I’m from China and organized a committee to pitch China as the destination for our International Seminar trip, which follows our core courses Competitive Strategy and Global Strategic Management. We had several other country choices, including Brazil, India and Israel, but my class ultimately chose China. A big selling point for China was how much we could learn about both international and local companies’ strategies.
We traveled to Beijing and Shanghai. When we were in these cities, we spent our days visiting multiple companies in a variety of fields, such as technology, medical device manufacturing, pharmaceutical, retail, entertainment, consulting, real estate, automotive and steel. Students could pick and choose from various itineraries depending on their interests.
For me, one of the highlights was a visit to the medical device company Medtronic. We were hosted by a Wharton EMBA alumnus and given a presentation by the president as well as the entire top management team. They gave a very comprehensive overview of the company and the competitive environment in China. Another interesting company visit was to Tencent, the largest Internet company in China. It was fascinating to hear how the company has already entered the U.S. market with an office in Palo Alto and several acquisitions under its belt. Several of my classmates are working at Internet and gaming companies so they were especially interested to hear how a Chinese Internet company entered the U.S. market.
Originally published November 12, 2013 on the Wharton MBA for Executives site.