The final MBA Global Leadership IV trip for China was one of my challenges and brilliant memories in my MBA life. By studying all classes’ materials and learning cultural differences in the business for China, I was confident to visit Chinese cities and local companies. Furthermore, I had a lot of Chinese business experiences in my job, because I came from South Korea. However, when I came to Xiamen in China, my old-date experiences were not valid in the developing nation. Xiamen already surpasses some Korean and the U.S. cities on the infrastructures and business environment. This city is continuously growing as a main port for exporting goods to all over the world. Moreover, Shanghai is changing more rapidly than any other cities in the world.
During the Xiamen stay, our group was able to meet Xiamen MBA students. Their minds are not local but internal, favorable to American Cultures. While we did the model competition with mixed members, I was able to feel like some passions to learn more things from us.
In fact, we did one consulting for a local company which is doing business to export the cloth and yarn from China. While we visited the head-quarter of this company, I realized the difficulties of Chinese economies. Nonetheless, I could infer the possibilities of continuous growth for Chinese companies due to huge domestic markets and government assistance.
By having the chance to experience a new culture difference as a student, I could expand my insight in China. When I did business trip to China, I largely used a taxi to move or my company’s official van. But, this time I tried to use local transportation, such as subways and buses. Before tries, I had some unnecessary fears on local Chinese people. Still, that was only my wrong prejudice. Most Chinese people were very kind and favorable for me. Recently, in China Korean idols have gained popularities in the entertainment business. Thus, when I opened my nationality, they asked me about the names and recent conditions of Korean movie stars and singers. When I tried to use subway, I was so shocked. Shanghai has 12 subway lines to cover most areas in Shanghai. The system was very advanced and easy to understand. I took subways so many times to save my money and my time.
In addition, because I have a job related to Energy, I just went to my company’s branches and China local plants or visited customers and suppliers with the same areas. During this stay, I could experience other areas like Electronics and hardware manufacturing. Among the local company visits, I was impressive in ABB. This company focuses on the robot arm. Through the technologies from Swiss and continuous cost reduction, it established the huge market share in the industry. Now, many western, Korean and Japanese companies did not admit Chinese companies as competitors. However, a valuable lesson in the Chinese market and huge expenditure of R&D will make Chinese companies to be top companies in other markets in the near future.
Lastly, during the stay in China, we had made so many fun stories together. In Xiamen, I invited some folks to Korean style restaurant. Delicious dishes and Korean style alcoholic manners were the perfect side dishes for this China trip. Furthermore, we could sing a song together in a public Karaoke big room. I hope that I will make same events with great people again in the future in South Korea.
-Beomjoon “BJ” Suh-