How My Educational Journey Led Me to Be Interested in Working in China
Teresa Paniagua Sanchez, Loyola University Andalusia, TBC Virtual Internship Program, Summer 2021
Why did I, Teresa Paniagua Sanchez, end up doing my internship in China as a Spaniard? That’s a good question.
Several aspects have influenced my professional path and have made me choose to do my internship at The Beijing Center (TBC) this summer.
The first reason for choosing my internship experience is my previous international experience. I am a Spanish student from a small city in the south called Cordoba. I have always had many interests and, traveling and discovering other countries has been one of them since I was a child. In my room, I have a painting that describes perfectly with one word what happens to me – wanderlust. It is the spirit of those who have a strong desire to travel and explore the world.
The enthusiasm for studying abroad also influenced me to choose my university, as I wanted to give a fairly global approach to my degree. That is why I chose the double degree in Business Administration and International Relations. In addition, my university, Universidad Loyola Andalucia, offered me the great opportunity to do the U.S/Europe Double Business Degree, a degree with official recognition in the United States and the European Union that allowed me to study in Rome and then a full year in Chicago.
This experience fulfilled me on a personal and professional level, as I was able to do an internship in a Chicago-based startup. During the internship, I acquired a global view of the trends and problems at national and international levels and increased my capacity for interpretation and analysis. However, the most important output that I gained from the internship is working in multicultural environments and adapting to them.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 outbreak prevented me from staying longer in the United States, which was difficult for me personally and professionally. Nevertheless, new opportunities are just around the corner, and the Virtual Internship Program was one of them. Thanks to the agreement between Loyola Andalucia University and TBC, I had the opportunity to get a scholarship to be part of this program. I was so lucky to be chosen since I could boost my professional career in a global environment.
I am currently an intern for the Media and Communications department of The Beijing Center. Among the organizations that offered the Virtual Internship Program (VIP), TBC was one of them. That being said, the second reason for me doing my internship in China and specifically at TBC is the Jesuit component. All the universities or centers I have previously attended belong to the Jesuit network. For me, that aspect gives all my experiences added value. I have been educated in an environment where the religious element was present, which is something that I am grateful for towards my parents. Nowadays, it is not easy to be formed as adults with a community sense of service and moral duty.
If someone asked me about my experience in this program, all the comments they will hear from me would be positive. Not only has the VIP given me the opportunity to do an international internship, but also the possibility to have a holistic approach to China. The cultural classes were my first contact with China, a country that was completely unknown to me. The most challenging part of the program was the Chinese classes with my tutor Vivian. Although the six-hour time zone difference required me to wake up at 7 am to attend class, Vivian’s laughter when I pronounce any Chinese words makes it totally worth it.
I don’t want my international journey to end any time soon. What is more, I would love to visit China someday and work there too.