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.
First I’d like to congratulate the class of 2017 round two admits! I hope I’ll be meeting you on campus soon.
For those of you who are on the fence about applying (and it’s not too late!), there are a couple of upcoming events where you have the chance to can learn more about the program and get to meet and network with current FEMBAs, alumni, and fellow applicants.
FEMBA Coffee – if you have any questions about the program you have the chance to ask some of the admissions team. These take place both on campus and regionally
FEMBA Women’s Breakfast – I really recommend attending this breakfast if you can. There will be a small panel of current students and alumni who can answer any questions you might have. They also invite a female faculty member to come speak. It’s a great opportunity to meet other female applicants.
FEMBA Regional Lunch – as the name suggests, these you’ll get the opportunity to meet FEMBAs over lunch and are especially great if you don’t live in the greater LA area. Since many FEMBAs commute from Orange County, the Bay Area, and further (like Sandeep does), if you're considering the Saturday or Flex schedules, this is helpful as you'll get first hand perspective on what that's like.
FEMBA Open House – you’ll meet the most students and applicants at FEMBA open house. This is a good opportunity to experience Saturday morning life as a FEMBA. You’ll also get to meet our admissions director and learn more about career services and financial aid.
Personally, I really like the smaller group events because I find them easier to navigate than the large events such as open house but all the events provide a lot of useful information, particularly if you're still in the process of considering applying.