By Megan Nelson
On March 2, 2014, the students in the MIM program will embark on the annual Asia study trip. This year, the students will be visiting Tokyo, Japan; Shanghai, China; and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. In each city, the students will visit various manufacturing facilities, attend company information panels, and enjoy cultural events to help acclimate to their new surroundings. For those interested in becoming part of the MIM program, this is one of the major benefits of being a full-time student.
In Tokyo, there will be factory tours of the Kewpie Corporation, the Nissan Oppama Plant, Ricoh Headquarters, Hino Motors, and the Bridgestone Museum. There will also be a marketing visit to KAO Headquarters. During the week that students visit these companies and learn about the Japanese style of business, they will also have some free time to explore on their own. Cultural integration is encouraged. Some students will wander around Tokyo, and others will take the train to Mount Fuji.
Shanghai is the next stop on the trip. While in China, students will be able to visit Caterpillar, LG Electronics, and Shanghai GM. During their free day, there is a planned trip to Suzhou, one of China’s “golden cities” and the home of two current students. During this day trip, the students will bus to Suzhou, visit the traditional gardens, and enjoy a traditional Chinese meal. Everyone is very excited about this trip, and we are anxious to see the difference between a large city, Shanghai, and a “smaller” city, Suzhou.
The final stop is Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Being a developing country and economy, there are many companies that are new and just entering Vietnam. We will begin our visit with a Mekong Delta Cultural Tour and a tour of the War Museum. Students will also be able to visit several companies, including Nike Vietnam, HSBC, Starbucks Vietnam, Microsoft, and Phillips Lighting. Another exciting addition to this leg of the trip is a networking event with MBA students from the Ho Chi Minh University of Technology.
This trip will be filled with visits, meetings, and write-ups that are due as part of the course. Some students will return to Portland at the end of those three weeks, while others will take advantage of the optional fourth week, which is also our Spring Break. Many of the Asian students will travel home and visit their families. Other students will continue their travels in Vietnam, Thailand, or others areas of Southeast Asia. No matter where they go, the adventure and learning opportunities are endless, which only adds to the overall experience of being a MIM student.
Stay with us through the upcoming weeks for pictures and updates!