Pretty much everything about our trip was great. Our classmates, our professors, our itinerary, and of course China! The professors and course assistants could not have done a better job so to them I say thank you.
I learned so much about China over the past 3 weeks, everything from business and people culture to societal and economic structure. It’s all so different and fascinating to me. Many of my expectations coming in were challenged and changed. For example, I was expecting the cities to be a bit more dirty and disorderly than cities in the U.S. but I was very wrong. The cities are quite immaculate and the infrastructure is all very organized and well thought out. And they were absolutely massive. I was expecting more of more vertical expansion in the cities than there actually was but they were so large horizontally it was crazy. Maybe this is just my view seeing as I have never lived in or near a big city but it was just amazing to see miles upon miles of city landscape.
The Chinese people were probably the most rewarding part of the trip. We were always treated with such care and affection. One small example I noticed is that often times when someone would go to hand you something, whether it be a business card or your change after buying a can of coke, they handed you the object with both hands as they pass it to you, as if presenting it to you as an important gift. Often soft spoken and a with caring tone, they would never say anything that would cause you to be humiliated or lose your respect. They care deeply about what they say and how it will be interpreted by the listener. It is a culture that places huge importance on respect and courtesy to others, something the U.S. could probably use a little work on.
I hope one day I can return to China, whether for business or pleasure. The people, culture, and land are all wonderful and I could probably spend a lifetime there and always be learning and seeing new things. I am very thankful that I had the opportunity to get this experience. Goodbye China, I hope to see you again soon.
Today marked our first day in Shanghai! It was a long morning for all of us. After the overnight train from Beijing, we went straight to the hotel to drop off our luggage then straight to our business meeting with KaVo Dental group. So no time to shower and clean up which isn’t a feeling we often get in the U.S. Our KaVo visit was very interesting, at least to me it was. KaVo focuses on numerous dental services but specialize in the equipment used for applying braces as well as the production and implanting of crowns for patients teeth. They are the number one dental platform company in all of China with about a 10% market share. We had the privilege of having the President of Danaher, KaVo’s parent company, Dental Platform throughout all of China (which includes KaVo and a few other dental based companies) Yihao Zhang speak with us at the meeting. He was a very well mannered man that seemed to genuinely care about the business and the people as well as very intelligent and respectful. He was inspiring to listen to and clearly a well respected leader within the organization. Not only that but he was openly Christian, a rare sight in China especially in such a high position. His Christian beliefs and values really showed when he talked about the company. He compared the Danaher Dental Platform to the time God told Adam and Eve to go and take care of the Garden. He sees all of China as a garden and it is his job and his responsibility to improve the lives of the people here through dental hygiene and care. Another refreshing idea that was heard is how much they see their employees as appreciating assets as opposed to liabilities, an idea yet to be fully grasped here. Plus they provided us with lunch so whats not to like about KaVo?
After our meeting at KaVo, we returned to our hotels, our nice, cozy, western style hotels. I had a Carl’s Jr. burger and then we went off to the acrobat show.
The Acrobat show was truly impressive. The strength, flexibility, balance, and coordination of the athletes was incredible. I don’t even know how to explain the stunts that were done. There was a very good juggler and a woman who did aerial acrobatics high in the air from netting/ribbons. There was even some knife throwing. Our very own Elliot Hacker braved the front stage for the knife throwing stunt, blindfolded nonetheless. It took a little peer pressure from the group but he gained the confidence to volunteer. I don’t know what else to say of the show other than the fact that the all of the people who performed were very good and it was clear a lot of time and work went into the presentation. There was no photography permitted during the show so I included a blank photo for you to use your imagination.
Always looking forward to tomorrow.