Chinese Students Selected for Overseas Internship

Interns Mr Benjamin Kuo & Miss Joanna Chang

KOLKATA, (C.M. Paul) – In a rare show of talent, one Chinese MBA final year student and another pursuing BSC Media of a leading business school in Kolkata are set to leave next week (15 April) for internship in China and Germany respectively. Both toppers at the Institute of Leadership Entrepreneurship and Development (iLead) along with a third student are handpicked from their batch for the coveted overseas work experience.

Mr Benjamin Kuo who graduated from St Xavier’s College Calcutta with a first division score in his honors degree is awarded a three month internship programme in Guangdong New Economic Zone in MainlandChina.

His colleague at the B-School  Miss Joanna Chang is former student of Loreto College Calcutta and has great passion to travel and explore the world. She will work in Bremen, Germany.

Both are members of Auxilium Parish Kolkata and belong to the Mary Immaculate Chinese Chapel in Dhapa.

“I am looking forward to go toChinaand will make full use of this opportunity, I am confident that this experience will enhance my growth both personally and professionally,” says 24 year old Mr Kuo who belongs to the batch of 2006 from Don Bosco School Park Circus.

“I am grateful to our Director, Mr. Pradip Chopra for believing in my capabilities and giving me this opportunity. I sincerely hope I will live up to his expectation” adds Miss Chang who had her schooling at Grace Ling Liang School Kolkata.

Incidentally, both interns belong to the first batch of students from the i-Lead Institute of Business Management, Kolkata.

“The Chinese community in Kolkata is proud of the achievements of these two enterprising students and wish others too follow their example to venture out into professional and mainstream jobs,” said their former teacher at Scared Heart Chinese School, Weston Street, Kolkata Miss Daisy Mary Kuo.

Today, the Chinese in Kolkata work as tannery-owners, sauce manufacturers, shoe shop owners, beauticians, dry-cleaners and restaurateurs. Among services, teaching and dentistry are traditional occupation.

The first person of Chinese origin to arrive in Calcutta was Yang Tai Chow who arrived in 1778. He worked in a sugar mill with the eventual goal of saving enough monies to start a tea trade.

Many of the earliest immigrants worked on the Kidderpore docks. A police report in 1788 mentions a sizeable Chinese population settled in the vicinity of Bow Bazaar Street.

Kolkata is the only city in India to have a Chinatown, the only other Chinatown to exist in Mumbai has practically disappeared.

It is estimated that the Chinese population in Kolkata number less than 2,000.

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One response to “Chinese Students Selected for Overseas Internship

  1. Waking up to this small story from Tangra

    In Benjamin Kuo’s success in securing an internship in China through his business school program, there lies a lesson in life for all of us. His recent achievement, built on the strength of his academic credentials at iLEAD, is not just a matter of pride for the Chinese community in Tangra. Left largely unnoticed by mainstream Calcutta (whatever that means), this story plays out that oft repeated adage, where persistence overcomes all odds.

    Yet, this is not merely a triumph of persistence; rather there is something more. Let us admit this: we are not the most Chinese friendly society in our City of Joy. While it would be blatantly unfair to paint all Calcuttans with this mildly racist brush, many of us who have friends in Tangra have seen this treatment meted out, either overtly or covertly. We don’t need to go too far to pin the blame on someone else – what are the first few associations that come to one’s mind when one talks about a Chinese student from Tangra?

    Living in this mildly hostile academic environment can be frustrating, at best. How do you perform when you are written off because of your ethnicity? What inspires you, when people who live around you expect you to confirm to a norm set by precedents you are not proud of? In all fairness, few can answer that question, yet to some extent Benjamin Kuo has. Having known him since high school, he will be the first to point out that this internship is simply a small stepping stone, in what I personally hope will be an extremely successful career. However, in fighting those demons planted by people around him, Benjamin or anyone who knows and reads about him should not miss the significance of this small stepping stone.

    So what do we learn from Benjamin?

    • For one, persistence pays and there are no substitutes for it, no matter where you are in life. (Read: family business owners) From doing reasonably well in Don Bosco Park Circus to graduating with honors from St. Xavier’s to topping his class now, Benjamin’s story so far makes a strong case for hard work.

    • For two, I hope this marks a small yet subtle shift in our perception of friends in Tangra. Calcutta, today, may have little to boast of – yet, our liberal values are something we should cling on to desperately, for that is what sets us apart in this country.

    (The writer claims to be a good friend of Benjamin and has known him since those fine, fine days of Don Bosco School Park Circus)

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