ETHICAL ISSUES IN MY PROFESSION:
One of the biggest ethical issues in the smartphone industry is the collection of user data. This collection of user data as a means of profit was mentioned several times, at various company visits from Cheetah Mobile to Microsoft. This method of profit was also mentioned by many groups during final presentations, as well as my own. When it comes to user data, the legality of it becomes questionable. For example, what kind of data from the user can be collected? At what point does it become an invasion of privacy? What if the data becomes used in an inappropriate manner?
EDUCATIONAL BREADTH AS PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT:
This trip provided me with a lot of insight that will definitely contribute to my further professional development. Aside from the specific education and knowledge obtained from site visits and lecturers, I think the most important skill learned was the ability to communicate. In the business aspect, communication is such a significant factor as to whether you will become successful or not.
In a foreign country, where many of us did not know the language, we were all forced to communicate, whether it be with words or body language, in order to get through the trip — this was needed for simple daily activities from ordering food, shopping, or just asking for directions. Even though I know Mandarin, I was hesitant to use it at first, afraid of being laughed at for my poor pronunciation. However, as the trip progressed, and I realized the importance of communication, I was able to start comfortably speaking Mandarin with everyone that I encountered, even receiving compliments from university students and strangers, who were impressed that I was bilingual.
This educational experience has enabled me to become more comfortable switching between the two languages, which will aid in my professional development as I hope to do work in Asia in the future.
LIFELONG LEARNING, CONTINUING EDUCATION AS PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT:
Education doesn’t necessarily need to come from an institute of learning. In fact, many of the important qualities and characteristics that you obtain and use in the work field are learned from outside of the classroom.
In regards to the smartphone industry, staying up to date with ever-changing and updated technology is vital. This could mean buying the latest iPhone and becoming familiar with its functions, or teaching yourself how to use future technology.
However, in a more general glance, keeping up and staying involved with global current issues is extremely important. Educate yourself with what’s going on around the world — it doesn’t necessarily have to be political. It could be focused on business (what company just acquired another, etc.) Through this, you will make yourself a more prospective person that employers will want to work with.
THE SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT OF PROFESSIONAL LIFE
The social environment varies from company to company. As seen in Cheetah Mobile, the atmosphere was much more laid back and relaxed, where workers seemed to be casual around each other during their lunch breaks.
This is a huge contrast from Microsoft. Although we were not able to get a peek at the workspace of employees at Microsoft, from the dress code alone, it seemed to be a stricter, more professionally demanding environment, that probably has more enforced limitations and boundaries when it comes to socializing.
However, the one thing in common at both companies seems to be that when employees are not on break, they are very productive and concentrate solely on their work.
FUNCTIONING ON MULTI-DISCIPLINARY TEAMS
As we saw with all the companies, there are many multi-disciplinary teams that work together in order to help the company reach its success. For example, Cheetah Mobile hires engineers to create and design the app and businessmen to sell and manage the app.
This was the first time that I worked in a multi-disciplinary team. It was interesting, as a business major, to work with engineers. We approached ideas from many different perspectives. It was amazing. It did take a lot of patience to successfully combine our ideas into one, but the end result was something that I could not have created alone, especially without the engineering principles brought by my partners.