"China is an amazing place to learn and develop. In my opinion, having the opportunity to work and live and to know China is without a doubt a great advantage to better position myself in the competitive job market," the 25-year-old, who studied business at the University of Wales, says.
Maria, from Columbia, will do an internship in Shanghai at CissCo Trading Co., Ltd, a supplier of complete plastic extrusion equipment and systems for pipes, sheets, films and other products. The company is looking to expand in Latin America, and she'll be working in their international trade and sales department.
"Since my roots are Latino and I speak Spanish, that's a plus."
Maria, while thrilled at an opportunity in China, understands challenges lie ahead.
"I know it's not going to be easy," she says. "I can't speak any Chinese apart from the very basic stuff. But I'm ready for it, I'm ready for the challenge and I don't like focusing on the obstacles but on the outcome."
Fortunately for Maria - and any Get in2 China intern - Mandarin language skills aren't necessary for an internship in Beijing or Shanghai, although learning the basics is encouraged.
"I'm hoping to get quality experience. The most important thing for me is to give my best, to go far and beyond what is expected," Maria says, adding "I expect my life to be busy." She's also looking forward to the networking opportunities she'll have at work and beyond.
Having worked tirelessly over the years to build relationships with a variety of companies, the Get in2 China Group offers professional opportunities in a variety of fields from business and finance to science, engineering and the arts. China is a land of endless opportunity, a nation open to expertise and talent from all over the world. The Get in2 China Group wants to help you build upon your career by offering you professional work experience in China, something employers across the globe value.
"I researched many agencies before choosing one, and for me the way Gi2C explains and provides you with information was crucial," says Maria. "I chose Get in2 China because of the way it presents information (on the website) and its "how to apply" process. Gi2C gives details of each step and what's next."
Maria adds that the cost of doing an internship in China was "important" and says the all inclusive program - which includes accommodations and networking events - was "affordable."
And, for Vivian, Gi2C's program coordinator, Maria has this to say, "She has done an extremely great job. I felt I received a world-class customer service. And for me that makes the difference."
Kudos to our Helen!
Leaving home, of course, isn't always easy, but the risk and adventure that lie ahead are well worth it. As we like to say at Get in2 China, "Forget fitting in. Are you ready to stand out?"
"My family is very supportive, my parents are the best source of encouragement I could ever have. My friends in England are all very encouraging as well, looking at me like I'm brave, and they love the idea."
What is Maria going to miss most about home in Columbia?
"I guess the food, but being adaptable is one of my characteristics, so I hope I won't miss much."