NC State Jenkins MBA Students Heading to China for Spring Break
Mar 02, 2012
With China continuing to grow as a global economic powerhouse, it is vital for today’s business students to understand the nuances of its culture and business environment.
That is why the Jenkins MBA program in the NC State Poole College of Management has incorporated an international study tour in its course, “Doing Business in China.”
Dr. John McCreery, Poole College professor of operations and innovation management, is again leading the study tour. McCreery said his first trip, in 2011, proved to be “extremely eye-opening and successful for everyone involved.”
“It was rewarding for me as a professor to see the MBA students highly engaged and fascinated by this experience,” he said. “What students walk away with is a better appreciation of the difficulties and the tradeoffs of doing business in China,” he said. That leads to “a much more interesting and nuanced appreciation of what China is going through and how they are attempting to handle their high rate of growth.”
This year, he and 15 Jenkins MBA candidates will start their study tour in Shanghai on March 4. They began preparing for the experience in February while developing and delivering pre-trip presentations that gave them a basic understanding of Chinese business, social, political, and cultural issues.
As American companies aim to better penetrate the Chinese market, an understanding of cultural nuances proves important. The presence of companies like Harley Davidson, which students visited during the 2011 trip, in that market reflects some of the changing culture under way in China, both socially and economically.
“American business culture has a history of innovation. For us, failure isn’t bad as long as you’re learning from it,” McCreery said. “That spirit of risk-taking is still being built in China. Another aspect of Chinese business that stood out during the company visits is the Chinese work ethic. It was clear from the visits that people in China aren’t afraid of hard work and long hours. “They push hard, and I think that stood out (for our students) during last year’s trip.”
McCreery also noted that Chinese businesses are beginning to approach creativity much more seriously. “China always used to be thought of the place where you can buy the lowest cost goods. Now the country is working very hard to move from being a low cost provider of goods to being a developer of innovative solutions.”
This year’s students will be seeing examples of that and other business practices as they visit Maersk (China) Shipping Co., Microsoft (China) Shanghai Technology Park, Nokia Siemens Networks Technology, BBDO China, Grace Line Pet Company, King and Wood Shanghai, U.S. Commercial Service Shanghai, and Ustar Biotechnologies.
Students in the online Jenkins MBA class will also complete an international study tour as part of the same course. McCreery will be leading that trip in May.
Read about Poole College’s Jenkins MBA program