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Global Experience 2014



Blog: On the Ground in GuangzhouAlumni

The Class of 2014 arrived in Guangzhou, People’s Republic of China during the early minutes of Sunday April 27th.  The group of 45 along with three client representatives traveled via Toronto and Beijing over the 24 hours prior to arriving in Guangzhou.   

The week of April 27-May 2 focused on seven teams of Telfer Executive MBA candidates bringing compelling business value to seven Canadian organizations that are looking to increase their footprint in the Chinese market. Through this experience, the candidates of the Class of 2014 experienced first-hand the art of doing business within a global market as well as experience the Chinese culture. 

Following a few hours of well-needed sleep the Class of 2014 boarded a private tour bus for a three-hour tour of the city. 

The first stop of the tour involved a group photograph in front of the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Auditorium. The group then stepped out of the heat and took a break in the recently updated red chairs within the large auditorium.

Glancing through the brochure, one learned that the memorial auditorium was constructed to commemorate the great forerunner of the Chinese revolution; Dr. Sun Yat-sen. The auditorium was financed and built by local residents and Chinese expatriates. Standing on the former site of the Presidential Palace, the Hall’s construction began in 1928 and was completed in 1931.  The auditorium stands 52 meters high in an octagonal shape, spanning 71 meters at its widest point.

The second stop on the tour was a visit to the Ancestral Temple of the Chen Family also known as the Chen Clan Academy. As they walked within the temple's 19 buildings connected by nine halls and six court yards of the temple, candidates admired the serenity, architecture and detailed brick, wood and stone carvings. The temple also serves as the Museum of Folk Arts and Crafts.

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Sunday evening began at 5:30 p.m. with a special briefing from Duane Robson, Consul and Senior Trade Commissioner of Canada in Guangzhou. 

Following the briefing, the group celebrated the official beginning of the International Business Consulting Trip with the Opening Banquet. Honoured guests of the Program included:

Mr. Epp welcomed the group to Guangzhou and provide opening remarks. 

Following a dessert of french pastries, Mr. Ramil, an entrepreneur from Portland, Oregon spoke to the group. Mr. Ramil moved to Guangzhou in 2010 and currently owns and operates four different businesses within China. He provided insights to the teams on doing business within Guangzhou and his lessons learned. 

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Each of the seven teams were able to secure several high calibre meetings with key points of contact within the respective industries of their clients. 

One example of the calibre of meetings is team five's meeting with Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation. The Guangzhou Award is co-hosted by United Cities and Local Governments, Metropolis, and Guangzhou Municipal Government.  The Guangzhou Award aims to reward innovations to improve the socio-economic environments in cities and regions, promote sustainability, and hence advance the livelihood of their citizens. Presented biennially, the award will encourage and recognize outstanding innovative projects and practices in the public sector.

The teams utilized various tools to make the connections abroad while they were still in Ottawa. These tools in included their network, the internet and social media as well as cold calls and emails in order to ensure that meetings like this occurred.

The outcome for this particular team was that they were able to connect and speak to Nicholas You, Chairman of the Steering Committee of the World Urban Campaign and Advisor to Guangzhou Award, on April 30th.

On Monday April 28th members of the Telfer Executive MBA were humbled by the opportunity to travel from Guangzhou to Shenzen, Guangdong in order to visit the Huewai headquarters. Founded in 1988 by Ren Zhengfei, Huawei is a leading global ICT Service solutions provider.

Accepting the invitation of Ottawa-local, Scott Bradley, VP Corporate & Government Affairs, Huawei,  a group of candidates and staff traveled the three hours of highways and traffic from Guangzhou to Shenzen on a sunny Monday morning.

The group was met at the head office by Mr. Bradley and were treated to a complimentary lunch by Huewai before making our way to the boardroom for a private briefing with Mr. Bradley.

Mr. Bradley, who is in Shenzen from the Canadian office for several weeks of business at headquarters, provided the group with great insights on the Huawei culture and philosophies as well as Huawei’s contribution to the technology network within Canada. The team was then provided a tour of the Huawei’s showrooms and previews of the future of technology as well as research underway by Huawei.

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Friday May 2nd marked the final day of the International Business Consulting Trip for the Class of 2014.  At six o'clock the teams delivered their respective business reports to the supervising faculty. This was the final deliverable of their 21 month journey within Telfer Executive MBA - the Class of 2014 had officially completed the requirements of the Program. 

To celebrate the end of the trip and the final evening together as an active class, the candidates and staff gathered at Prego, an Italian restaurant atop of the Westin Guangzhou hotel for the Closing Banquet.

The evening was full of laughter as well as somber emotion as candidates took in the full experience of completing their hard-earned degree requirements as well as the friendships they had made.

On Saturday morning the class disassembled for individual vacation plans in Hong Kong, Beijing, and Thailand while others just enjoyed the idea of getting back to their own beds in Ottawa.

At 11:30 p.m., twenty four hours after flying from Guangzhou, those who planned to return home landed in Ottawa and were greeted by the smiling faces of family members. 

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Published: June 22, 2017 | Category: Uncategorised

Working together as a team...extended the value far beyond academic knowledge. The synergy achieved within the team fostered the development of the fundamental principles for success in any organization.
Heidi Vincent, EMBA 1999, Owner, GreenLane Communications