A few thoughts after going back home in China

For a while, I thought I would not go home this past winter break. Luckily, I was able to find a fairly priced flight, which gave me a decent 17 days stay at home two days before scheduled departure. All of a sudden I was packing my luggage and leaving for China. My break at home was relaxing and I did get to spend quality time with my family. However, I have mixed feelings about Chengdu, my hometown. In my memory, Chengdu was a metropolitan city with pastoral and relaxed characteristics. One and a half years later, I found Chengdu was starting to lose its traditional characteristics due to high inflation in China.

When a large sum of money is chasing a few commodities, inflation results. That’s exactly what happened in big cities in China. With the world’s fastest growing economy, Chinese people have been accumulating their wealth for a decade. With a still partially controlled economy, there aren’t many investment vehicles to park people’s money. Where did the money go? Real estate – a decent size apartment can cost a quarter of a million US dollars on average; stock market – a market crash is always followed by another boom inflated by individual investors’ dreams to get rich overnight; cars – Chengdu is now has more than 2 million cars running around during rush hours (it’s a pain in the … trying to get around at those times); food in general – a pound of imported cherries from California for example is $18. Of course local produce is cheaper, but CPI is still growing at a 4+% rate.

Under inflationary pressures, people are tightening their discretionary spending. Restaurants are no longer full at dinner time. People work even harder to live life and pay down home mortgages. More importantly, it seems to me that the city is losing its slow-paced, relaxing lifestyle. Some of my classmates studying abroad have come back from US, UK, France, Italy, etc and were looking for jobs in other cities like Beijing, Shanghai. Classmates staying local have been busy working towards a secured future. A crisis mode has replaced the city’s pastoral mindset. That’s sad to me!

However, there is still an upbeat attitude in China overall. The 2nd largest economy has become the world’s largest IPO market. Local firms have been reaching out to the world and the world, especially, US firms are entering the Chinese market. Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan Chase just won government approval to form joint ventures to take a stake in China’s lucrative securities market. China is growing exponentially. I guess some culture loss might well be a result of that.

How Can I Get Involved? Part I

The classwork is intense, life outside of class can be incredibly busy, and it often feels like there just aren’t enough hours in the day. But I like it that way! There are so many ways that students can become active in the Fisher and OSU communities and I encourage you to join a few organizations that speak to your own interests.

For my next few posts, I want to tell you about the organizations that I’m involved in- starting with the English Conversation Partners Program.

The English Conversation Partners Program, managed by the Office of International Affairs, pairs native English-speaking students with international students who wish to improve their speaking abilities. Partners meet for a minimum of one hour a week to practice English communication skills and talk about their home-country culture. You can find out more about the program and how to be a volunteer here: http://oia.osu.edu/life-at-ohio-state/getting-involved/english-conversation.html

I became a volunteer in the ECP Program my first quarter at OSU and have had 3 language partners so far- and all of them have been from China.  Some relationships were very formal and structured, while others were very natural and casual.  A typical meeting might involve proof-reading a paper for my partner, talking about American stereotypes, and listening to my partner talk about dating and parenting styles in China.  Always up for a delicious dish of chicken and vegetables, I’ve made a habit of meeting my partners for dinner once a week. With the flavors of China tantalizing our tastebuds, the conversation flows easily!

Chinese food has the power to unite all people

Lost In Translation

In my last blog entry, I mentioned that I spent part of last year living in China. I love talking with others about China and sharing my experiences. Recently, I’ve had several classmates ask me about my time abroad, so I decided that an entry about China was overdue.

After graduating from Clemson University in 2009, I decided to take a year off before starting graduate school. Originally, I wanted to spend a year in Spain (where I studied abroad my sophomore year), possibly teaching English. One of my friends from Clemson, who was also looking into a gap-year activity, mentioned that it would be much easier to find a job in Asia, where there is a high demand for English teachers. After doing quite a bit of research online and speaking with the International Department at Clemson, I decided on a job at Nantong University, in Jiangsu, China.

At Nantong University I taught three courses, Writing, Speaking, and Journal & Periodical Writing, to sophomores and juniors. I had an amazing group of students who were eager to learn about the English language and were fascinated with American culture. I was free to make my own lesson plans, which allowed me to create fun and unique activities. Occasionally, I would show an American movie and have my students act out an alternate ending. Sometimes we even played Catch Phrase!

Nantong University
My Class!

Of course, not everything was amazing. I definitely paid a price for living in a country without knowing the native language. Problems with language barriers ranged from “accidentally” getting my hair died pink to living in China “illegally” (but it was less than a day…) and consequently, having to write an apology note to the government.

I learned so much about Chinese culture and am grateful that I can continue to learn more about it at The Ohio State University. I have made so many friends from China at the Fisher College of Business and love reminiscing with them about my adventures. I feel lucky I to attend a university with such a rich culture!


My internship in China

Alcatel-Lucent global locations
Image via Wikipedia

Back in the U.S., I was in China for roughly two months during the summer, working as part of my internship. During this period, I had an internship with Alcatel-Lucent Shanghai Bell, which is headquartered in Paris. Alcatel-Lucent enjoys a large telecommunication market in China and worldwide.

I worked as Business HR Assistant in the Oversea Business Department, which contribute roughly 45% of revenue to the company. My supervisor is Business HR Manager, who deal with all the HR functions within the department.

I was fortunate to be assigned to help the staffing process for the Sales Manager position in Laos. My responsibilities included conducting telephone interviews with potential candidates, scheduling the second-round and third-round interviews, and assisting other interviewers during the process. Before I called the candidates, I read the job description carefully. However, I found that the job description was not very accurate, since it didn’t describe the responsibilities and necessary qualifications clearly. Before writing an email to give my opinion about the existing job description, I realized that I should do a bit of research first. In other words, I should not simply criticize the original job description; rather, I should research the actual job and compare it to the existing job description. I looked at the job description on O*Net, searched similar job descriptions in other companies, and surveyed current employees in those positions. Finally, I developed the job description and submitted the new job description to the interviewers, including the HR manager and senior leaders in Laos. I was so excited to receive their positive feedback!

This is starting to feel a little routine.

It’s been a long time, old friends. My life has become even busier than earlier this year which I did not think was possible.

As I sit here at 11:42PM on Thursday July 8th, 2010 I have my bags packed for Asia for the third time in approximately 5 months. This comes after never traveling farther than Las Vegas before that.

This is the 4th time in approximately 5 months that I have had my bags packed for an airplane ride though. The 4th trip was to Orlando for an alumni golf outing and work with a client. We managed to squeeze in a little time at Disney World…my first time too!

So, the bags are currently packed for a two month stay in Hong Kong, where I will be leading a project team that is working to solve some business problems for a Fortune 500 company with offices in Hong Kong. Having been there before, I know just how awesome Hong Kong is and I can’t wait to go back.

In other news…

  • Fisher Professional Services – As I previously mentioned, I was fortunate enough to be selected as one of the two Managing Directors of FPS. These two MD’s are primarily responsible for the day-to-day operations of the organization (with support from several other people, thankfully). It’s been an amazing experience – and a lot of work.
  • Graduation – I volunteered to work at the 2010 graduate programs graduation and it was great to see several of my friends on their graduation day. I look forward to that day next year.
  • First Years – Yes, now I can call myself a second year MBA student. That means that all the incoming students are now first years. So far, I have been impressed with those that I have met.

That’s about all for now. Expect more in the coming weeks as I explore all over Hong Kong and China. It should prove to be a fantastic experience!


Nick Fischer

President Gee visits Shanghai to open Ohio State’s first international Gateway

I am so excited to see the following news from President Gee’s website: http://president.osu.edu/fromwhereistand/06_29_2010.php

The View in Shanghai

I write from Shanghai and although I have been here many times, I am struck yet again by the city’s complexity, intensity, and beauty. I am in China for several days, meeting with university and business leaders, government officials, students, alumni, and friends. This city is my first stop, and my agenda is a full one.

A couple of days ago, we opened the University’s new Gateway office here – our first physical portal in another country. The office is modest in size, but large in purpose. Through it, we seek to enlarge Ohio State’s collaborations across China. To expand research and scholarship endeavors. To build on our already-strong student recruitment efforts. To strengthen ties with our large alumni base here. And to discover new opportunities not only for our students, faculty, and staff, but also for partnerships with Ohio businesses.

Yesterday, I was honored to speak at an event sponsored by the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai. The audience was a mix of leaders from various industries and many different countries. My message – that our thoroughly shared future depends on more aggressive collaboration and calculated risk-taking – applies equally across industries and national borders. At a time when innovation drives economic growth around the world, we must always seek new ideas and new partners. As I told the audience, whether we live in Columbus, Ohio, or Shanghai, the true global currency is now human creativity.

As a Chinese student, I think it is a very good opportunity for Chinese candidates to know more about Ohio State University as well as its spirit. As a student at Ohio State University, I highly appreciate the opening of international gateway, which will definitely develop the reputation of OSU worldwide and attract more excellent Chinese students.

Now this international gateway is under development and needs talented staff, so I attached the recruiting message here. Hopefully, OSU fans have the opportunity to get access into OSU. Hopefully, OSU Shanghai Gateway possess sufficient talents for future development.

OSU China Gateway (Shanghai) Representative Office is looking for a long term student intern.
100 RMB per day for compensation.

Job Descriptions:
* Collecting and entering alumni information to our database
* Arranging travel accommodations and logistics matters
* Disseminating information to alumni
* Conducting market research for Executive Training Programs
* Coordinating Gateway activities
* Office routine

* Strong sense of responsibility, hard working, and quick learner
* Good communication skills
* Good computer skills, including master use of MS Office
* Good English skills, especially written and spoken English
* 3-5 days a week available
* Undergraduate 3,4 year /Graduate Student 2,3 year
* Major in Business, Marketing and Accounting preferred

1207-A02 Shui On Plaza, 333 Huai Hai Zhong Road

Please email your resume to phoebe.you@oia.osu.edu
Tel: 021-5116 0561