I enjoy traveling Asia. I’ve been exploring bits and pieces of the continent for the past few years, so having the chance to go to Tokyo, Taipei, Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen to help Schulich in its international recruitment activities was a very special treat. I met a number of intelligent, motivated, and very enthusiastic students who were eager to learn more about the various business programs and specializations that Schulich offers. Overall, I enjoyed every city and I was very impressed by everyone I had the privilege of meeting.
As we know, each city has its own unique characteristics, however I always find my travels in China to be the most intriguing. It is one of the few countries where you can find a store for almost every single luxury brand directly in the hotel lobby, with most only having the occasional window shopper passing by.
Looking out the window of my hotel room, the story is one of smog-filled skies covering a beautiful city, and apartment buildings surrounding the hotel that are in need of repairs and filled with people who obviously are not brand conscious shoppers. After speaking with some locals about raising a family, I was informed that food safety was a large concern as well.
So I turned to some friends (and former MBA classmates of mine at Schulich) who are locals to the area for their thoughts on what the future holds. I was told that China is simply experiencing the effects of extremely rapid growth in a very short amount of time, where the focus was financial gain. “It all comes down to the triple bottom line”, I was told, and the good news is that times are changing. As people become more educated and learn about their social and environmental responsibilities as well, business models will change and there is strong belief that the country will be sustainable.
It was a great feeling knowing that the basic concepts that we had learned at Schulich several years ago were still being applied on the other side of the world. At that moment, I felt proud to be a Schulich grad, and even more so, I felt confident of the future ahead.
Asia, I will see you again in a year.