Embark on my journey through China…
As I sit here in the San Francisco airport, I finally realize the journey that lies ahead. There is much to learn from traveling the world, though I have been to China (Beijing, and Shanghai, respectively) several times. Each time I create a take away more valuable than the last. In the following blog posts, I will expand on my interest towards the feud between the north and the south, the cultural and environmental aspects of doing business abroad, my personal take on visiting the “mainland” as an ABC (American Born Chinese), and the many great sights to see which display the historical beauty of China.
Last year I exposed myself to a foreign workplace as I interned for three months at TMF Group in Shanghai, China. There, I scratched the surface of the infamous term “guanxi”, workplace culture, and corporate governance. On a day to day basis, I worked with Shanghai co-workers that spoke english “fluently” [I say “fluently” because they were all textbook fluent, and lacked some knowledge regarding slang and common phrases] and went to college researching foreign consumer behaviors. One of the reasons why I believe I added value to the workplace was through my American heritage. Though the employees at TMF group have been researching and reading from textbooks/the internet what Americans “like” or “want”, their perception proves the known concept and theory, “learning best by experiencing”. I helped the Business Development sector by merely using my past experience or behavior to certain situations to help create better bonds with foreign customers, etc. It surprised me how communication among countries are different, and how it is very language specific. Having knowledge of the Chinese culture, the way many emails were constructed to American customers seemed like they were directly translated from Mandarin, versus constructed from English. However, my experience at TMF taught me more than I could ever give back to the company. This trip to China, under the China-US Student Summit, I would like to gain the same amount of or even more value from interacting and networking with students and business professionals abroad.
As a business student at Chapman University, classes are saturated with the talk of China, the global business empire where labor is cheap, population, disposable income and demand is high. It is a hub of willing consumers and businesses. Every time I have traveled to China, it was in terms of vacation, from this trip/course, I really would like to gain more knowledge on the businesses and financial market; I want to be able to use what I have learned at Chapman to better comprehend the culture of doing business abroad.