I can absolutely see being an engineer in China as an option. From this trip I have learned a lot about that. To be able to work in anything even a little related to China I will need to not only know Chinese but also the culture. This type of educational breadth comes from doing things like these last 2 weeks. It might even be necessity to study abroad or go to university in China. I am so happy to have this opportunity because breadth of education is very important to me. Traveling especially really opens one up to other cultures and other people’s ways of thinking and ways of life.
Continuing this Education will be important. Whether this comes as learning Chinese at Pitt of Studying abroad somewhere else I look forward to doing it. I will most likely be unsuccessful in my future endeavors if I do not continue to open myself up to new peoples and new possibilities. Already the just visiting China has expanded my view so much that I look forward to applying it in my studies and life.
I fear working in China could pose ethical issues. Many Americans voice dissent with the Chinese working environments especially cheap manufacturing. Not only that Working in China means working under the Chinese governmental rule which I of course do not support at all. But it must be considered that these are similar issue faced at home.
The ethical issues also highlight a major difference between China and America: there are wildly different professional lives. As I have mentioned in my blog posts, Chinese companies are handled in a vastly different manner than American. Chinese companies are like a family where people must work together and form a comradery to eke out an edge. In the United States it is often a rat race, everyone for themselves, just looking for a promotion. To make this switch, you must change a lot about yourself. This requires trusting your coworkers and your boss and a level unheard of to Americans.
Functioning on multi-disciplinary teams is a very important skill going forward. Nearly every job I take will not be working with exclusively chemical engineers or even engineers at all. Being on a team like we were on this trip, it is important to understand that everyone brings something to the table. There is no way that I or anyone person can know everything to get a project done at this point. There are too many changing fields and too much in depth knowledge required for one person to be an expert in anything. In this age of specialization, cooperation is king. To allow any of us get as deep in our subject area and knowledge pool as we must be we will need someone or many someones who have done the same in either area.
I am excited to see where this experience takes me in life. Every new culture you interact with is an opportunity to change yourself for the better on every level, personal, social, academic, and professional. I like to think that I have used my opportunity to its best but only time will tell.