Always give your card using two hands!
You might feel like you have a decent idea about life in China. The booming asian economy with most inhabitants of the world, lovely food and maybe you even know something about Confucianism. However, how well do you really know China? For example, did you know that at most universities students are ranked compared to the other students and their grade depends on this ranking (and thus not only on the amount of acquired on a test)? Or did you know that in China it is etiquette to give your business card with both hands? If you are interested in these cultural differences and would love to experience this yourself, then join VESTING on their journey to China: The International Programme 2018 offers an exceptional opportunity to learn more about Chinese (business) culture and academic education in Beijing!
The International Programme (IP) is a combination of several inhouse days in the Netherlands and a foreign trip. Monday the 27th the destination of the IP 2018 was announced: VESTING is going to Beijing! From the 28th of november until 10 december 23:59 it is possible to apply for the IP 2018. After the selection procedure the committee will announce which 16 people have been selected to be a participant of the IP. The students will be selected on basis of study performance, curriculum vitae, motivation letter and interview.
The group of 20 students will head off to Beijing on the 18th of May and arrive on the 28th again on Schiphol. The focus of the IP 2018 will be on Chinese business culture. China has become a major global player and its GDP growth rate is still at an impressive 6.8% per year. Although Shanghai is the financial capital of China, Beijing has a lot to offer for econometricians! During the 9 days in Beijing we will therefore visit the following companies, which differ greatly in their specialties and shine a light on how our study skills can be applied abroad:
Applysquare is a ‘global, data-driven’ company that specializes in academic education and research. Applysquare consults universities, research institutions, companies, governments and other organizations in the field of data and technology oriented information systems by creating better ‘data infrastructures’. Next to that they focus on enhancing efficiency in research and teaching, as well as increasing interaction between students. Their database consists of over 1500 universities in 48 different countries. Applysquare is a startup founded in 2013 and is located in Tuspark, a well known park that belongs to top school Tsinghua University, where many innovative startups are located.
1421 Consulting Group offers consulting to western companies that are interested in starting a branche in China, or looking to expand their branche there. They specialize in balancing the initial investment needed to discover opportunities and open the Chinese market with expected returns of investment.
Why 1421? In the year 1421, China discovered the world with a large fleet and conquered that world on paper. They requested all kings, warlords and tribes to submit to the emperor by signing a piece of paper. They did not wage a war, request taxes or enslave people. This striking difference is at the heart of explaining the difference between the West and China. 1421 Consulting Group (1421) is aimed at bridging this specific gap, when assisting companies in China.
Microsoft! You read it right. A formal introduction won’t be necessary for this company, since we are all familiar with it’s products. We will be visiting the SMRA Theory Group, which focuses on enhancing computer science applied to game theory, social networks, optimization and statistical physics. You might expect that Microsoft does not have the largest overlap with Econometrics, but our field of study is highly relevant for innovation in these particular sections. Therefore, we believe they are offering us a great educational visit and an extraordinary experience for our group.
Willis Towers Watson is a global operating consultant broker, and solutions provider which you are likely to be more familiar with. With over 40.000 employees in more than 140 countries, WTW is considered one of the largest consulting firms worldwide. They aim to deliver solutions to risk management problems, risk financing, fusions, company takeovers and more. The Beijing office of Willis Towers Watson is located in the (financial) centre of the city, with a view over the entire centre of Beijing.
The Bank of Beijing provides various banking products and services to individual and corporate clients in China, Hong Kong, and the Netherlands. We will be visiting their headquarters in the centre of Beijing. It is largely owned by the Chinese government, as well as dutch bank ING, and with a total asset value of over 200 billion dollars, it is on the list of largest banks in China.
Of course, we will not only see Chinese conference rooms; there is also time to explore Beijing’s beautiful attractions. The ‘Northern Capital’ has a lot to offer: You can get a glance of 1) the former seat of Imperial Chinese Dragon Throne, 2) the Ming dynasty and 3) the end of the Qing dynasty all at the Forbidden City. Also iconic for Beijing is Tiananmen Square, the largest square of the world surrounded by Tiananmen (Gate of Heaven Peace), the Great Hall of the People, the National Museum of China and the meeting place for national people’s congress. Obviously there are way more cultural highlights and don’t even get us started on the great food. During the trip, visiting the Great Wall will even be included in the programme. On regular weekdays we will mainly visit companies, whilst during the weekends there is more time to get a glance at China’s beautiful culture. Conversations with Beijing’s universities are still in progress, so we also hope to get a glance at China’s university life.
If you are interested in accompanying VESTING to China or if you would like to have some more information, then you can check out the IP page on the VESTING Site. As the Chinese like to say: ‘机不可失，时不再来’ (Opportunity knocks at the door only once).
This article was written by the International Programme Committee.