After seven or more flights and many hours spent in transit our MIM class arrived back to Portland last weekend. We are full of memories and a greater understanding of what businesses and factories look like in Japan, China and Vietnam.
True to its reputation, Japan was clean, orderly, efficient and full beautiful temples, shrines and gardens. While in Tokyo our class visited the Kewpie mayonnaise factory, this might be surprising but one of the things we were observing was the high level of automation on the factory floor. We also visited Nissan Motors, Hino Motors and the Bridgestone Tire Factory. Since we were in Japan, home of Just in Time production strategy we witnessed the pull system on many of the automobile production lines.
We later headed east to Shanghai, China. I was looking forward to this stop as I was able to practice my limited Chinese skills. The hotel we stayed in was in a great location, right in the center of the shopping district, with easy access to the riverfront. On our first day we went on a city tour to the Jade Buddha Temple, Yuyuan Gardens, The Bund (riverfront) and to the Shanghai Urban Planning Center. While in Shanghai we visited General Motors, Skull Candy, Lenovo, 3M and Ogilvy & Mather. I really enjoyed visiting 3M and hearing about (and seeing) all of their amazing innovations.
Our next stop was down south, the temperatures increased and the humidity set in, we were off to Saigon, Vietnam. I was glad that our class went to Saigon, we were able to compare the different stages of economic development compared to Tokyo and Shanghai. Saigon is Vietnam’s largest city and is experience large amounts of foreign direct investment and development. We visited Becamex, Nike,
Microsoft and HSBC. It was really interesting to visit Becamex’s industrial park in Binh Duong
province. The industrial park has attracted a lot of foreign direct investment that has led to the creation of more jobs for the area.
During the 4th week of our tour we all dispersed to the USA, Japan, China, Vietnam and Cambodia. The trip was a lot of fun and I am so thankful I got to experience it with a great group of friends!
Susan Forrester is a full-time student in the Masters in International Management program. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Portland State University. After living in Seoul, South Korea for two years she was interested in finding a career that linked Oregon and Asia together through trade. Susan enjoys the diverse background of the MIM student body that allows her to frequently practice her beginner level Chinese.