May 22, 2008 - Written by Amy Thran - "Everyting is gonna be all right"
The morning buzz during breakfast consisted of the many adventures different groups took the night before. Details included an elaborate Shanghainese club using a secret code for entry, a less exclusive more familiar evening in the trendy French Concession area and yet another group shared hilarious stories of a morning workout session in the park with the locals. With the conclusion of breakfast we pile, yet again, into our trusty Mercedes coach (not sure why it is a coach and not a bus, but Lily seemed to make a clear distinction) for a trip across town to visit the port.
Peering out of the coach window has become one of my favorite past times. Just when I think I've seen it all, a bike passes with a gentleman smoking a cigarette, talking on his cell phone, all while hauling a load of caged birds on the bed of his bike. Meanwhile in the lane on the other side of the coach there is anything from a Yugo knock off (who would want to knock off a Yugo???) to a pimped out 7 series flying by, at what seems to be unregulated speeds. As I continue to be mesmerized we arrive at Shanghai Pudong International Container Terminals Limited for our final business visit.
May 21, 2008 - Written by Ryan Arthur
Well now we get down to business. Today is our most jam-packed business visit day yet. With Three stops today we begin to wrap up our world wind travels through China. But today is no exception to the wonder that can be
seen in this developing country.
We start today with a visit to Jun He law firm. What do you call 1,000 lawyers jumping off a cliff? A good start. Well after my visit to Jun He I would like to differentiate, what do you call 1,000 Chinese lawyers jumping off a cliff? A loss of 1,000 great employers. Any law firm that receives an award for being a great employer is somewhat an oxymoron to my way of thinking. Many of you know that I work for attorneys and I can attest this fact, and often do in every one of my classes. But the Jun He attorneys appear to be different. The presentation was given by Mr. Adam Li, but parts of the discussion occurred with some of his new associates. Amazingly, it seemed more like an information session for them as it was for us. They were fascinated to know about MBA's in America and continued to ask questions and discuss our program and American culture. I am interested in seeing if this firm actually succeeds in pulling business from America in China. It makes sense to hire legal services in the home country you are doing business, but then you begin to wonder if conflicts of interests arise from such agreements. I have personal high hopes that my own law firm will help Jun He become more and more successful as we attempt to become an international firm ourselves.
May 20, 2008 - Written by Ryan Arthur
Good morning fellow train sleepers. Again much thanks to Dean Raines for the "soft sleeper". I personally didn't sleep that well, but I can't imagine having to sleep on the hard sleeper, or even the seats. Jennifer told us that Phoenix takes the trek on the seated cars when she goes back and forth between Beijing and Shanghai. Massive props to Phoenix for braving the seats.
We awoke this morning to the central train station in Shanghai. We were introduced to our new tour guide, Lily Sun. Unfortunately or fortunately for some, although Lily was the opposite sex as John, she apparently read the same joke book for Chinese tour guides.
May 19, 2008 - Written by Ryan Arthur
Ring Ring…Ni Hao. Well if you didn't believe in language barriers, after today you would have seen or heard that they indeed do exist. Today was our real immersion into the Chinese culture sans tourist stops.
Our morning began with a presentation from Cory Grenier, Marketing Project Manager at Lenovo. Lenovo is attempting to become the first Chinese company to be successful in the global market. And from touring their facility it is clear to see they have the capabilities of achieving this goal. With an extremely impressive automated warehouse, computerized inventory monitors, and computer aided manufacturing lines, Lenovo has an excellent infrastructure established that is similar to its non-Chinese competitors. What sets Lenovo apart from its Western competitors is their management style. In Western Management, the employee review process is kept private. Employees are reviewed by their supervisor behind closed doors so that employees are not embarrassed by poor performance. However, Lenovo implements a public review system. The Grape system, as referred to by our guides, allows for all employees to see how each employee is doing in relation to their fellow employees on a daily basis. This system coupled with Lenovo's new product line was an interesting view to the way businesses grow in China.
May 19, 2008 - Written By Kimberly May
Everyone loves getting up at 5 am, right? Okay, waking up early may not be everyone's cup of tea but Clint (Hill), Jeff (Williams) and I decided to run the ~1.5 miles to Tiananment Square to try to catch the sunrise flag raising service. The flag raising ceremony isn't normally a big deal but how many times are we going to be in Beijing? There were two things we were not aware of when planning this run: (1) The sun apparently rises in Beijing earlier than anywhere else in the world (leaving the hotel at 5:15 am was about 30 minutes too late for catching the flag raising), and (2) this day marks exactly one week since the early quake in the Sichuan region and begins three days of mourning, making the flag raising a really big deal...and we missed it.
May 18, 2008 - Written by Ryan Arthur
Day 2 in China, and not only can I not speak the language, but I can't walk normally from my legs being a little sore from our climb on the Great Wall. But now I can consider myself a hero, but even better jet lag never really
truly set in. So here goes day two.
Our day began with a tour of a Chinese jade factory. Here, raw jade is sculpted into everything from bracelets and necklaces to life size monuments of tigers. Jade is a beautiful and rare stone and it was very interesting
to learn that although Americans associate jade with a green color, the highest quality of jade is actually white with a faint hint of green. I personally prefer the green over the white, and I think some of the bracelet buying people in the group did as well. Another fascinating tidbit was the sound high quality jade makes. After learning this fact, I proceeded to clink every item I wanted in the store to test its quality. Sadly, the bracelets were the only items to make that melodic ring, that or I have bad taste in jade.
May 17, 2008
After months of anticipation, many days of preparation, hour(s) of packing
and going over checklists, at least 24 hours of traveling and mediocre
airplane food we have FINALLY arrived in China! Our airport adventures
included many of us having our first encounters with Eastern style toilets (aka
squatters) and Jamie buying a squid in a bag. At the airport last night we
met our China Sense managers Jennifer and Phoenix and our tour guide John. At
the bus, we met our bus driver "Jack", who coincidently does not speak any