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Globalisation in China

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As part of the Master of Business Administration (MBA) at the University of Newcastle, each year a group of 15 students are lucky enough to partake in a two-week intensive study tour in China as part of the Globalisation course embedded in the program. Here, Scott McShane a current MBA student who is Head of Digital at Life Without Barriers, explains how this trip gave him insight into global business.

Can you tell us who you travelled to China with and the purpose of the trip?

I travelled to China with peers from my MBA course. The objective of the trip was to learn about the content normally covered within GSBS6003 Globalisation while experiencing cultural immersion in China. A great place to apply learnings from the course!

How did the opportunity come about?

I learned about the Globalisation in China offering through a classmate who had been on the trip in a previous year. The application process was very straight forward with applicants evaluated based on a combination of grade point average (GPA) and a written expression of interest.

What was the most interesting experience you had as part of the trip?

We visited many world famous cultural sites like the Great Wall of China and the Forbidden City, which I will cherish for the rest of my life. However, a stand-out experience for me was meeting the Chinese students in Chongqing at the Sichuan International Studies University (SISU). Over the four days we spent at SISU studying the course content for Globalisation, we were shown around the University by undergraduate students. On the last day, they hosted a morning tea where they performed traditional Chinese acts before we exchanged gifts. Getting an intimate understanding of their culture and upbringing was the sort of experience I could not manufacture myself.

What challenges and opportunities did you identify?

The biggest challenges were related to my preconceptions about what China would be like. It was far more developed and modernised than I would have believed. The Chinese people were welcoming and genuinely excited about meeting western people and willing to share their experiences. Commercially the biggest opportunity I saw was the enormous consumer market. At odds with the communist structure modern China was built upon, government-driven consumption culture represents huge opportunity for anyone brave enough to take on the socio-political complexities of operating in China.

In terms of doing business globally, what insights from the industry visits in Shanghai and Beijing impacted on you most?

Because China is a manufacturing juggernaut, one can pretty much find someone to build whatever you desire. This was made extremely clear by the visit to Schindler where their company had such tight control around its manufacturing process and supply chain, that it would make a six-sigma black belt drool.

Would you recommend that other students opt to undertake the globalisation course as an intensive?

Absolutely. In addition to the globalisation course in China being an amazing learning and cultural experience, it was a great way to build enduring relationships with great people.

If you’re a current MBA student and are interested in this opportunity, applications will be opening in the coming weeks. Details will be sent directly to your student email address.

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