Author: Pia Toivola, Programme Manager, TSE exe
Widening views on many levels – Greetings from eMBA study journey in Hong Kong
Sometimes, our eMBA students have to ”defend” themselves in front of their colleagues (or sometimes even superiors) when discussing the necessity of foreign study journeys – people seem to assume these journeys are ”just for fun”. We just came back home from 6-day study journey to Hong Kong with eMBA groups 2013 and 2014 – and I am sure that all our participants could tell you that the journey was everything but a holiday… According to the participants, the study week contents have opened their eyes or even created a humble feeling in front of the Chinese perspective.
In fact, the week was fully packed with information and diverse contents: e.g. lectures on outlook on Chinese as well as global economy (e.g. challenges during the coming years are rather tough), discussions and debates regarding corporate social responsibility (CSR) in Asia (e.g. that Asian ideas about CSR might start influencing the global definitions of CSR), stories on building up business in China (both establishing existing business there as well as starting a completely new company)…. In order to enhance the learning experience as well as the networking between the two different eMBA groups participating in the study journey, group assignments were prepared in Finland for the main themes of the week. This gave the participants a possibility to influence the classroom activities and it also gave the local lecturers essential insight into Finnish way of working etc.
Lectures at Chinese University of Hong Kong Business School were supported by highly interesting company visits in mainland China, in Shenzhen. Apart from ”hardcore, traditional business school topics”, we also focused on more cultural issues during the week, such as a kungfu class with a renown master and discussing Chinese economic culture with a professor of anthropology – as well as attending traditional horse races at Happy Valley on Wednesday.
During the week, we also met a few Finns active in Hong Kong – Consul-General Jari Sinkari from the Finnish consulate and Jari Vepsäläinen from Fintrade-Mercer. These gentlemen shared their experiences of doing business and living in Hong Kong in a lively manner and added a nice Finnish flavour to our week.
The ’official’ days are more or less 10-12 hours long every day – BUT on top of all the above-mentioned issues, we do also find time and energy for more unstructured fun activities during the week (you know: work hard, play harder…). We enjoyed excellent lunches and great dinners, checked out the nightlife in Wanchai and Lan Kwai Fong, did quite a lot of shopping and all this with very much laughter etc. – supporting one highly essential part of eMBA studies: networking, learning from the group and creating lasting friendships. All in all: a great week.