Archive for the ‘Christine Liu’ Category
Since I was always told that the International Trip is the highlight of the program, much expectation was projected long before going on the trip. Especially as being a native Chinese, feelings and emotions were mixed. On one side, I was very excited that my home land will be introduced to my MBA fellow colleagues in both formal and informal ways; on the other side, I was very nervous how they will view the nowadays ‘China. I believe most of my worries boil down to my very deeply embedded Chinese part of culture, which is “Mian Zi”, known as “Face” in English terms. In addition, I myself packed a lot of questions (and clothes) for this trip, and hoped to find answers to them all.
As expected, there were quite a few surprises to me as soon as I landed in China this time. I have to admit I was skeptical and unprepared for these surprises, such as different standard charge of taxi fare in Beijing and Shanghai; overpriced foreign brand luxury goods(Chinese Government impose certain percentage of tariff on foreign imported goods, luxury goods’ tariff are much higher than commodity goods). Apart from the surprises on the side of daily life, there were few points to highlight:
1. Multinational companies operating in major cities of China, such as Shanghai and Beijing created a very unique operating/communicating environment where international standard are established and updated as while Chinese culture is thoroughly penetrated
2. China’s focus of next decade has shifted to sustainability, which reflects the change in leadership style. It sounds more promising to Chinese and to the rest of world. In major cities, I saw rapid change in mentality concerning overall wellbeing of our earth.
3. Communist party is more open today and they admit they make mistakes, they are more open to talk about sensitive topics such as human rights and how the party functions
The trip was very well prepared and tailored for MBA students. The organizer did an amazing job by fitting in many events within days aiming at expose as much aspects as possible to us which was very much appreciated. I found most of speakers related their presentations/talks to MBA students’ perspective, which made communication a lot of easier in a foreign country of a complete different culture and language. Most of events focused on cultural issues, seemed to me that to understand Chinese Culture is the key step to the success in doing business in China. Many of cultural dynamics have developed to international standard, such as the directness and openness in business communication style; while some of them remained the same, such as the famous terms of “Mianzi”, “Guanxi” and equation of “Baijiu + Table = Contract Signed”.
As being a native Chinese, it was first time for me to get a close look at the insight of modern Chinese styled international business operations. I was very much inspired by the level of modernization of how knowledge is shared, how information is managed, how operations are run and how modern their communication styles are. In addition, it is still astounding that Tier 1 cities, such as Beijing, Shanghai are as modern as international cities such as New York in developed countries. When we went to The Old Shanghai and Forbidden City in Beijing I discovered more familiar settings from my memories as a child growing in China. I realized it was my first time in Shanghai, the traditional Shanghai lay-out I was longing for was really from pictures and TV series. Somehow a picture came across my mind, which was the image of China Town in San Francisco, where I found most of traditional Chinese community culture lives and multiplies in the 21st century, regardless how modernized outside world San Francisco downtown is, which located 5 minutes away by cable car.
At the end of the trip, I got most of my questions answered. On top of that, I was very relieved that the feedback from my MBA fellow colleagues is very positive. I feel that now I can say it out loud as being a native Chinese “I am proud of my country.” And what the future holds for China.
- Christine Liu, Full-time MBA 2011/12
Six weeks into the MBA, I am still trying to find my feet on this program. Speaking for myself, I truly enjoyed the hard work, fun of group work, excellent class discussion, international atmosphere, the positive energy and a lot more. Its only when I listed them down I found there are so much being offered in my MBA class from both lecturers and classmates. While it seems it is unbelievable that six weeks have passed, I am still trying to juggle among articles, case studies, reading, assignment, presentations and my beloved sleep. We were told on day one of the foundation course, the rule of this game is “how much you put into it, how much you get out of it”. I can now totally see the point. As suppose for everything else you do in your life, this rule always holds true.
I feel spiritual today, so I will continue on this track Read the rest of this entry »
It has been over three weeks since I discovered that I am actually doing a Smurfit MBA, it is very exciting. I remember that it was a Wednesday when our groups were announced. For a moment, I was wondering whether I can offer some girly input into all the boys’ mind (I got Fergus, Justin, Mohit and Paul in my group). So far, I have been successful, the first class I lectured to all 4 boys was to carry handbags for their ladies (I have not collected feedback yet, because I don’t dare to.).
Ok, what I really want to blog here is how brilliantly we have worked out as a team. Professor Niamh Brennan has started us well on her Financial Reporting. Personally speaking, I was thrown into the deep end with readings, homework, assignments, group work, etc. I really started tasting the MBA from the pace Niamh puts us in. Our group started working on the group assignment as soon as we discovered the assignment, Ok, it did not take long for the discovery. We had discussions, agreements, disagreements, no storming, but hard working.
By last week, we had a draft. By then, our Financial Reporting project manager, Fergus, threw a thought to the group, which is the current work looks like a B- project, shall we polish it to something like a A+? (here you need to use your imagination). Just at that moment, I felt like I am in the best group ever in my life. It was exactly what I would like to hear, challenging ourselves! All group members agreed and eager to review the draft. Paul volunteered to look into a particular session in addition to what he was already assigned to (Paul, you have done loads just as everyone else). Justin and Mohit have also gave thoughtful input in our discussion session. At 3:30, I left the syndicate room in a very happy form even though I reversed my car into a wall yesterday! I guess the wall failed to alert me because that piece of wall is not in my group.
PS: this is first blog I ever blogged in my life, so please do not laugh at me. Thank you and happy studying.
PPS: Our A+ stands for Amazing Plus
- Christine Liu