Distinguished Foreign Alumni of Taiwan|Case Submission Form

National Taiwan University of Science and Technology-Charles Torres Almanza

National Taiwan University of Science and Technology-Charles Torres Almanza

Charles Torres Almanza | Peru

I have been working as a Business Manager at the BENQ headquarters in Taipei since March 2020. BenQ is a multinational company, that sells consumer electronics, computing and communications devices, with five branch offices in the Asia-Pacific, Europe, China, Latin America and North America. I work at the Business Display Products department of BenQ where I’m responsible for liaising with our regional headquarters at North America, including Canada, Latin America, mostly Mexico and Brazil, and Spain. As the contact window for the colleagues abroad, I am trying to solve their problems, or, if there are very special or technical issues, I will identify the responsible department here in Taipei. My language skills are vital for this position, as I need English and Spanish to communicate with colleagues and customers abroad, and Chinese to talk to the managers and engineers here in Taiwan.

This is my second job in Taiwan. Before I joined BenQ, I was working for a local start-up, a biotech company that develops decentralized medicine technologies. Right after graduation, it was a good experience to work in a small company where “everybody had to do everything”, as it is the case in most start-ups. I learnt a lot during those three years.

I fell in love with Taiwan, and wanted to work here

In 2014, I first came to Taiwan for a short stay to study Mandarin. I did not have any expectations at that time, I just wanted to learn the language. But I fell in love with Taiwan then, and when I went back to Peru, I started to make plans to live and work in Taiwan. So, quite different from others, I had already made up my mind to come to settle down in Taiwan, and getting a degree seemed to be the best way to achieve this goal. I was checking out several MBA programs offered by Taiwanese universities, and after thorough comparison, I chose the MBA program at Taiwan Tech. Also, I successfully applied for a scholarship by the Ministry of Education, so that I could concentrate on my studies without financial worries.

Enjoying campus life and the diversity of students’ backgrounds

In the beginning, the MBA program was quite challenging for me, because I had no background in business studies. My first degree was in dentistry! But, I consider it as a real strength of the Taiwan Tech international MBA program, that students have very diverse backgrounds, ranging from literature to social sciences to the sciences. I found that very enriching. I quickly adapted to student life, living in the on-campus dorm which allowed me to join student activities, savor the campus atmosphere, and make the most of my studies. The courses were mostly in English, but I also took a few Chinese-taught courses, and I continued to improve my Chinese language skills by taking courses offered by the Taiwan Tech language center. I could also take language courses at the neighboring NTU which was made possible through the newly established Three Universities Alliance.

Chinese language skills are vital for job seekers

Chinese language skills are extremely important for job-hunting in Taiwan. I landed my current position with BenQ due to my language skills which allow me to serve as a link between the Taiwanese staff here in the headquarters and the regional offices abroad.

I also advise to join the job and career fairs that Taiwan Tech organizes every year. I found my first job through such as fair, a position in a Taiwanese start-up, which was groomed in the Taiwan Tech Business Incubation Centre. Linking local and international students from different faculties with the young firms in the incubation centre was a perfect use of on-campus synergies.

Finally, I suggest that job-seekers upload their profiles to local job- hunting platforms, not just to LinkedIn, which is popular abroad, but so much in Taiwan. I found my current position with BenQ through the 104-platform which is mostly in Chinese, however.

Taiwan’s New Talent Recruitment Law is beneficial

As for my future plans, I am definitely planning to stay in Taiwan. For, the next couple of years, I will try to achieve a higher management position with BenQ which offers many career opportunities. Eventually, I would like to gain some more international experience, and work in one of the regional BenQ headquarters. Luckily, I could make use of a new law that allows foreigners to apply for permanent residency after three years if they graduated from a Taiwan university. I got my APRC card after fours of working in Taiwan. I feel good about being a permanent Taiwan resident who has the right to settle down in Taiwan, but will also have the opportunity to work abroad without having to worry about the residence status.

National Taiwan University of Science and Technology-Charles Torres Almanza
Charles (center) with professors from the Taiwan Tech School of Management

National Taiwan University of Science and Technology-Charles Torres Almanza
Charles with his family.

National Taiwan University of Science and Technology-Charles Torres Almanza
Charles with friends at his graduation ceremony in 2017.