Getting a Taste for Global Company

Benjamin Graham (ENG 16) liked Hong Kong a lot, especially its gleaming skyscrapers compared with al fresco beach markets. Samantha Sweig (Questrom 16) was amazed by the intricate tea officially served throughout a see to an oil company in Beijing. Finance major Israel Alarcon (CGS 17, Questrom 17) ate a fried scorpion.

The 3 were amongst 16 students who went to Beijing and Hong Kong throughout spring break as part of a brand-new Questrom School of Business undergraduate course, Global Management Experience, taught by Gregory Stoller, a Questrom senior speaker in technique and development.

The course is created to provide students a real taste of a significantly worldwide business world. It’s something to have a visitor speaker, however I’m aiming to put them in the field so they can learn through several executives directly and comprehend how company is practiced in truth, Stoller says. Throughout their weeklong trip, the students met with local magnate, toured business, and gotten in touch with BU alumni to obtain an up-close take a look at worldwide business practices.

Before the trip, the students looked into and provided class discussions on the different companies and magnate they were scheduled to go to. However existing is different. We were able to actually see and experience the culture of China and how it penetrates the business practices and customs, states Sweig.

On their Beijing schedule were visits to the regional offices of international giants Microsoft and Pfizer and a shop floor tour at HuairouCloisonne, a maker of cloisonn vases, outside the city. A check out to a state-owned Chinese oil company in Beijing exposed the formalities that often accompany standard Chinese business conferences. Seeing how the tea was put and in what order and how they attended to each other it was so official, Sweig states.

The students say they were treated like honored visitors and that discussions were typically candid. I felt like they knew that since we were Americans, we would be more aggressive with the concerns, so they enabled it, states Alarcon, who provided a class discussion on the oil company Chinese Oilfield Services, Limited, prior to they visited.

He led similar journeys to Asia for graduate students enrolled in his International Management Experience class at BC. He began constructing his network of business contacts while living in Tokyo, where he worked as a monetary analyst at the Imperial Hotel in the 1990s.

Among the benefits of taking undergrads abroad, he says, is the opportunity it could provide for a few of them to intern at a company they went to.

The journey gave students a chance to see firsthand some of the striking distinctions between United States and Asian company practices. In American companies, Stoller says, everyone constantly wants to opt for the grand slam in regards to revenue and earnings, because that’s how we value success in this nation, but many Chinese business are pursuing a more measured method to business, through test markets or gradual growth. For example, throughout their visit to Beijing, the students checked out CLZD, a prosthetics manufacturer that began in China prior to going into the European market and is now considering growth into the United States market.

They revealed us the products and likewise explained to us the tactical difficulties they are dealing with, their wins, and their losses, in terms of getting into these markets, Stoller says. How do they browse the US health care system?.

The students likewise found out that forging personal relationships is important to doing business in China and Hong Kong: even if you’re a United States multinational with deep pockets, you have to hang around building ties.

When they got home from their journey, the students each had to write a 10-page paper on topics such as China s real estate market and the result of globalization on manufacturing, making use of their experiences on the ground. Stoller also held a 90-minute debriefing class to consolidate the trip’s lessons in addition to collect ideas for improving the trip next year.

Beijing certainly seemed like a place that’s in shift, states Sweig. Simply walking around and being with people in the city, you could inform they’re in kind of a between phase.

Graham and Alarcon expressed a choice for Hong Kong over Beijing, in part because of the climate and that it’s a more westernized society. Even there, however, business environment provided challenges, Alarcon notes. Work-life balance as we know it in the United States appeared a foreign principle in Hong Kong: the workday there officially ends at 6 p.m., but if you don’t remain at your office up until 8 or 9, your boss will look at you in a different way, he says.

When not meeting executives and checking out companies, the students got to try out the extremely different food available, from high-end company banquets to street-corner treats. I suggest the scorpion, Alarcon says. He and a number of other students ate them fried at a Beijing street stall. They’re really great. We all enjoyed it.

Stoller states he hopes to bring his Global Management Experience students to Shanghai and Tokyo next year. He likewise has in the works a graduate course on consulting in China for this fall, intended to draw students not simply from Questrom, but from the School of Law and the College of Engineering too. The plan is to partner with a Beijing-based strategic consulting firm that would offer students in the class real-world business jobs to work on. They would prepare in class for 4 months, then travel to Beijing in January to provide their options to the consulting firm and its clients.