UWP students travel to China

April 14, 2006

2006_04_14b.jpgPLATTEVILLE - Visits to international businesses and manufacturers, port tours and cultural excursions were all part of the itinerary for the third annual trip to China, organized by the University of Wisconsin-Platteville International Business Resource Center (IBRC). The annual event is part of the Chinese Business Practices and Cultures course taught by Louis Nzegwu, associate professor of business and director of the IBRC.

Seventeen UWP students, representing fields ranging from business administration to software engineering to education, accompanied Nzegwu in March on the two week, four-city tour to study the latest business practices in one of the world's largest markets. The students were able to meet with business leaders operating in China, such as the Wisconsin-based company, A.O. Smith, and learn about the advantages and challenges of doing business there. Students also toured the port of Hong Kong, where they learned some of the intricacies of moving goods through the second largest port in the world. "I think it's very important at this time for students to see how goods are transported and tracked and the role ports play in commerce. Three-quarters of the goods that enter Hong Kong end up going back out. One ship may contain 9,000 containers, so it's quite an education to see how efforts are coordinated as ships are docked and unloaded. The students were able to view all that from a tower at the port, much like an air traffic tower, to see how ships and goods are monitored," Nzegwu explained. For Melissa Gebauer, a junior majoring in business administration, the trip broadened her consideration of future career possibilities. Gebauer said she has always wanted to travel and may consider a career abroad. "This trip turned my focus in a new direction. While in China, we met many people who work for companies which relocated them overseas. After hearing about how they got their jobs and how they eased into Chinese culture, this further made me think of that as a career possibility for myself," she said.

In addition to meeting with business, government and education representatives, students had an opportunity to tour cultural sites such as the Forbidden City, the Ming Tomb and the Great Wall. "One of the things I will never forget is the feeling I had when I first saw the Great Wall, this huge piece of stone with so much history behind it. You are amazed to think that people made this," said Michelle Kieffer, a junior also majoring in business administration. Carly Gosselin, a business major with an emphasis in international education, said the trip was memorable on many levels and one she would highly recommend for students of all disciplines. "I think this would be a great opportunity for anyone to take. You gain not only an appreciation of their culture but an appreciation of your own. This will help one understand different ways of doing business and it will also show future employers that you are willing to be taken out of your element to learn others' business techniques," Gosselin said. In addition to Gosselin of Platteville, Gebauer of Milwaukee, and Kieffer of Darlington, the UWP students traveling to China were Danielle Brownderville of Roscoe, Ill.; Todd DuBenske of McFarland, Dana Fritsche of Steuben, Greg Gallagher of Rockford, Ill.,Jeremy Hach of Middleton, Katie Jacobson of Franksville, Devine Nzegwu of Platteville, Steven Reno of Williams Bay, Jennifer Smith of Prairie du Chien, Amanda Sorenson of Highland, David Steffen of Blanchardville, Sarah Thrams of Mauston, and Ben Wells of Monroe.

Contact, Louis Nzegwu, director, International Business Resource Center, (608) 342-1597,nzegwu@uwplatt.edu

Prepared By: Evelyn Martens, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,martense@uwplatt.edu

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