Booth Knows Abroad: Experiencing Business and Culture in China
When Mike Carls enrolled in the Evening MBA Program, he assumed that opportunities to study abroad were behind him.
Not so. Last summer, he joined MBA students from around the world at China's Peking University for an immersive program on Chinese business and culture.
- By February 07, 2018
Incredible Cultural Experience
Each city held its own wonders. In Beijing we saw the Forbidden Palace, climbed The Great Wall, and watched Boothies and students from around the world eat deep-fried scorpions. In Xi’an, we biked atop the ancient city wall fortification, got up close and personal with the Terracotta Warriors, ate a traditional Qin Dynasty feast (in traditional garb of course), and witnessed the magic of an outdoor Chinese Opera. Lastly, we enjoyed the amazing skyline on the Huangpu River in Shanghai, walked the world-famous Bund, and celebrated a wonderful trip from the 87th floor of the Park Hyatt. The contrast of each city was stark, moving from the more conservative capital, to the center of traditional Chinese values, and ultimately to a more familiar urban metropolis with a western influence.
Enlightening Global Collaboration
The program was a fantastic opportunity to network and collaborate with other MBA students from top tier schools around the globe. The class, consisting of 37 students, represented nearly every continent in the world and provided a great opportunity to share knowledge and wisdom. In many ways this experience was true-to-life, requiring clear communication and an openness to new and differing ideas. As a capstone to the course, we proposed market entry plans for Western companies yet to be operating in China.
Vast Business Exposure
We were given access to a significant number of organizations. We toured one of the largest automotive joint ventures in Beijing, learning how Hyundai is penetrating one of the fastest growing auto markets in the world. To see how innovation is taking hold, we explored the high-tech industrial zone in Xi’an and peeked under the covers of a rapidly-evolving workflow startup heavily supported by China’s emerging venture capital community. Rounding out our trip was an afternoon at a co-working space, as entrepreneurs pitched their app ideas and sought our ideas on how to make them even better.
I felt lucky to explore an emerging world power first hand, encouraged to learn how foreign firms operate, and inspired by the culture and friendships that will stay with me long after my return.
If you are interested in learning more about study abroad opportunities through the Chicago Booth Evening MBA and Weekend Programs, please visit the Evening and Weekend program pages or contact our Admissions staff.