China was an eye-opening experience for me. Before the trip, you’re nervous about the food, the pollution, the long haul flight, but once you’re on the ground all of those reservations dissipate. You get lost in the culture and are mesmerized by the business acumen of the companies you meet with. I never once considered working outside of the US before this trip and now after meeting so many executives that have worked both in the US and China, I could envision myself working in a city like Shanghai.
We had a good mix of companies to visit like Baidu, Lenovo and even a non-profit called Green Initiatives where we got to do some hands-on consulting work on their behalf. We were able to make some recommendations for them that will help them grow strategically and amplify their message.
I’m most proud of letting go and exploring each city without an itinerary. Walking through Shanghai with 2 classmates: left turn, right turn, and left turns to meet the locals, experience the cuisine and absorb as much of the experience as I could, was a major highlight for me. Biking through Beijing was quite the experience and so was bargaining for pearls and practicing my Mandarin.
I came back from this trip so refreshed and more confident in my international business skills. I’m able to view my current work with a new perspective and fine-tune my career goals because of the things I learned in China. I also made 15 new friends for life. When you’re on a 5-hour train ride with someone or hiking the Great Wall of China with a group of classmates, you get to know them a little bit better. Those are the connections you make in business school that will last a lifetime.
-Alex Kelly, MBA ’18
Since starting my MBA Fall ’15, I rarely post on Social Media. My recent coursework in China is an exception. International business, specifically business in China, has always been of interest to me. Therefore, prior taking this class, I had the following questions about this rapidly growing country: How do business operations in China differ from our business practices in the United States? What are the Innovation Lessons from China? What do Chinese Consumers want? These and many more questions were answered for our cohort throughout our coursework and during our company projects while in Beijing, Guangzhou & Shanghai. This has been an amazing experience both academically & culturally. The following are several highlights from our class trip:
1- Mr. Leo Curtis, Lenovo – Beijing Innovation Center, reviewed manufacturing & production – “the process”.
2 – Ms. Jessie Li, Coca-Cola – Minhang District, Shanghai, talked about the varying consumer needs across China’s regions – “local insight” is important.
3 – Mr. Chi Chen, Partner, and Mr. Reese Mao, Manager China Team; at Ernst & Young (EY) – Shanghai, both spoke about their business in China and discussed in depth on EY’s Vision 2020.
4 – Mr. Ashe Sutcliffe, Geeley – Binjiang District, Hangzhou, discussed Research & Development. Additionally, he reiterated a recurrent theme among companies doing business in China: “Think Local to be Global!”
– George Vega, MBA ’17
Shanghai & Beijing
May 6-13, 2017
Professor Jane Zhu
If you want to be successful in global business, you need to be successful in China. That’s because China is arguably the most important market in the world today. It is the largest market in terms of size, the third largest in terms of economic strength, and the fastest growing, with rates at over 9% annually for the past 10 years. China is the engine of growth for many MNCs and considered the future in terms of growth opportunities.
What to Expect
- Examine China’s dynamic economy and its competitive advantages
- Understand the development of the economy, leading companies and industries, social, cultural and historical influence on business practices and decisions
- Analyze the transition from a centrally planned economy to a market oriented economy
- Interact with management executives through site visits to major domestic and global corporations and agencies
- Visit cultural and historical sites, including the Great Wall of China
*Effective fall 2016: the seminar fee does not apply to MBA students required to take MBA 740.
Our students have interned at major companies, including:
- JFP Holdings, Beijing
- BMC Software, Singapore
- Coca-Cola, Shanghai
Immerse Yourself in Global Business
“China has rapidly grown to become the world leader in low-cost manufacturing. But the value proposition is disappearing for many firms as the competitive cost advantage starts to erode. The question is: what’s coming next? There are a lot of new sectors, such as nanotechnology, biotechnology, in which China is gaining strengths. As an intern at JFP Holdings, my task was to carefully evaluate the upcoming industry trends to figure out new growth strategies for businesses in China.”—David Lee, GMBA International Finance 2013. David is now working full-time as portfolio analyst with State Street Global Advisors in Boston.
Megan Graceffo, GMBA International Marketing 2010 completed a brand management project for BMC Software in Singapore. “I learned so much,and I the opportunity to travel to so many parts of Asia. What a way to experience global business first-hand!”
PatrickDoran, GMBA International Finance 2010, interned in the commercial finance division of Coca Cola in Shanghai, China. “The insights into doing business in China were incredible, and I loved the challenge of the cultural immersion,” he said.