Beijing Learning Journey Reflection
The most rewarding aspect of my journey to Beijing was the opportunity to interact with the local students at the University of International Business and Economics (UIBE). Through these interactions, I understood their opinions about their social and political milieu such as media restrictions, and their concerns about the future upon graduation. These insights allowed me to assess how Singaporeans and Chinese students differ in their world views.
In addition, we had the rare chance to visit corporations that are different from Singapore-based companies, such as Kang Shi Fu, an instant noodle production company. The discussion sessions following these corporate visits gave me insights on how each company in different industrial segments operates in terms of sales, marketing, and corporate policies by ensuring that they are in line with government regulations. The flexibility and speed at which corporations in China can switch gears to meet surges in market demands is truly amazing. It is certainly not something that textbooks can convey to you so vividly.
Besides these educational insights, I also witnessed the other side of China. During our free-and-easy sessions in the evenings, we travelled around Beijing by train as it was the fastest way to learn about the local culture. The way the locals conversed with each other and their accompanying gestures made me notice nuances that provided insights into the Chinese way of life. It is only through such experiences we were able to understand China’s business environment and familiarize ourselves with local communication and lifestyle.
One way to add value to the learning journey would be to forge an even stronger friendship with the University of International Business and Economics students. To achieve this, I intend to maintain my communication links with them. Who knows, I may even get to host them when they visit Singapore.
Overall, the entire trip which incorporated opportunities for student interactions, company visits, and cultural immersion has helped me in understanding today’s China better.