Post Trip Reflection

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Ethical Issues in My Profession:
In just about any career, you will be faced with making a decision that deals with ethical issues. As a business professional, these issues may involve the health and safety of your customers, respecting the customs of others, and/or following the laws in foreign markets. The health and safety issue was one that my group had to consider when designing and proposing our business. Using our app while in public areas may increase the risk of getting hurt or becoming a target, so we made sure to address this and to provide a disclaimer. As for the laws and customs in foreign markets, it has become quite clear that the “norm” in one country is not acceptable in another country. In order to satisfy all customers in all markets, these differences must be considered.

Educational Breadth as Professional Development:
Educational breadth is critical in today’s professional world. While it is important to know certain subjects exceedingly well, it is just as important to be a well-rounded individual with an understanding of many different topics and ideas. By knowing and understanding more than one area, you become a more marketable employee and your opportunities can only grow.

Lifelong Learning, Continuing Education as Professional Development:
Similar to educational breadth, lifelong learning is something that a business professional should make a priority. Learning does not stop after formal education because the world is constantly changing and improving. If we do not keep up with new technologies, laws, and standards, then we cannot possibly aid in these enhancements. If I had to choose the biggest take away from my time in China, it would be the importance and the rapid growth of smart phones and e-commerce. If we do not keep up with these trends, we will find ourselves at a loss, both socially and economically.

The Social Environment of Professional Life:
The social environment of professionals in China is far different than what I had expected. I originally anticipated rigid work environments where everyone dressed in suits and spoke in hushed tones. However, none of the company visits showed that to be true. In fact, it seemed to be the exact opposite at Cheetah Mobile. Cheetah Mobile’s employees did not have a dress code, which was pretty interesting. You would pass some people dressed in business casual while others wore sweatpants and tee-shirts. Our visit at Cheetah Mobile provided the most information about the social environment at the workplace in China. Cheetah Mobile provides child care to its employees and 6 months maternity leave; it boasts a karaoke lounge, movie theatre, ping pong room, and massage room; it has flexible work hours, as long as the employees work 9 hours (with a 2 hour break, typically for lunch). In addition to all of these benefits and amenities, Cheetah Mobile’s office is designed to be peaceful and open in order to facilitate team work and productivity.

Functioning on Multi-Disciplinary Teams:
Multi-disciplinary teams are a normal part of professional life in today’s world. By working together with people skilled in things that you are not, you maximize your efficiency. This could be seen in each of our company visits, as well as within our own groups for our projects. Because the trip was half engineering and half business students, each group had two individuals from each discipline. This enabled us to effectively divide the project into sections that we were knowledgeable about, while also learning new things from our partners. If the importance of teamwork with people of different interests and skills wasn’t clear before my trip to China, it definitely is now.

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