I am writing from the midst of a very long journey from Hanover, NH to Beijing, China for a Learning Expedition with the Tuck CIB. I will be posting pictures and stories of our adventure on this blog over the next ten days. Before the trip really gets going, though, I wanted to share why it is a few of us decided to spend our spring break in blazers in China rather than in flip flops on a beach (which is certainly tempting for us first years who have just survived Corporate Finance exams and recruiting!).
Of course I am excited to go to China to see the Great Wall, the Olympic Stadium and Chinese cities and to witness firsthand a country undergoing such impressive growth and opening of its economy. Despite the fact that I lived abroad for the four years prior to Tuck, this will be my first time to Asia. My expectation that China will be very different than anywhere I have been before adds both to the excitement and bit of nerves I am feeling as I prepare for the trip.
But more than that, conversations with other students have made me realize that there are two reasons why I (and many of my classmates) decided to go to China now, with Tuck: we all expect China will have a real, tangible impact on our careers in business, and traveling with Tuck means this will be no ordinary trip to China.
Over a last American meal at AJ’s Steakhouse last night, my classmates were discussing how no matter what industry we plan to enter after Tuck, China will have an impact on how we do business—whether it’s our suppliers, customers, competition or source of innovation in our industry that are located there. Further, going to China with Tuck will open doors in a way that we could never replicate outside the MBA program. Our itinerary includes visits to companies in finance, green energy, and manufacturing, guided tours of tourist highlights, meetings with Tuck alums working in China, and even a lecture and networking reception with students at an MBA program in Shanghai.
Finally, experiencing China with Professor Golder as well as a group of bright, international, curious MBA students and staff members, can only enrich the perspective I gain from this experience. In light of that, I asked one of our trip leaders and a fellow student to share their own perspective on why they are traveling to China with Tuck:
I am so excited to have the opportunity to learn more about China’s culture and business environment through the CIB spring break Learning Expedition! I have been to China several times to host Tuck Admissions presentations and interview Tuck applicants. This China experience will complement my prior trips and provide me with my first exposure to Tianjin and Changzhou as well as a closer look at Beijing and Shanghai. I am also looking forward to working with Professor Golder, Sal Cania, and getting to know a group of current students. Like many of my experiences at Tuck over the last ten years, this is an opportunity that will be both personally and professionally enriching!
–Amy Mitson, Admissions
Generally speaking, every time I travel to a foreign place I try to learn not only about the new country but also about myself. While it is natural to focus on the things that are different, I believe that the real value comes from identifying similarities instead. By identifying similarities and differences, we understand the place where we live and the origin of the values and beliefs that we possess. Moreover, traveling helps us to become more humble. When you see a business man in Sao Paolo or a waitress in Paris, it is really easy to wonder about the role that luck and destiny plays in our lives. At the same time, we become more confident because the world suddenly becomes a small place. We learn that borders and frontiers are imaginary walls created by governments and fears.
–Marco Castillo T’12