Gabriella Shavel In China

The China trip was a whirlwind. From Day 1, we were constantly on the go, exploring, learning, and eating. (Future class description should include a note on Chinese Banquet Intensive)
We spent the first part of our trip in Shanghai, where I had studied abroad. I was an observer; I watched my classmates’ reactions to China’s cultural idiosyncrasies, and happily answered questions, translated menu items, and offered bar recommendations (Glamour Bar on the Bund, obviously).

Everything clicked when we arrived in Xiamen. Any uncertainty we felt from our limited correspondence with our company disappeared. Our company welcomed us with a traditional tea ceremony. By the end of the day, we left company headquarters feeling confident that our presentation material was both relevant and valuable. (Bonus: Company CEO wrote each of our names in Chinese Calligraphy on posters as souvenirs)

Presentation time. My teammates and I stood at the front of the conference room excited to present. We weren’t nervous – John Clarke’s method had worked. Apparently, you CAN give enough presentations during a semester that you no longer fear public speaking. The Q&A following the presentation was the hardest part. We patiently listened while our company held counsel, then selected a spokesperson. And, as we had predicted, it all came back to marketing Polyurethane toilet seats to the US market…

Gabriella Shavel, Master of Management Class of 2015

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