May 17th- I learn Chinese finance without a class!

Today was the last of our company visits for the trip. Personally, it was my favorite day for site visits overall as well.

The first visit of the day was to Delphi Technologies. It began with a presentation done by a past Pitt graduate, which was a cool way to start the presentation. In fact, one of the students in our group has a professor that the presenter had as a student. In addition to Pitt, the speaker had gone to the University of Michigan and worked in Michigan for a few years before coming back to China and eventually working with Delphi. The presentation was interesting, as the speaker had gone from an engineering major and slowly moved into the realms of business, and now he considers his profession more similar to marketing.

After the presentation, we were given a tour of their research facility. Their primary research includes creating more fuel-efficient vehicles, which while being a cool tour went totally over my head. We saw their fume testing facilities, their temperature testing rooms, and even a room that had explosive gasses in it. Cell phones were not allowed in that room.

After the tour, we went to grab lunch. It was not the most note-worthy lunch but like all meals during the trip, we appreciated the effort that went into providing the meal and the diverse types of foods that we were able to sample. After lunch, we drove out to the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) building in Shanghai. It was in the middle of the city, tucked away on the floor of a smallish office building. Fortunately, the two men that were speaking to us were both from the United States, and they spoke fluent English. They were also able to accurately compare the United States and China in terms of leadership and how each country itself functions.

The meeting itself involved mostly business questions, all of which I was enthralled with. We asked about potential trade war issues, how a communist country can affect the trade of a city, and, my personal question, how long before a Chinese city comes to be called the capital of the world. The guys at AmCham were knowledgeable about all variants of our questions, and answered willingly and happily. It was a great experience, and what I learned there I am not soon to forget.

The end of the day wasn’t very dramatic. The AmCham meeting went over the allotted time by thirty minutes because we were asking so many questions. We then went back to the hotel to grab dinner on our own. As it happened, Liliana wrapped up her last exam the day before and met us for dinner in a nearby mall. The food was mostly deserts, and it was one of the tastiest meals of the trip (except for the pair juice, that was pretty nasty). After dinner, a group of students were planning to go clubbing. I decided not to go, and instead learned how to play mahjong. It was something that I had never done before, and David, the one who taught me, did a great job of dumbing it down for me and Jared. After mahjong, I headed to bed early knowing that I would be going out the next night for sure.

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