We have a great post from Alexander Pugh today where he shares his thoughts about an upcoming international trip to Hong Kong. Alex is a current FEMBA student in the class of 2015. Here is his post -
I'm exactly two weeks out from my departure date for Hong Kong. The trip is one of the many international studies trips that UCLA Anderson offers during breaks. Other trips this spring include Brazil and Israel. I'll be spending 10 days in Hong Kong learning the lay of the business landscape. The trip is an actual class for credit. So, there's a lot of academic work we do to prepare. When we get there we'll be meeting with business leaders and government officials to learn more about how they do business as well as developing our international rolodexes. What I like about this trip is that we'll have most afternoons free to explore the city.
I couldn't be more excited, but I'm also a little nervous. I've never been to Asia before. I've attended several lectures led by our trip sponsors Profs. Frexies and Hayn, done a tone of reading, including recent articles and a case study and have done some independent research, which I co-presented to the class with my study group last week.
I was assigned to a group that researched the environmental sustainability of Hong Kong. I work in the energy industry. So, naturally I gravitated towards researching up the energy profile of the city. While Hong Kong residents pay similar or lesser energy prices to those here in SoCal, it concerned me that 100% of their fuel supplies were imported from other countries. This appears to be a common theme with the city; its very much a place where things and people pass through on their way to and from China.
Other groups presented the results of their research as well. We learned about the financial sector, the economy and the political situation. One of the big stories lately is about a prominent news editor who was mysteriously fired from his job at a pro-China news paper, then was later attacked by mysterious men with knives. He survived, but was badly injured. Hong Kong's largest English newspaper, The Standard, quoted police as saying it was most likely a triad hit. Yikes!
On a brighter note, one of the great things about going as part of a FEMBA trip is that I see my fellow travelers all over campus, making it easy to plan our adventures. I recently bumped into one compatriot at the Wolfgang Pucks last night before class. We were talking about the best places to get drinks and got advice from another classmate who had gone on the Singapore trip in December and had stopped in Hong Kong on the way over. The trip Facebook page is also a source of inspiration and collaboration. I'm hoping that we'll be able to use it to plan activities on the fly when we're out there.
More to come. 'Till then, cheers.
MBA Candidate, Class of 2015