Wednesday, 2023 November 29

[Tuning In] Carmen Low, founder of Afterglow, reflects on her shifted mindset after working in China

At the age of 23, Carmen Low took the leap and left for Shanghai to experience a different professional pace. Since returning to Singapore, she co-founded Afterglow, a vegan restaurant that embodies a sustainable, plant-based lifestyle, as well as Getai Group, an arts and music collective that champions original content and organizes festivals. Also a member of the 16th National Youth Council, she aims to imbue young people with skills and values so they can thrive in a globalized world.

The following interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.

KrASIA (Kr): What motivated you to head to Shanghai?

Carmen Low (CL): Since I was young, I knew that I really wanted to be in an environment that’s fast-moving and fast-paced. While I wouldn’t call Singapore slow, it can be repetitive, and I wanted something that is out of my comfort zone and a bit more adventurous. At the time in 2010, China was opening up, and it was a dynamic economy. I wanted a place that could help me in my personal growth, and everything fell into place.

Kr: How did you manage to land a job in Shanghai?

CL: I tried many ways to get myself there, but there was no way. One reason was that I was working for a big American MNC. Like every big company, they would say, “You’re too young. You need a few more years of experience.”

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