#53 Vanessa Narvios – Battling the odds to land her dream job in China
Vanessa has global experience spanning over three continents in event management for a range of companies. She currently heads the Operations division of China Sports Promotions, organizers of high-end boxing events across Asia, most famously know in Shanghai as, “Brawl on the Bund.” Vanessa has been in Shanghai for over three years and is joined by her husband. Today, she’s going to give a little insight into her China experience and how defied the odds to land her dream job.
Keep on fighting for what you want out of this short, crazy life that we are given. Greatness will come – you just have to want it bad enough!
How she got to China
Ever since studying International Business during her undergrad, Vanessa knew China was in her future; she just figured it’d be in her way, way future. From her undergrad she went straight to get her MBA with Hult International Business School because they had a 1-year master’s degree program with a global rotation program that really caught Vanessa’s eye. Initially, she planned on being in Shanghai for 6 weeks during the rotation program, but after changing her mind 30 times she finally chose Shanghai as her ‘home’ campus. This decision turned her 6 week commitment into a 6 month commitment. Well, it didn’t take Vanessa long to fall head over heels in love with Shanghai. Just two weeks after arriving, she changed all of her travel plans and has been here ever since.
Landing the job
Well, it took two years but Vanessa shares how she basically stumbled into the perfect position with China Sports Promotions. Upon completing her masters, she didn’t have the 2 years of qualifying work experience after earning her bachelor’s to get the China work visa. Instead of going home, she chose to stay which meant she worked two years as a teacher. Listen in to hear how Vanessa intentionally used those two years to prepare her for the pivotal interview that led to her securing her current role.
Lessons learned along the way
- If possible, hold multiple positions at once, even if they’re volunteer. That way you’ll really get a feel for what you’re good at and where your passions lie.
- Be true to yourself. If you aren’t happy, make a change!
- Never, ever burn bridges. Shanghai’s expat community is large, and small all at the same time. You never know when you’re going to run into that old boss…
- Sometimes no matter how much effort and perseverance you put into something, if it’s not meant to be, then its not meant to be.
- Keep your eye on the prize. Even if you have to do a job for a little while that you don’t love to stay in China, do it and keep your eyes and ears open for the next opportunity.
- Never give up! China is tough, but its worth it.
- Give 100% in everything! Look for the positive in every situation. It makes things go much easier!
How’s your Mandarin
While she was teaching, Vanessa did three semesters at university studying Mandarin (See what I mean about being totally intentional about pursuing her future career?!) She describes her level as lower intermediate and believes that as a young professional in China building your career, you must learn Chinese to stay competitive.
Connect to Vanessa
LinkedIn: Vanessa Narvios
or email firstname.lastname@example.org