Tag Archives: International business

Viviana Ruge Discusses Her Experience Studying in Shanghai, China

When faced with a foreign place one might run in the opposite direction – a world of unknown is nothing less than intimidating. It takes someone brave to conquer a place of unfamiliarity, especially when the circumstances seem less desirable to someone peering in at a distance. Viviana Ruge unveiled her ability to be fearless when she decided to depart the United States and pursue the opportunity to study abroad in Shanghai, China. Viviana faced several challenges, but she did nothing less than persevere and create a positive, life changing experience for herself.

As a traveling young woman, Viviana had visited places like Columbia, Mexico and the Dominican Republic during family vacations prior to her study abroad experience. She has been exposed to several different cultures, but wanted to expand her horizons and knowledge of the world even further – she craved a study abroad experience that screamed originality. With that said, it is apparent why Viviana would choose Shanghai, China – It wasn’t the typical study abroad experience.

Although she would be attending Fukudan University which would teach her in English, it was a culture shock to Viviana when she realized that all signs and forms of campus guidance were written in Chinese characters. She knew she was going to face obstacles throughout her time in Shanghai – this was only the first. Viviana was not going to allow any hindrances to drag her down. Instead, she fought through and quickly found solutions – she further learned how to adapt and make this process easier on herself. She used her resources such as newly met friends and her Introduction to Chinese course to promote her survival.

Viviana quickly learned that Chinese was a language based on tones – yet another obstacle. When she thought she was saying something correctly she quickly learned her tone was a little off based on the confused reaction of the locals. She did not give up, though. Even after returning, Viviana, who is fluent in both English and Spanish, can still speak some Chinese, although she realizes learning the language requires time in order to keep up with it.

Although many would be skeptical, actually afraid, of a study abroad experience in China, Viviana embraced this opportunity. Her growth professionally, and personally, is evident through the stories she’s taken with her from Shanghai, her beaming confidence, and the way her eyes light up when she recalls fond memories, such as watching the sunrise from the Great Wall, and speaks about the possibility of returning. Viviana is a true role model for the Nichols community. Her story of bravery proves what can be accomplished when one doesn’t allow the fear of the unknown limit them.

Nichols Has Your Back-Graduation to International Trade Deals in Six Months

There is no doubt that Nichols College goes above and beyond to help out its students find their future career after graduation. In fact, 91 percent of the Nichols class of 2012 was employed only six months after graduating. Nichols was fortunate enough to have one of our 2012 graduates, Danny Tamayo, take some time to speak with a room full of about sixty curious Nichols students, as well as Professor Goncalves, about life after Nichols.

Danny graduated last year with a degree in international business, a popular major among the Nichols College population. Now, not even a year later, he has landed a job as a junior analyst for an international trading company that trades agricultural commodities. Tamayo discussed how his job includes everything from analyzing every single aspect of the supply chain to try to cut down costs, to researching the new market and different countries. Tamayo said, “A good example would be right now, I was working to open the Columbian market for the first time for my company and we recently just made our first sale and now we’re into our second sale with the same client.” It sounds as if Tamayo is off to a great start at his new job.

It definitely helped that Tamayo did an internship his junior year for the Massachusetts Export Center where he practiced the very same skill sets he is using at his current job. As he went into more detail, Professor Goncalves asked Tamayo what exactly Nichols College has done for him especially in the international business program. Tamayo responded with, “Nichols is the type of school that has your back, that’s the way I would put it. They have your back on whatever you want to do and they help you do that. They provide you with the confidence.” Tamayo definitely made it clear, that without having attended Nichols, he probably wouldn’t be where he is today.

The job that Tamayo applied for required five years or more in the field, but he applied anyway. Tamayo said that, “if it wasn’t for Nichols providing me with that confidence of how to write a perfect resume, or how to approach my supervisor or my boss in an interview, if it wasn’t for Nichols doing that, then I don’t know if I would have the job right now.” Tamayo deeply believes with the fact that Nichols properly prepped him for the interviewing process, especially when the President of his company told him that she has been in the industry for twenty years and she had never seen a resume so organized and straight to the point. Anyone who has taken a PDS class can surely believe that.

It’s hard to believe that Tamayo’s first big project in the industry was selling light red kidney beans to Columbia considering Tamayo is actually Columbian and speaks Spanish fluently. It began with the recent free trade agreement for the United States and Columbia. Tamayo shared that, “It was basically just months of researching and learning the free trade agreement in and out and learning how to sell these beans.” Tamayo’s company sells different varieties of beans so in order to figure out how to get Columbia to buy, he had to research what sells, and what exactly people are eating.

Eventually Tamayo found out that light red kidney beans are extremely popular on the coast of Columbia. A light went off in his head when he realized that his company has a port right in the area where those beans are consumed, which means they could be sold right from the port. Once Tamayo had this figured it out, “it took months of researching and calling actual people and speaking to them in Spanish, one of them actually liked the idea of doing business with us.”

Over time, Tamayo got to know the client and built a relationship with them until they finally asked what Tamayo had to sell. The answer of course was light red kidney beans, which is exactly what the client wanted, imported to Tamayo’s main port. Tamayo made his first sale of 136 metric tons of kidney beans and with a smile on his face he said, “There’s no greater feeling than knowing you just sold this amount of beans that are going to get consumed by different types of people in this country.” With the first sale closed, Tamayo is on to his second sale with the same client, which is as equally as important because it means that he built a relationship.

With all his new success, Tamayo is thanking the international business program here at Nichols as well as sharing his advice. So what exactly is Tamayo’s advice for the Nichols students? “Just shine. If there’s one thing that the international business program showed me, and helped me understand, its that, the world is full of opportunities” It seems as if with the help of Nichols, Tamayo has discovered just how true that statement is.