Full-time MBA participant Tanja shares her experience of the international MBA trek to Shanghai, including her highlights and learnings from the trip.
For the international Full-time MBA trek we had two options to choose from. Our cohort could choose between visiting to Vancouver in Canada and learn about sustainability or to Shanghai to learn about China's digital economy with Tongji University SEM. I chose Shanghai for two reasons; I had never been to China and I did not know much about the Chinese digital economy.
From the cohort, around 20 of us chose to go to Shanghai and the rest chose to visit Vancouver. We were also accompanied by staff from Warwick Business School and our module leader was had the wonderful Professor David Elmes. We all met up at Heathrow airport, excited for the long flight to Shanghai Pudong International airport. As we boarded the British Airways aircraft to finally take us there, I had no idea what an amazing week was waiting for me.
In Shanghai, Tongji University had organised the ground operations and Professors David Elmes together with Wei yan Hsu had carefully planned an intensive but very interesting week for us. The programme for the week was divided into two parts: lectures by Tongji professors Jianwei Wu in Chinese economics, Min Wu in Chinese culture and business and Wei Yan Hsu in Chinese digital economics. The second half of the week comprised of visits to companies, designed to support the digital theme of the week.
The lectures were designed to cover all aspects of Chinese business. From history, culture, social economics to the digital economic landscape emerging in China as well as the content of the Shi San Wu Gui Hua, the 13th 5-year plan, designed to meet the current challenges and take China through the coming years. We learned through lectures and case studies, the insight into the digitalisation of the Chinese economy was fascinating!
As a city Shanghai is fantastic, it’s a mixture of different architectural styles that melt together. Furthermore, it's a financial hub and that can really be seen in the Bund area, where a post-modern skyscraper landscape meets the visitor. Beside the lectures and company visits we had the chance to visit the city and do some sightseeing. The Yu traditional garden and market area was amazing, full of traditional Chinese architecture.
The power of the MBA network manifested itself on this trip as some of our Chinese cohort members were with us. Some of them had studied at Tongji and some are from Shanghai and to have the opportunity to explore the city with them gave us an amazing insight into Chinese culture and Shanghai.
As I sat in the airplane on my way back talking to some of my cohort members, we all seemed to have appreciated the same things; the academic programme for the week, the insights into Chinese culture, Shanghai as a city, the company visits and the possibility to get to know our fellow MBA colleagues on a different level. All in all it was a fantastic, unforgettable week!