MBA Student Tours China

Today’s guest post is written by Michael Richardson, a student in North Georgia’s MBA program. Read on as Michael talks about his trip to China to study international business…

Our trip to China with the Study Abroad program offered a diverse glimpse into the Chinese business environment. The trip included visits to a furniture manufacturer and a sewing factory that operated very similarly to those back in the States. We also toured Lucent Technologies, BASF, and General Electric.

The general manager of GE discussed how local businesses review the government’s five year plans to find areas to capitalize on new programs. Other areas of discussion included the trade balance that the government mandates, which requires many companies to move operations to China to accommodate these policies.

The trip also brought opportunities to try some interesting regional cuisine and street food.

Dinners typically consisted of whole fish, chicken, pork, noodles, cooked vegetables, soup, and rice. Most meats are served on the bone which makes eating entrees with chopsticks a little difficult. Many of the meats are also served whole. One dish comes to mind that included a whole chicken in a bowl of soup.

Dining was family-style with dishes served to share around the table. The tables included a Lazy Susan in the center to allow everyone access to the food. Dishes usually lacked serving utensils and required the use of personal chop sticks. It took me a few dinners to overcome watching others eating and then using those chop sticks in the community dishes.

A few of us were more adventurous than other with the street food vendors. Tyler and Arnold were our most adventurous ones, but I did join them in eating a scorpion. I will not be having another.

The Great Wall was the highlight of the trip for me. Walking on and seeing something that is so famous and signifies China in my eyes was spectacular.

The section that we climbed was very steep and thinking of how I struggled to make it up really drove home the sacrifices that the people made to build such a structure. The view from the top was breath-taking and, if for no other reason, I would suggest going to China to touch this piece of history.

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