An international love of literature pulls Paulina Garcia to Mexico City

portrait of Paulina Garcia

Paulina Garcia, an international student from Mexico, hasn’t been home for six years. After graduating from Evergreen with a Bachelor’s in literature in 2018, the time has come to return to her home country and claim a managing editorial position at a corporate publishing company called Mexico Business Publishing. Although Garcia was hoping to get an editorial position someday, she never thought the opportunity would come so soon.

“I applied for a sales and publication position because I have no experience. I’m just graduating college now,” Garcia said. But when she was interviewed for the sales position, she was asked why she wasn’t utilizing her degree to get an editorial position. Garcia, familiar to long-term planning, said she wasn’t opposed to working her way up. But her interviewer said, “Well, we do very intense training, and if you would like a position in editing, we can make that happen.” She was definitely interested, and she took the job.

“Here at Evergreen I’ve been able to have an outsider’s perspective, and not just, ‘I come from out of state.’ No, I come from a different country!” Garcia said. She went on to mention how much she enjoys learning about other perspectives while also sharing her own. She has fun comparing the ways she experiences Mexico’s attitudes toward the world with America’s frame of reference. “I like to sit down and hear what everybody has to say, and see, ‘Oh this is how the world sees this. This is how America sees the world.’”

One of her favorite topics to think about is the process one goes through to name, or label, other people. “I think the biggest thing that I took out of Evergreen was to learn to question how we name things, like ‘What’s the definition of a woman?’ or ‘What does it mean to be a writer? What is an American? What is a Mexican?’” Garcia believes that asking these questions benefits the world by expanding the possibilities of understanding. “I’m seeing this from this perspective, but is that the only perspective? Asking yourself that before you go ahead and talk really helps broaden your perspective.”

Garcia is happy to have the opportunity to work for a publishing company, but one day she would love to work for a publishing house that has more of a creative writing focus. Her ultimate dream, however, is to bring Evergreen to Mexico. “We don’t have interdisciplinary learning at the undergraduate level. Some major schools do, but it’s mostly during your Master’s and PhD. I would love for Mexico to have a relationship with Evergreen.” She mentioned that since the college has international affiliations with places like Denmark, China, and Spain, Mexico should have the opportunity to collaborate with Evergreen, as well. In Mexico, Garcia said, “you have your four years of college, and you can see your entire curriculum. It doesn’t really allow for growth. Yes, you come out of college being a professional, but what does that leave you with? Just knowing how to do something? I feel like Evergreen helps you grow.”

Evergreen aided Garcia on her path toward her dream, because the college fostered in her a drive to be more outgoing and assertive. Her experience with exploring perspectives through Evergreen’s interdisciplinary model draws her ever closer to a fulfilling career in the field of literature, and the project-based model of the college allows someone to “take what you learn and do something with it,” as she declared. And that’s exactly Garcia’s plan.