Here we go, one more week in Shanghai, China!
Since my last post, not too much has changed. I have been very active at my internship, helping my supervisor and CEO (of Soapnut Republic): Kim Gilliand market her cleanliness products through writing articles that are posted through their Wechat (Shanghai’s main texting service, along eCommerce platform). The articles are usually related to overall health, but also fitness, and specially hygiene. I have also helped with photography, along with my fellow intern Holly. We have taken pictures of the products in a fitting setting like on top of bath towels, or in a bathroom. We then post the pictures on Soapnut’s Wechat page and their Instagram to help build a following. Throughout the internship I have learned marketing techniques that are conducive mostly in China, that is how important brand image is (if a brand is perceived better even though it isn’t) people think the quality is superior. Therefore we have been focusing on marketing the products through their natural, biodegradable qualities that even allows someone to ingest the the product, and still not get sick. This process has made me very keen on making sure the details of the product are highlighted, and related to the articles that I am producing, and distributing.
The class I’m taking so far (Managing Global Supply Chains) has been a great learning experience. My professor Brian Schwartz is extremely knowledgeable, and most importantly brings real-world topics to class. We also just completed our second presentation (two total) where we had to hypothetically source a product (my group did belts) for a specific company (Abercrombie & Fitch). The previous presentation was researching the Global Supply Chain of Wal-mart. Both presentations forced me to find information independently, and I gained a lot of insight on how companies (especially Wal-mart) work internationally. We have also been responsible for reading articles and cases (every class) that involve business in China specifically the legal side (intellectual property), foreign companies sourcing from China, and the e-Commerce platforms (Wechat, Alibaba, JD.com, etc.). We also do in-class assignments related to the cases or articles we read. They usually ask hypothetically if we were in a position in company that is either foreign, or based in China how would we react. Through the cases, articles, and in-class assignments I have learned a tremendous amount in Supply Chain, and conducting business overseas. My final is set for Thursday, Aug. 2nd.
Lastly I am currently visiting the city of Chongqing. Through a friend I’m lucky enough to be able to stay at her place, and she is showing me around the city. The city is very beautiful, and very big (like Shanghai), but hotter (it was 98 degrees to day, and felt like 120!). One of the things that is so different about China compared to the US is the driving. Because of the amount of people that live in big cities, and the culture, people tend to drive very erratic (especially taxi drivers). The food is very different also, but amazing! The various dishes like hotpots, dumplings, rice and beef, etc. never lets me down. Even the food on the train ride to Chongqing is significantly better than anything I would get a on an Amtrak in the US. I’m staying until Monday, July 30th. I hope to not have any trouble with the train ride back because coming to Chongqing I accidentally typed in the wrong passport number, which is needed in order to pick your train ticket up at the station. I had to hurry to catch the train, so I had to buy another ticket which was quite expensive. I look forward to going back to Shanghai, and completing the rest of my program, along with spending the last days with my friends that I have made in my program, and at East China Normal University. Overall the experience has been a tremendous!