Day 19: Preparation, Presentation, Celebration

Today was bittersweet, as it was our last day at the Western Digital offices. Over the past couple of days our team has worked tirelessly to put together our final presentation, and it all was put into action when we presented our findings to the Chief Procurement Officer and the VP of Asian Operations.

Team at the Western Digital Offices
GAP team at the Western Digital – Malaysia office

Even though the guest list was intimidating, our team spoke fluidly and knowledgeably about our findings and recommendations, and in the end, received positive feedback from the executives (we’ll take it!). It was a great acknowledgment that our team was on the right track and that some of our findings could actually be implemented into a multi-billion dollar corporation.

Needless to say, we were all relieved and excited by how well the presentation went, so after a couple hours of revisions we headed into downtown Kuala Lumpur for a celebratory evening.

First we stopped at Central Market to have a nice team dinner and to do a little souvenir shopping. Then we ventured over to Sky Bar, a 33rd floor bar with a pool in the middle, a DJ on the end, and a ridiculous view of the infamous Petronas Towers on the right. The setting was perfect and it was a great place to reflect on our time here and just take it all in before traveling back to the United States this weekend.

View from our seats at Sky Bar - not bad!
View from our table at Sky Bar

Speaking of reflections, it’s time for some more deep thoughts from the team.

Next up, our crab loving, archery shooting, and master merman, Dan:

“This GAP project for me, has been an eye opening experience into both the business culture of SE Asia, as well as practical application of supply chain management practices learned in the classroom.  Southeast Asia currently plays a vital role in the world’s economy, and is poised to continue to do so into the foreseeable future.  The size, scale, and sophistication of the manufacturing facilities that we visited during our trip are at least equal to anything that can be found in the U.S. I also enjoyed seeing lean methodologies in action at many of the suppliers, and understanding why things were done the way that they are.  I also enjoyed having the opportunity to work with a great group of my fellow MBA candidates over the course of the project, and share this unique growth experience with them.”

Dan - and his "I'm excited to get crabs again" face
Dan – and his “I’m excited to get crabs again” face

And his lovely roommate, the heat loving, newfound fishing fanatic, Sreekanth:

“It has been a great project and good cultural learning for me. Our team has interacted with people from China, Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, Singapore and Japan. That’s a lot of cultures for me. My experiences during this trip in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Langkawi with the locals have been great. People here are so friendly and welcome other cultures. I can only wish I come back to this part of the world. Well, moving to Singapore would be nice.

Our team has been great. I had my first fishing experience in Langkawi, thanks to Dan. Catching my first fish (ok, it was a small fish) took too long, but it was worth it. Langkawi is a beautiful island with a lot of stuff to do. Rain interrupted our plans on one day, but it was such a relaxing weekend. Now I am going to look for fishing places in and around columbus.”

Sreekanth - first fish and he's hooked on the activity!
Sreekanth – catches his first fish and he’s hooked on it!

As you can see, this trip has been an amazing experience both professionally and culturally for all of us. More team reflections to come as we wrap up our last day here tomorrow.