Summary: I Got Some Words

Before we left for China Dr. Li gave us a somewhat stern warning that our two weeks in China were not a vacation, and now being done I do somewhat agree with his warning. Yes, I did love my time seeing China, exploring the cities, and experiencing the nightlife, but I also learned a lot about engineering, business, the country and its culture that has developed me professionally.

In my profession of engineering, ethics is of utmost importance as well as integrity. In engineering, attention to detail is everything and corners cannot be afforded to be cut. For example, what if a civil engineer building a bridge neglects a safety check because they just don’t feel like it. A collapse of a bridge could endanger lives that should’ve been safe. It really made a mark on me at Horiba, the engineering company we visited, when they said that they take pride in the quality of their brand and that’s what they strive to keep. Based on their quality alone, Horiba sells their products successfully. This really showed me how putting in time and maintaining professional integrity is what makes a successful engineer.

This trip also showed me the importance of educational breadth as I develop in my engineering career. A lot of the trip had we went to company visits that mostly related to business and for the first couple visits I was really lost in the business jargon. I realize that now that I should learn a little bit of how business and the economy works so I can use this later in my profession so I’m not left out of any conversations.

I am a firm believer that education should never stop or be limited to college. Lifelong learning is very important and I plan to do so later in my life through more travel and learning about other cultures. Plus 3 China has really motivated me to continue my study of other cultures not only for my own benefit but to expose myself to diversity that I can apply to the workplace.

Throughout the many company visits we took and through the questions that we continually bombarded those who toured us around, I really got a chance to see the ins and outs of business as well as how professionals carry themselves. There were different social atmospheres that we saw during our many company visits. Some were very formal like at Hauwei and others informal such as VIP Kid. Regardless of the dress code, there was always respect, strong work ethic, and promptness in the social environment. These qualities are what I will bring to my professional career.

Lastly, through working in my team, of both business and engineering students, I learned the the value of working in a a team with a diverse skill set and different backgrounds. When outlining our technology that we planned to market to China, I was able to go over the more technical sides of how our product worked and the business students were able to handle the marketing, distribution, and supply chain side of the project. All in all, we worked well with each other and showed that the “sworn enemies” of business and engineering can get along after all.

Overall, Plus 3 China has been an enriching and highly educational study abroad experience that has really fostered my love for other cultures. To describe the country, I would say it is vast, advanced, and historical. This program has now motivated me to travel the world some more and hopefully fall in love with other cultures as much as I have fallen in love with China.

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