Internships-Veronica Cheang: Selling tea to China

Veronica Cheang was one of the winter quarter students in BIS 495, the internship course taught by Loren Redwood in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences at University of Washington Bothell. The students “combined passion with academic pursuit,” Redwood says, and by the end of the quarter, four of her 12 students had jobs.

Veronica CheangWhen you hear about Veronica Cheang’s internship, you wonder if she might have been the victim of a prank.

As a marketing intern with World Trade Center Tacoma, she was assigned to do research for a company that wanted to sell tea to China. Don’t you mean tea from China? No, the company was looking to sell tea to the world’s largest tea exporter.

It was a big challenge, Cheang says.

Her research found that nearly all the tea in China is produced by the 70,000 tea businesses in China. None have more than a two percent share of the market, which made it difficult for her client to find a China partner.

The internship at the nonprofit business development organization was a valuable experience for the media and communications studies major (fall ’17). “I learned that trade is not just about money or exchanging products and services,” she says. “It’s also communicating and promoting culture. It’s promoting your local culture to other people.”

Cheang has some insight into China as a resident of Macao, the former Portuguese colony that is known for casinos and is now a special administrative region of China. Her internship reinforced the importance of communication in cooperation with people all over the world. 

“This helped me understand what I learned from school better,” she says. “I think it’s a way to share.”

After graduation, Cheang hopes to work for year before pursuing a master’s in media production in Germany. She’ll need to learn German. “But I will,” she says.