Nǐ hǎo HonuGuavers –你好
Today marks the third month of the official HonuGuava launch and we could not be more grateful with our loyal audience. We would like to celebrate by featuring our first podcast – In conversation with the one and only – Inemesit Williams (a.k.a Ine).
“Most people have internally the ability to do something. They just need to find a path, be connected to the right resources, and have the right support!” Inemesit Williams.
Ine is not only a resourceful, altruistic and life leader/role model, but also projects a fascinating persona all around! Check out how Ine’s journey beautifully unveils through her inspiring story. Also, you do not want miss her invaluable tips on how to live/work in China and beyond!
Ine explains how she and her family defied the odds and disrupted the U.S. status quo! Ine in retrospect:
Ine’s mother homeschooled her to provide her with a wider range of opportunities that she may have not otherwise had. Ine’s mother decided to use the state law to help Ine and her siblings get a well-rounded education at home. Everything that Ine’s family did became a source of knowledge — from going to the movies to shopping for groceries–. “Mom’s institution required more input of educational hours; all that combined with rich activities which ranged from local to international experiences”.
I would like to introduce a related excerpt from Maria Popova on the roots of inequality — A review of Jared Diamond’s ‘Guns, germs and steel: The fates of human societies’:
“With an eye to the social environment and educational opportunities that shape the intellectual destiny of human beings, Diamond argues that our notions of intelligence are not only gravely skewed by the Western perspective but just about inverted.”…”— We actually measure cultural learning rather than innate cognitive ability.”
Due to Ine’s experiences with a tired and exclusionary education system, she knew that despite taking college classes and extra credits, the U.S. would not evaluate her two years of high school education in Mexico because she was not meeting specific curriculum requirements. However, these hurdles did not stop Ine from reaching to University of California Irvine’s academic counseling office. At UCI, Ine found an advocate willing to support her case. She found her way to qualify for the admissions process, entered UCI and successfully graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology (Emphasis in Molecular and Cellular & Developmental Biology). Ine was immediately offered to continue into the UCI PhD in Biology program with full funding.
After a year into her PhD, she started to question if science was what she would like to do for the rest of her life. Despite the amazing opportunity, she knew that she had to pursue a different path in life. The question was, know what?
From Corporate America to International Education: How do you switch careers all of the sudden?
Ine entered Corporate America to work in a Pharmaceutical company. She used this time to save some money to pay for her Master’s Degree. Nevertheless, Ine was not sure on what field to enter. Ine had heard how librarians serve as great resources. Before speaking with a librarian, Ine asked herself:
What do I enjoy the most?
She narrowed it down to:
- I like to explore new cultures and enjoy languages
- I like to help people figure out what to do with their lives
- I like to travel
Ine found out that there was a job that would allow her to help people go to other countries. She proceeded to find out what were the type of skills she needed to fulfil the role.
Do I need a particular background for this? — she asked.
It was then when she was advised to pursue a Master Degree in Counselor Education. Ine set her eyes on the International Education field of work. Upon graduating with Honors from her graduate program, Ine started working at the study abroad office from California State University Long Beach (CSULB), where she worked her way up to becoming the director of the Center. Just so you all know, this is how Valentina had the honor to meet Ine. Ine was both: Valentina’s advisor and eventually, her star supervisor at the CSULB International Student Center, a fantastic place to study and work.
Ine decided to take her career even further, and she went to China! How did she make the move?
- As her sister lived in China, she went with the idea that she would go to visit for a spontaneous adventure.
- Ine got a one-year tourist visa as a U.S. Citizen.
- Ine’s sister worked for an American School in Shanghai, which hires substitutes and pay cash on a regular basis. Ine though that she would give it a try. Ine explained that she did not have a visa and asked “Can I still work here? “To which they responded — Yes, as a substitute is not a problem!
- Then, they tested Ine out, and decided that they would hire her as a long term substitute.
- On the side, she was an academic coach and consultant (online and in-person) for a group of international expats living in China.
- Apart, she also helped parents navigate outside of the school creating multiple avenues for engaging in constant personal and professional progress.
- Ine did not need Mandarin for working at all! – Nonetheless, she did acknowledged that it was important and that she wanted to pursue learning the language. She suggest that you have both: a personal motivation and a connection to your goals.
Key resources to takeaway:
- Research Associates network that helps highly qualified and carefully screened candidates obtain positions in some of the best international schools worldwide.
- Chinese Government Scholarship linked on your local People’s Republic of China Embassy/Mission/ Consulate General to get funding and full board scholarships to study in China – http://en.csc.edu.cn/.
- Get yourself a boyfriend/girlfriend/partner who would help you practice the language! 😉