Ethical Issues in My Profession:
Business students face many ethical issues in their profession. Many of these revolve around cost cutting strategies businesses use to increase profits. This may include paying workers unfair wages, using cheaper yet harmful materials when manufacturing the product, and disposing waste in a method that is harmful to the surrounding environment. The latter strategy is very evident in China. Looking out of my hotel window, I could see how the smog reducing my field of vision, and walking around the city there are many people covering their faces with masks in order to reduce the damage brought to the lungs by simply breathing. Lack of environmental regulations in countries like China brought many companies inside their borders to build factories where they would not have to pay extra to meet the regulations they face in other countries. China is now paying the price, seated as the world’s largest polluter, however they are taking many steps to fix this issue. As a future business professional, I must ensure that cost cutting strategies and investments are made in a socially responsible manner, since there is no greater investment than the community and the earth.
Educational Breadth as Professional Development:
While it is crucial to understand the concepts and fundamentals related to a student’s field before entering the professional workforce, that alone does not complete one’s education. During this trip to China we visited companies to see how they operate. The site visits showed us what projects each company had worked on, the work culture in each company, how they interact with other offices and companies both internationally and domestically, and we were given the opportunity to ask our own questions about each company’s market, problems they face, etc. This close interaction gave us perspective on what life after college will be like, and the lessons will learned will easily be applicable with tasks and problems we may face as professionals. It is also important to understand foreign cultures, especially that of China, a country with a huge economy that America is already heavily reliant upon. As a business student, there is a high chance I will have to work with individuals in China in the future, and experiencing their culture will help me communicate with them, and will give me an advantage when I compete with other candidates for jobs I will apply to.
Lifelong Learning, Continuing Education as Professional Development
This trip to China has taught me the importance of staying informed of consumer trends and ideas that are popular in other countries. I used to have the impression that the West always came up with next largest consumer trends, like smartphones, and other countries would catch up to us, until we thought of the next big idea. I realized this is not true. Studying ecommerce, I realized how large of a market that is internationally, and it can give me ideas for companies I may work for in the future. Ecommerce is something the U.S. needs to, and soon will, catch up on, and it is necessary to look to China and other countries where it is already in full force to gather ideas on how to implement here. I hope to study abroad either again in China, or another country, so I can see what they are doing that is lacking in the U.S., and using that to help solve problems here.
The Social Environment of Professional Life
The site visits showed me how workplace culture can vary greatly. We saw Cheetah Mobile, which had invested heavily in amenities for their staff in hopes of increasing job satisfaction, and giving ways to channel creativity in their work. TE Connectivity just had normal cubicles and workers in their factories. Some companies focus heavily on the way their employees dress, whereas others could care less. It is important to work for a company that corresponds with the way you would like to work, but it is also important to follow the policies and workplace culture once situated in a company.
Functioning on Multi-Disciplinary Teams
Working with my team of two business students and two engineering students was really beneficial when planning our final product. Each member contributed based on their differing education, which allowed us to develop a well rounded project. I think this is the best way to operate, since the differences in each member helps address problems and develop solutions from different perspectives. In areas where a few students where confused or unsure on how to move on, members with a different background where able to ensure we did not get stuck anywhere.