Where are they now? Paola Sota, EMTM 2015-2017
June, 13 2023
Where are they now?
EMTM Alumni go in different directions after they graduate. In the blog series "Where are they now?" EMTM Alumni share their career development stories.
Paola Sota from generation 2015-2017 shares about her professional career after graduating from EMTM.
Paola Sota, 33
Bachelor's degree: Tourism Management
- Why did you decide to apply for EMTM?
As soon as I discovered EMTM, I knew it was the perfect program for me. Although I had already studied tourism for my bachelor's degree, I wanted to explore more into sustainability. The idea of learning alongside like-minded people who shared my passion for exploring diverse cultures and traveling was exhilarating - I knew this was a unique opportunity I could not miss.
- What is your best EMTM memory?
Although countless memories come to mind, I now find myself drawn to the more 'normal' ones - like waking up in different countries, getting ready for school with my flatmates and meeting my amazing group of classmates daily. Looking back, I realize how special those experiences were. Each lesson was an opportunity to hear unique perspectives and viewpoints from people with vastly different backgrounds than my own, there was so much to learn.
- What was your next step after EMTM?
During my last semester, I dedicated my time to writing my thesis and completing an internship at one of Peru's commercial offices overseas. It had been a longstanding dream of mine to work for my country and this experience allowed me to take a step toward that goal.
- How did the EMTM program help you in your professional career?
Studying at three different universities across Europe and being part of such a rich and diverse group of people gave me a unique perspective on the global tourism industry. This international overview, combined with the diverse range of skills and knowledge I got through the program allowed me to secure my current position.
- What is your current job and what do you like the most about it? What are the main tasks?
I work for the Trade Commission of Peru in the Netherlands. I’m in charge of promoting Peru as a destination in the Benelux markets. We are a small team, so it is a very active job. I get to be creative with marketing campaigns, finding partnerships, brand management and market research. What do I like the most? To work for my country and indirectly help Peruvians through tourism.
- What is your career goal?
During EMTM, I was introduced to social entrepreneurship. I was delighted with the idea of creating a positive impact through tourism; my goal was to start my own social enterprise focused on community-based tourism.
In our current society, making genuine connections with the locals while traveling is becoming more challenging. With this in mind, I started with Ancestral Teacher an online platform that will gather community-based tourism projects where travelers can learn or improve skills from ancestral teachers. As often in life, I needed reassurance that it was a good idea. Last year, I presented my idea to a social enterprise competition in tourism and we won in the launch track (new ideas).
I am thrilled to share that I have been invited to present more about it at ITB this year. I was excited to return to this fair as a speaker, as I was previously there with EMTM as a student. I aim to bring more awareness to responsible community-based tourism projects through Ancestral Teacher and I hope this opportunity will help make that a reality.
Questions answered by Paola Sota (Peru), Alumna of EMTM Generation 2015-2017