It’s Sunday, which means it’s time for my weekly update from Shenzhen! As I mentioned a few weeks ago, life in China is an ongoing roller coaster with “good China days” and quite a few “bad China days” – including things like brown shower water, expired foods, lots of spitting, taxi scams, frustrating cultural differences, so on and so forth. However, I am happy to say that these past few weeks have been filled with far more good (in fact, VERY good) China days.
I will start with my academic life update first this week. I have some good news to share with you all…I got a low key “internship” with the international company Emerson Network Power. (Yay!) It might be a stretch to call it an internship, but it is something along those lines. About a month ago I was eating my bowl of bok choy and mushrooms at the Tsinghua cafeteria and the Chinese man sitting across from me starting making conversation (he actually started talking to me to inform me that the kitchen staff forgot to remove the rubber band from my mushrooms and he didn’t want me to accidentally eat it). We talked and talked (in Chinese of course). He then asked what I do and I told him all about how I am a student at PHBS and told him how I was taking Operations Management. Little did I know, this man was vice president of supply chain management for all of Asia Pacific at Emerson! His job is directly related to EVERYTHING I just learned in my OM class. Here was an opportunity to show off big time. I wowed him with my knowledge of the Kanban system, quality control, facility layout, supply chain, etc and then he handed me his business card. My first informal networking in the world of business, I could hardly contain my excitement! I emailed him and a few weeks later I received an email back asking when I could begin. It is not exactly a “job”, but more of a hands-on learning opportunity in which I shadow people and get to further develop my knowledge regarding the internal operations of a company. It is a start! I am riding my bike to the office (only 2 miles away) twice per week…we will see how it goes!
As for classes…I can’t really give you a detailed update yet. They are still in the introduction phases. Organizational Behavior is full of interesting content, but judging from the first few sessions, I think I am going to be learning more from the textbook readings than from the actual lectures. The class moves rather slowly and is not particularly challenging, but maybe I will be surprised as the course progresses. Econometrics on the other hand, yikes. Let’s just say I have a lot of catching up to do. I posted a picture of the PowerPoint from the first class (scroll down to see the post). That gives you an idea of what I mean by “yikes”.
Let’s fast-forward because I am eager to share my exciting weekend with you! This Saturday, I went with three of my friends (all full time 2-year students in the Management program) just across the border to Hong Kong. We had an amazing time. The four of us are quite the international bunch – Khayem (from Tunisia), Remi (from Canada), Fortune (from Zimbabwe) and me. We all bonded, shared lots of laughs and by the end of our adventure we truly felt like family. I feel so incredibly blessed to have close friends on every continent (minus Antarctica). I am going to have to save some money so that I can get to Israel, Tunisia, Zimbabwe, Germany, Canada, Antigua and Belgium to visit all my new besties!
Anyways, on to our HK adventure. We left at 9am Saturday morning and took the Subway to one of the many border-crossing checkpoints. The border crossing took some time since we have to go through customs and lines can be quite long on the weekend. We arrived in central HK around lunchtime ready for our day of adventures. (I still can’t get over how awesome it is that I can just hop on the subway to Hong Kong whenever I desire…SO COOL). We grabbed a quick snack to give us some fuel and then walked over to the Avenue of Stars (modeled on the Hollywood Walk of Fame). The Avenue of Stars honors celebrities of the Hong Kong film industry (you may know some names such as: Jet Li, Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee…) and is located along the beautiful Victoria Harbor. We had fun looking at the names carved into the cement stars on the path and had a touristy photo-shoot along the harbor.
After walking in Bruce Lee’s footsteps, we boarded Star Ferry. What a beautiful day to be on the water (80 degrees and sunny with a perfect breeze!) the ferry only lasted 9 minutes and brought us to Central (the popular business/shopping district of HK – yes, the district where the protesting occurred – no, we did not see any protests). We strolled around Central for a bit, people watching and window-shopping. We also stepped into a natural health food store and I could not resist! I had to stock up on some organic Superfoods (impossible to find in Mainland China). I was beaming with excitement after purchasing enough chia seeds, Lara bars, and cacao nibs to last me until America. With the help of Remi (he is a pro at navigating Hong Kong), we then made our way to the Victoria Peak tram.
Getting the full view of Hong Kong at Victoria Peak was our main priority for this visit. There are so many things we want to do and see in Hong Kong, but we can’t do it all in one day. We will be back A LOT (Remi is even going back tomorrow, LOL). We waited in an enormous line (see the photo with a mob of people), but it was worth it. The tram took us straight up to “The Peak”. At the Peak, there are many restaurants and shops…all very expensive! We were starving, so we found the restaurant with the most extensive (and cheap) menu to please everyone. Once we finished dinner, it was dark outside – perfect for our Victoria Peak photo shoot with all the city lights behind us. THE VIEW WAS UNBELIEAVLE. The pictures are okay, but they do not capture the real deal. We paid 68 HKD to go to the highest point on the Peak, so we figured we needed to get the most out of our money and take as many photos as possible. Fortune and I could have probably taken a thousand more pictures, but I think Remi and Khayem would have thrown us off the peak if we continued our photo shoot any longer.
We can now check Victoria Peak off our bucket list! Next on my Hong Kong list is the big Buddha and exploring the famous markets. Maybe next weekend…I LOVE MY LIFE.
That's all for now folks! Hope you enjoy all the pictures…keep scrolling to make sure you see them all! XOXO