It is a bit hard to believe that this trip is actually upon us. Coming in the middle of finals week, it was a bit difficult to think much about, which is a bit different since we are traveling across the world. So, it just really hit me, as we were in LAX at 4:30 this morning, that we are embarking on a, hopefully, eye opening journey.
Over the past 8 years or so, growing up as a student here in the US, it has been hard to avoid the hype that “China is the future,etc…”. Now that I have completed some of my undergrad at Chapman, obviously I have been able to gain a deeper knowledge about the true strength and importance that business in China has around the globe. However (other than from the class sessions thus far), I really have a limited knowledge of the real relationship between culture and business in China.
I have been exposed to very little corporate business outside of the US, so seeing that completely different culture will definitely be interesting. I think one of the aspects I am most interested in learning about is how their leadership styles differ from those in the US. For example, I don't expect to see anything similar to the culture Tony Hsieh has created at Zappos in our various tours in China. (And I highly doubt I will be surprised!)
I also have always been told about China's extremely strict government control. However, I have never truly understood its impact on commerce in the country compared to business in the US. Seeing it fist hand is going to be incredibly insightful for a young, college student such as myself (and the group, of course.) So, I am pretty interested to see these impacts on both corporations as well as small businesses. Seeing how these everyday business people view the government control's is something I hope to see (even though it will be positive because it has to by law).
In all honesty, I don't really know what to expect besides some culture shock! This is a huge opportunity for growth for all of us in more than just one way. This trip will give students. who have never been, such as myself, their first first-hand experience of international business. The simple fact that we get to see a completely different perspective is huge for aspiring businessmen and women like ourselves.
Looking forward to a great trip!