Meet Dani Zhao

Shifting into Gear

Dani wasn’t that much into cars, but once she started playing Need for Speed—a racing video game—everything changed. Shortly after, she got the urge to buy something sporty with a responsive gearshift; eventually opting for a Subaru WRX. There was a small problem, though—she had no experience with a manual transmission. “When I picked up my new car at the dealership, it took two hours to drive home, because I kept stalling.” She says she struggled for another three months before she got comfortable with the whole clutch, shift, and gas pedal combination; but now there’s no looking back. “I’m loving it—it’s like a toy,” she exclaims, “and driving an automatic now seems boring and too slow to react.”

Dani’s hankering for action might also explain her choice of VR games—her favourite is Beat Saber. “You put on your goggles and try to slice through big blocks representing musical beats. You hit them with your saber as they’re coming at you. It’s like an intense workout with the dodging, squatting, and slashing at obstacles.”

Singing, Strumming and the King of Soul

When she’s not satisfying her need for adventure, Dani loves to hone her artistic side. She started playing piano when she was young—which led to singing a cappella, conducting a school choir in college and, more recently, taking up the bass guitar. For listening, her music tastes are eclectic. “Since I’m from mainland China, some of my music influences are from there—artists such as David Tao and Khalil Fong. But I also was exposed to a lot of western artists in my teens,” she recalls. the King of Soul, Sam Cooke ranks as her all-time favourite.
f mark multiple colours

Part-time Tech Support

Dani is also a bit of a techie. In fact, she’s pretty handy when it comes to fixing a laptop when there’s a need. “My background is business, but I’m very much into IT. Most of my family is actually in telecommunications,” she explains. “I opted for the arts stream in school, which surprised the rest of the family who went the science route.” In fact, archaeology was her main interest early in her studies. “I remember subscribing to an archaeology magazine in high school, which wasn’t considered cool by my peers. I just love to learn how people lived back then and archaeology is the best way to discover that.”

Travel is About the Food

Dani hasn’t had a chance to travel a lot, mostly because her career has kept her super busy. However, when she contemplates her favoured destinations, the dining options are the big driver. If she had a few weeks to go anywhere, it would be either Japan or Europe. “I’ve read a lot about Japan and I’m also a foodie. I’d love to go and try the firefly squid as well as the wagashi (a traditional Japanese dessert) because they are hard to come by here.”

Dani also has a penchant for Japanese cooking knives, which might be useful around the house. Her love for food extends to the kitchen where she does a lot of home cooking. She loves the trio of tomatoes, basil and spices, which may lead to an Italian vacation so she can sample the local lasagna and replicate it back home.

Farber Family Fun

“I would definitely recommend Farber to a friend if there was a position that suited,” says Dani. Based on her own experience, she finds the environment warm and friendly. “The support among people is really important to me and people here are all willing to help one another out.” In fact, she finds friendliness has overcome the obstacles that came with starting a new role during the pandemic. However, Dani has shown time and time again that she can steer and navigate almost any challenge that comes her way.

Meet more Faces of Farber.