Over the past two weeks, I have had a once in a life time opportunity to learn about a whole new life style and culture in China. This life style may be different from what I am used to, but it does not mean it is right or wrong. It is just a different way of living. A few differences I noticed right away was the layout of their meals, what kind of transportation everyone uses, and the work environment. All of the meals were usually family style meals, even in public restaurants, which is not that common in the US. Public transportation is very popular in China compared to having your own vehicle in the States. I also noticed the work environment is extremely different from the US. If I were to travel to China to work in the future, I would need to be able to adapt to their style of work. The work environment in China has a group mentality rather than an individual mentality like the US. China has the goal to work together. The companies we visited, both business and engineering related, had this family/group mentality.
Over the past year in school, I have learned about the Engineering Code of Conduct that must be followed when working in an engineering field. I was able to see the Code of Conduct in action while in China. When we visited the companies such as VIPKid and Huawei, the speakers would continue to follow the Code of Conduct. There is an aspect of the Code of Conduct where you are supposed to keep certain information about the company private and when we would ask questions sometimes, they told us they were not allowed to say.
To be successful in the engineering field and even the business field everyone needs to understand China’s economy and goals. At the first University we went to, we did an activity where we had to figure out how a list of certain objects and things related to China. This activity showed us that so many objects we use in our daily life originate back to China. China is such a huge contributor of the world economy and continues to grow. Traveling to China for just two short weeks, I was able to only see a glimpse of what China has to offer. Just walking around the streets, I saw so many companies from America there that I did not realize were international. I was surprised by what kind of food places I saw such as KFC and Papa Johns. To help further my knowledge on China, I see myself continuing my education on learning about what China has to offer and even learning some Chinese. Learning Chinese is a huge advantage if I would go over to China to work someday. I would be able to connect more easily with the locals and understand their culture better.
The environment in China for a professional life can vary greatly. China is massive. The cities there seem like they never stop. There are endless number of high rises from apartment buildings to office buildings. Construction is continuous to keep up with the demand. Professional life seemed to be very popular in the downtown areas of the big cities. I am sure you could do work anywhere in China and be successful, but I found after visiting that the most popular location was in the major cities. Due to most of the major companies being located in the city people have long commutes to work every day. To reduce the long commute, people from outside the cities are moving into the cities which is a slight issue. The amount of people living in the cities is increasing rapidly. I feel that due to the rapid growth in the cities finding jobs could be difficult unless you brought a job to China from the US. The amount of jobs and space in the city is limited and could become an issue in a short amount of time.
During this trip we had to work in groups and develop a company that would benefit people in China. I was intrigued by how well the groups worked together. Most of us came into this program not knowing anyone. We had to quickly figure out the best way to work together. In my group there were two business majors and two engineers. I really enjoyed working with the business majors because I learned a whole new view point from them. We all have different knowledge on topics but when we came together, we used everyone’s knowledge and came up with a beneficial app that could be used in China. We created an app as our product because of how digital the society is in China. Our app we developed would be an avatar that accurately represents the user and the user would be able to try on clothes from other websites and choose the best size. This app would lower return rates and save the consumer time and money from going to the store. This app would fit in well in their society due to the time it takes to travel places with traffic and being another additive on their smartphones they use continuously. China is turning into a completely digital life style. They use their smartphones for everything from buying groceries to buying clothes.
Overall from my experience in China the three words I would use to describe China are massive, digital, and family. From the past two weeks in China, I have learned so much about their culture and life style. In addition, I have grown as a person from traveling to a new part of the world by myself to learning the history and learning about some of the companies in China. China has such a rich history that was so impactful on the rest of the world. Visiting such diverse group of businesses, I was able to see a different side of how the world works in business. I am sincerely grateful I was able to attend this program and embrace all of the experiences I did on this trip. I am thankful for all of the people I have met on this trip and will continue to be friends with in the future.