Day 2 – Survival of the Fittest

After the celebrated unification of the Field Trip Group 2016 the night before, getting up proofed to be challenging to certain executive members. After a slight delay, the group headed to Swissnex. Upon arrival, the lovely Isabel greeted the group. Up next, an introductory presentation was held by the Swiss consular, which set a rather serious tone. Therefore, the energetic and very sympathetic Romand, Pascal Marmier, who entered the stage afterwards, resulted in a refreshing new environment and provided interesting insights about Swissnex and its team. In a next instance, Fabio Müller from Swiss Global Enterprise brought the student’s attention closer to the trade of goods between Switzerland and China. Most interestingly, they receive about 1000 requests per year, which result in about 40 mandates. Furthermore, he highlighted the regional differences in China and underlined the transforming nature of the market with the rise in labour costs and discussed emerging implications. Certainly, Fabio’s presentation was very insightful, but the presentation climax of the today was doubtlessly achieved by Michael Lehmann. With his natural and exciting presentation style he caught the students’ undivided attention. Also, his personal experiences about the Chinese culture and the corresponding linkage to making business in China were extremely interesting. Particularly, he mentioned the enormous speed at which Chinese people operate and adapt as well as the openness of the elder generation towards new technologies and the ever-changing scenery of Shanghai. Clearly, if someone wants to conduct successful business in Shanghai or China respectively, they need to be fast moving, open-minded, flexible, always keep track of local trends and be physically present on multiple occasions throughout the year. Otherwise, success will be unlikely.DSCF2751

After a nice Japanese lunch, the group met with Professor Guoxiang Huang, his co-workers and some MBA students at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. After a brief introduction about Shanghai involving developments of the real estate market, the transformation from a labour intensive towards a more automated industry and two lengthy marketing videos about the University from the side of Jiao Tong, Mr. Braun took over and introduced ZHAW and Switzerland. In that sense, recent political issues such as immigration, the relationship with the EU and BREXIT were briefly touched upon. Afterwards, the floor was opened to the students, who were then asking questions about, firstly, miscellaneous things like watch prices in China vs. Switzerland. However, the discussion developed and interesting questions about the environment of start-ups in Switzerland were posed. Furthermore, according to the MBA students, China is actively promoting and trying to create an environment for young entrepreneurs themselves. Finally, the knowledge exchange ended with a brief tour of the campus towards the exit of the University.IMG_1215IMG_1250

The outstandingly disciplined students behaved and enjoyed the last night in Shanghai without anything in particular worth mentioning. Clearly, everybody was excited about, yet another, very eventful day ahead and decided to go to sleep a little earlier.

Hello Shanghai – Setting the Bar

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Early in the morning a group of jet-lagged young ZHAW students gathered in the hotel lobby. After a surprisingly fishy but excessively diverse breakfast, the strengthened group of individuals set off to explore the vibrating city of Shanghai. Regardless of the cruel early hour (8.00 am!!) the group started their conquest through the business hub at the Bund. After a brief introduction of Stefan and Dr. Braun, the tour continued towards the marvelous Yu Yang garden. The mysterious atmosphere of the garden was highlighted by its temple looking like structures, its overwhelming silence, its invisible mosquito attacks, and its bonsai trees. A coup
le of hours later, the students gathered again and made their way towards the subway, which lead them to the French district, in which they enjoyed a tasty meal and a well deserved lunch break.DSC00068

The afternoon commenced with a subway ride to Pu Dong, where the students visited the Shanghai World Financial Tower. When standing in line for the elevator all the way to the top, the wait was verbally supported by cheering voices from the enthusiastic group when new elevators would arrive. This resonated in a Chinese group’ s astonishment and sounds of “ohhhnnn”. Clearly, the group was already well integrated and appreciated by the local culture. The tower itself was not that great of an attraction. However, the long waits in line were characterized by great conversations, which made it a unique experience anyway.DSC00102

Some hours later, at 8 pm to be precise, the group met at Bar Rouge, where Dr. Braun invited the students for a drink. Thank you, Sir! The beers were enjoyed in the lovely modern environment of the roof top bar, which was even further highlighted by the lively Pu Dong skyline. Of course the night did not end here, because it never does when such a great combination of almost Bachelor’s degree recipients comes together. The night continued in fusion club, where the merits of the Shanghai nightlife were enjoyed. To be continued…IMG_6200

SML Study Trip 2016; China and Vietnam

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It just takes another month and we are on our way to China and Vietnam. We all look forward to this trip with high expectations. The study trip leads us from Shanghai to the old emperor’s city Xi’an, on to Hong Kong and to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. We will be officially received by the Swiss Ambassador in Hanoi, we will be talking with lecturers at universities both in China and Vietnam, visit local and international companies, and we will hike in the midst of rice terraces in North Vietnam and explore the Mekong Delta in South Vietnam.  I like to thank everybody who contributed to the preparation of this unique program!

The students in their final semester at the ZHAW School of Management and Law (SML) embark on this study trip to China and Vietnam following attendance of the seminar “Doing business in Emerging Markets”. The objectives of the study trip are:

  • Experience the Chinese and Vietnamese way of life through real on-site exploration
  • Explore the cultural heritage and learn how to integrate the findings into doing business in emerging markets
  • Understand the buying power of China and Vietnam and its neighboring countries
  • Learn the first steps to expand one’s individual business network beyond Switzerland
  • Expand the horizon for a future professional career.

We are already looking forward to experince this magnificant trip.

Executive Team