In December 2016, I embarked on the China Study Trip along with seventy of my fellow classmates. Speaking with students from previous MBA classes, I thought I had an idea of what the trip would entail. It turned out I had no clue how much fun we were going to have as it exceeded every one of my expectations.
Given that I’m an AMBA student, I knew that it was going to be a great opportunity to get to know some classmates that I hadn’t had the chance to really get to know yet.
We travelled to Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. Each city had something different to offer, from culture, economics, weather, and more. My personal favourites were Shanghai and Hong Kong, given their amazing skylines, great food, and out of control night life. Regardless of our individual preferences, it was hard to ignore the sheer size of each city. Shenzhen, a city I knew relatively nothing about, has almost 11 million people! Around 30 years ago it was just a fishing village of 100,000 people! This was a great example of just how fast China is growing.
The businesses we visited and speakers we had were very beneficial to understanding the country’s political, economic, and cultural landscape. One the most memorable visits for me were to the Walmart China’s headquarters and local store in Shenzhen. The stores themselves are built to mimic a traditional Chinese market, where shoppers can select from a variety of fresh fish, meats, and grains. The e-commerce portion of the business on the other hand is years ahead of what we would typically see with North American businesses.
Overall, the trip was an amazing experience and was definitely the highlight of my MBA.