During the first two weeks of May 2018, I had the opportunity to attend Fisher’s Operations Global Lab in China and Hong Kong. I choose this trip because I have wanted to travel the world my entire life. I had been to a country in Europe and knew I would go back there along with Africa, Australia and South America, but knew I would never travel by myself to Asia for fun. Also, my specialization is operations management, so it seemed like the perfect fit for me. We were able to travel to different businesses in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing in order to understand the business realm of China. We also got to experience the culture and history of China.
I was able to learn so much about China and different business markets through this trip. After I attended this trip, I realized that even though people speak another language and have another culture, we can still relate to one another. I had always looked China as almost another world until actually visiting. I now see how interconnected the world is and continues to grow together. Many of the people I met while in China were kind, willing to share their culture and wanted to know more about my culture. It surprised me a lot.
Being a business major, getting to speak to heads of leading companies in China and Hong Kong was insightful. I now feel that I have a better understanding of how business in China works. We also got to experience many cultural differences in work ethic and business culture. Seeing these cultural differences allowed us to see differences with international companies. Having this experience will enhance my ability to adapt in different types of businesses.
Culturally, we got to see examples of the Buddhist religion and experience people exercising their faith in-person. Additionally, for me, getting to eat authentic Asian cuisine for two weeks was a transformational experience. I rarely ate at Chinese places in America, so I was a little nervous to be outside of my comfort zone. However, getting try all the rice, noodles, dumplings and even peking duck was amazing. I catch myself missing sitting around a table eating family style off of a lazy susan.
The Great Wall of China was definitely my favorite part of the entire trip. Getting to see one of the seven wonders of the world has always been a dream of mine and climbing on it was very surreal. I never realized how intricate the details were and how unique each part of the wall is. You can be walking up one-inch steps and then suddenly you are on your hands and knees literally climbing the steps. Getting to step where the soldiers once stepped was surreal.