With open arms, we returned to Hong Kong’s increased independence, free speech, reduced language barriers, unrestricted internet access, social media freedom and more on Wednesday, May 15, 2019.
After re-crossing the border and checking back into our hotel, we had the rest of the day at leisure. A few of us went to a nearby mall and visited the Apple store, which had three floors of products. Later, my roommate and I ventured off in search of some vendors on Hollywood Road to purchase some antique souvenirs. When buying souvenirs from vendors in the streets, you’re expected to barter the offered price to a number that satisfies both you and the vendor.
We also had a very special guest join us Wednesday evening. John Kuhl, a USD and Beacom School of Business alum, was in Hong Kong on a business trip and was able to speak with us about his story and finding success and life balance in international business. Here were a few pieces of advice he gave us:
- Keep improving your communication and interpersonal skills. These are keys to success.
- Use bullet points in an email. This helps with readability and the delivery of your message.
- Always ask people for help. Initiate the conversation or ask someone to a cup of coffee so you can pick his or her brain; by doing this, it shows you are truly interested in what he or she has to say.
Along with souvenir shopping & listening to Mr. Kuhl, we wrapped up our trip by making a few more visits to nearby businesses. One of our visits was to Modern Terminals, a shipping port established in 1969 and headquartered in Hong Kong. This port is vital to 1 of 4 major pillars in the city: trading and logistics. In the photo below, you’ll see a plethora of containers located at this port. Containers do not remain at the port for more than a week. They are constantly being loaded and unloaded from massive ships to ensure efficiency when shipping and delivering goods.
We also visited Edelman, an international marketing and public relations firm that has an office in Hong Kong. Adrian Warr is the Managing Director of Edelman Hong Kong, and he gave a brilliant presentation to us about their international studies on the concept of trust. Among other things, their studies yielded a correlation between good economic performance and higher levels of trust in one’s government. Warr also noted that businesses seem to be expected to fill the gap that politics has made in regards to CSR (corporate social responsibility); examples include gender equality, pollution reduction, and engaging with, or taking a stand against, some political notions.
Finally, we concluded our trip with an elegant farewell dinner on the 118th floor of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel. I honestly don’t know what was better: the 4-course meal or the aerial view of the city at night. Either way, it was a magnificent ending to an already incredible trip.
But now, I’d like to take this moment to thank USD, the Beacom School of Business, Dean Venky, donors, and alumni who helped make this trip come to fruition and at an affordable cost. Our group consisted of graduate and undergraduate students who took classes either on campus, at the University Center (now referred to as the USD Community College for Sioux Falls), or completely online; one student traveled from Florida and another student was an international student from Germany. Having a diverse set of students truly enhanced the program, as we listened and learned from each other’s perspectives. We all have something to contribute to this world, and I know that each and every student on this trip will do amazing things in his or her lifetime.
If you’re reading this and wondering if you should study abroad or go on a faculty-led program, the answer is simple: do it.
Thank you so much for following along on this blog series! I hope you learned a few things along the way. And if you were part of this Hong Kong trip, remember to walk like sticky rice.
As always, Go Yotes!