September 16, 2013
After a morning of our Entrepreneurship and Encounters class we had an afternoon trip to the Shanghai branch of State Grid. State Grid powers 80% of China and has an offshore wind farm three hours away from Shanghai. I was a little disappointed because up until the bus ride there I thought we were going to see the wind mills on the water but instead we were just going to the corporate office to hear an executive speak about the company, what it is like to be a State Owned Enterprise and the challenges of powering a country like China. After the State Grid visit we were bused back to the hotel and had another relaxing night to get work done.
September 17, 2013
Similarly to almost every other day, today began with four hours of class and then in the afternoon we took the bus to the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai and learned about how AmCham operates in China. After the AmCham representative spoke we heard from Mary Rezek, who is an incredible solopreneur. I was blown away by her presentation that I even got butterflies in my stomach when I went to ask her a question and prefaced the question by saying “First of all I think you’re awesome,” and then proceeded to get laughed at by the rest of the class. After Mary’s talk, Katie and I were on a serious women’s empowerment high and we wanted to go out for a nice dinner and get a little wine to discuss and absorb all of the incredible advice Mary gave us. So energetic and anxious to talk over all of the information we were still trying to process, along with our serious girl-crush, I unknowingly convinced Katie to eat at what turned out to be an entirely vegetarian restaurant and the only beverage on the menu was tea. It did not even matter. Katie was even more so in her glory and my sweet and sour mushrooms were not all that bad either. Katie and I stayed out for quite a while and when dinner was done we just enjoyed walking around the city center at night before returning to “the real world”.
September 18, 2013
Today we went on the best company tour I have ever been on: Bao Steel Group Corporation. Bao Steel is the second largest steel company in the world. I loved this factory tour and I am so happy I had the opportunity to visit this production site. The factory is 25 square meters and we had the opportunity to walk though one of the factory buildings and we got to see the steel being heated, flattened, cooled and then coiled. I was amazed. The steel was red hot and I could feel my skin almost melting from 100 feet away. The conveyer belt that transported the steel was moving so fast that the steel went from one side of the building to the rolling station in seconds. After the steel was cooled it was coiled into large rolls and then transported to be stocked up with the rest of the coils of steel.
September 19, 2013
This morning we began by hearing from guest speaker Jay Hoeing, COO Asia Pacific at Hill and Associates. After his presentation we were off again to another company visit at SwissNex. Today begins the Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Chinese Moon Festival. Although we did not get to see any fireworks or the tourist locations lit up for the festival, because of our imposed travel curfew, we did get to enjoy moon cakes and learn about the Mid-Autumn Festival legend:
One day, ten suns suddenly appeared in the sky. The emperor, greatly perturbed and fearful that this occurrence presaged some great evil to his people, ordered Hou Yih, an expert archer, to shoot nine of the suns out of the sky. The great skills with which Hou Yih accomplished this feat impressed the Goddess of the Western Heaven.Mid-autumn Festival
Since Hou Yih was also a talented architect, the Goddess commissioned him to build her a palace made of multicolored jade. His work so pleased the Goddess that she rewarded him with the possibility of everlasting life. She gave him the elixir of immortality in the form of a pill. He was not to swallow the pill until he had undergone a year of prayer and fasting. Hou took the pill home and hid it.
Hou’s wife was a divinely beautiful woman named Chang Oh. One day she discovered the hidden pill and she swallowed it. The resulting punishment was immediate and Chang Oh found herself airborne, bound for eternal banishment on the moon. As she soared upwards, her husband, Hou Yih, desperately tried to follow but was swept back to earth by a typhoon. Chang Oh’s divine beauty enhanced the brilliance of the moon with her own radiance. Now, Chinese people gather each Moon Festival to admire her.