As I sit here in flight UA896 on our way from Hong Kong to Chicago, I can’t believe it’s over. China 2015 was a trip I won’t soon forget. It was an experience of a lifetime and I know everyone on it received a very valuable learning experience from it. So many adventures were had on this trip and it’s coming to a bittersweet ending.
The amount we learned concerning the culture and business world associated with life in China is immense and I’m sure many of us will be working with the Chinese in the future. As an ever up and coming nation, China will play a large part in the worlds future and we caught a glimpse of that on this trip. This will be valuable information for us all.
Whether it was walking along the Great Wall, visiting Alibaba’s unique facilities, meeting with with Calvin grads in the streets of Hong Kong or just getting lost in Shanghai; this will be a trip we will always remember and a learning experience that we all cherished. I think we’re all ready for this plane ride to be over though.
Phil Van Strien
Hey all this is Courtney Seeley,
So yesterday we were able to do whatever we wanted in Shanghai. To start off Shanghai is the greatest city I have ever been to. The views are gorgeous! So a big group of us went to the fake market and I was able to buy some pretty sweet gifts for my family and friends. Then Alex, Rachel, Stacey and I went to walk by the river. It was the perfect to do so because there was no smog. The skyline was just amazing. You all need to experience Shanghai sometime in your life.
At night we went to the acrobat show and it was so cool! These people were doing pushups, flips, and all sort of other things 20 feet in the air. I’m just like, I’m lucky if I can even do one girl push up on the ground.
Overall I’m having the time of my life in China. Talking with all the business men and women in China has been very insightful and I have been able to glean some insight into my future. Since I want to work in China I have been able to seek advice on how I can accomplish that.
Well that’s all for now! Love you Dad, Carrie Jean, Cadence, Carissa, and Caleb!
Another day, another business meeting. Or two. Today we made the two hour trek outside of Shanghai to a smaller city called Suzhou. There, we met with Jacob Schenkel from Nexteer and then Gregg Vanden Bosch from Dematic, both of which are Calvin graduates. The Calvin connection made getting to know Mr. Schenkel and Mr. Vanden Bosch really enjoyable; as students who are looking ahead to career opportunities in the near future, we loved to learn their personal journeys that led them from Calvin’s campus to the companies that they manage today.
It has been a busy week! We’ve broken in our blazers and suit pants, settled into Shanghai, visited a running total of 9 companies, and have so much to soak in and reflect on. This weekend will be a great time to do just that, while having a little fun exploring the city. (But don’t worry, Mom, not too much fun:)
Phil Van Strien here, signing in on Alex Kibbies account since my account information is lost in Gmail behind the China Firewall. China has been so far and will continue to be an amazing experience. The things we are learning here are extremely valuable to our knowledge of the business and engineering world. In addition to this, we are taking in a whole new culture that is foreign to many of us and it is giving us a new perspective into how people live and how Christianity thrives in other sectors of the globe.
Today we got to see two completely different sides of business and engineering in China. We started this morning by meeting with Mr Gibbons who runs the joint venture of Shanghai GM and SAIC. He told us much about their company and gave us a tour of the final assembly plant in their factory. We saw Cadillacs and Buicks being assembled. It was really interesting to see one of the biggest auto manufacturers in the world assembling their products in such a clean and precise manner. That plant puts out about 600,000 cars a year.
After a very informative meeting at Shanghai GM, we shifted gears and visited a company on the reverse side of the spectrum. We got to meet with Mr. Allen Tie and his team at Innotec in Shanghai and eat dinner with them after the meeting. Innotec, being a privately owned company which is based in Zealand Michigan is an extremely small company compared to GM. After a tour of their much smaller plant which made automotive intererior lighting and mechanisms for the chair industry, we got to sit down and talk with Mr. Tie. He told us much of the kingdom work which Innotec strives to do. One of these ventures is the Home Sweet Home project in which they go downtown Shanghai, rent a booth and give out food, clothing and a shower to the homeless of this city. He went on to introduce us to two of his employees which he met on the street through this program who had been injured on their previous jobs and jobless since. Mr. Tie helped them out and eventually offered them jobs. Seeing the selflessness in this man was truly astonishing.
While Shanghai GM went above and beyond with their plant tour, Innotec won our hearts with their heartfelt stories and the free selfie sticks they gave us. This trip continues to amaze me a ways I’d never thought possible and am extremely greatful for the opportunity.
Phil Van Strien