are M-F, 8.30am to 5pm for full time employees; however, actual work hours may vary depending on the needs of your department or if you work an alternative shift.
  • You don't need to bring lunch unless you prefer your own food. The canteens on campus have an extensive variety of Chinese and some Western style meals. Talk to the person designed to help you about getting a canteen card.

  • Benefits Questions:
    How do I learn about the medical, dental, and retirement savings plans?
  • The benefits, pension scheme, medical insurance and salary options should be explained to you upon hiring. The benefits vary according to your employment scheme. If you wish to make an additional private medical insurance for yourself and your family, please contact your supervisor or person to help and they will provide assistance in choosing the right package for your needs.

  • Employee Identification
    What identification do I need as a WHU employee?
  • You will receive a foreign expert ID booklet. Your supervisor will guide you through the process of obtaining it. This is important also because according to Chinese law you need to register with the Citizen's Bureau within the first weeks of your arrival in Wuhan and the booklet together with your work contract and your accommodation contract serves as proof of residence in China.

  • Accommodation
    How do I find accommodation in Wuhan? Is it expensive? For how long am I supposed to rent? Can I buy my own house/apartment?
  • Your supervisor or the person named to help you should be able to provide some assistance prior to your coming to Wuhan. However, the standards of living vary between Western and Chinese points of view and depending on your housing needs, we recommend you to see some apartments for yourself before deciding which is best for you. The prices of rentals are moderate, an 80 square meters apartment should cost you between 1500 and 5000 CNY depending on location, services, furniture, etc. A normal contract for renting an apartment is signed for one year. You can also buy your own house/apartment, but obtaining the financing from a bank can be a lengthy process, so perhaps you are better off if you first rent and later decide to buy, when you are more familiar with the best neighborhoods and facilities.

  • Finding Answers to Questions
    How do I know who to contact in my department when I have questions on a variety of things?
  • Your closest resource is your manager or supervisor or the person named by the manager to assist you. You may also have a human resources coordinator/manager. Department administrators and team leads are quite knowledgeable about the work group, department, and school or VP area. Hopefully any of these people can respond to your questions or direct you appropriately.
  • If you need technical help for your computer or telephone, your department may have a dedicated computer resource person.
  • Also, explore your department's website to learn about the mission, goals, and possibly organizational structure to get familiar with how your department supports the University's mission and how your new position fits in.

  • Finding Training
    What training am I supposed to take?
  • Talk with your manager to identify required training or certifications for your position
  • Clarify training expectations that are role-specific; there may be procedures or systems you must learn to successfully complete your new responsibilities, even if they are not required by the University.

  • Finding My Way Around How can I learn my way around the main campus?
  • One of the best ways to orient yourself to the main campus is to take a walking tour to the person named to assist you. A map of the campus is on the site and available to download, however the campus is very large and most of the buildings bear only Chinese characters, therefore walking with somebody who knows the campus well is a good idea.
  • If you work in a location not on the main campus, you'll need to find out what transportation options are used (e.g., Electric cars, bicycle, scooter, motorcycle, city bus) to go to other WHU buildings.

  • What flex work options are available?
  • If your job includes responsibilities that require you to be mobile around campus or between locations, discuss tools and practices to enable you to be efficient and productive while traveling between sites and while away from the main workplace. You may reside a significant distance from campus, so a flexible work place option schedule may be an idea to raise with your manager or supervisor if your job duties lend themselves to mobile work practices.

  • Getting Paid, Reporting Time and/or Leave, Vacations, Calling Sick When do I get paid? What are the procedures to report hours worked and/or leave taken? How do vacation and sick leave accrue?
  • Please pay very much attention to the following information! To be able to start working at WHU you first need your diplomas certified and approved by the relevant governmental institutions in Beijing. This is a lengthy process, therefore you need to have sufficient funds to take you through the first months of your stay in Wuhan. The Univeristy provides a settling in allowance to help throughout this period.
  • Payment periods are according to the actual worked days, from the 1st of the month to the 30th or 31st of the month. Note: You receive your money on the 8th of each month, however this largely depends on School's internal regulations and your employment scheme. The payment date should be written in the contract you have signed with WHU. Hypothetical example: If you start on the 25th of the month, you will get paid for the five days you worked before the end of the pay period (through the 31st. This assumes all your hiring requirements have been fulfilled, such as tax forms, etc.
  • See Financial Activities for an overview of pay-related information.
  • To report time and/or leave, the majority of WHU employees are expected to inform the supervisor/manager/HR coordinator. For external departures in the interest of work, you need to prepare documentation to the International Office, to make sure your expenses are being reimbursed.
  • There are a few public holidays in China, during which times people normally go on vacations. Vacation leave normally accrues on the last day of each month, after you have earned the hours for that month. Sick leave accrues on the first day of each month, to be available in case you need it during that month, unless you are admitted to the emergency department in the hospital.

  • Trial Period
    When is my trial period over?
  • All newly hired employees must complete a trial period in which you and your manager mutually assess if the position is a good fit. Typically, specific objectives are set and at the end of the trial period a performance discussion with your manager takes place. The length of your trial period should have been stated in your offer letter; if not, clarify that with your manager.

  • University Holidays and Closures
    What are the University's paid holidays?
  • The Chinese New Year aka " The Spring Festival " and the summer holidays are public holidays and they do not affect your pay. The University closes during the three weeks of Chinese New Year celebrations.
  • Updated March the 15th 2013