Sierra in Asia

Sierra, a senior majoring in marketing and member of SMU’s Cross Country and Track and Field teams, is participating this summer in SMU-in-Australia-and-Asia. The group will spend three weeks traveling in China to cities including Shanghai and Beijing, and then will spend three weeks in Western Australia.

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Final project stress syndrome

We had rehearsals in the morning and then spent the rest of the time further preparing for the final presentation in the afternoon.

Technical challenges
Due to technical difficulties of practically every kind, it was a rather stressful couple days leading up to this. My computer screen has been damaged, which has really slowed my progress. Until I get it fixed, hopefully in Australia, I have been using some of the others’ computers.

On top of that, having consistent Internet has been a challenge as well. Sometimes it doesn’t work and that has impacted all of our ability to do research. Even when we have had Internet, we found it difficult to do particular research. For instance, if I googled anything having to do with “Tiananmen Massacre” and then pressed on the link, my connection would just mysteriously time out. We found this to be due to the web being highly censored by the government.

Despite all these challenges, I think it’s been a good lesson in patience. It’s also helped to give me a better understanding of what it can be like doing business in a foreign country. Sometimes hurdles like these are inevitable and you just have to roll with the circumstances.

Our case study
Everyone did a good job and we all were very relieved to finally be finished. David Horlock was our included honorary guest among our “panel of judges.” He is the Vice President of New Services Development for Bureau Veritas.

One important aspect to managing China’s product quality can be seen through the newly implemented REACH program (Europe’s new chemical regulations). This process is meant to protect the environment and human health by controlling risks that rise from the usage of toxic chemicals in products. By keeping the manufacturer completely aware of the substances used in the product, this ensures full “transparency” if the ingredients were ever requested. Distrust and a bad reputation are among a company’s greatest fear.

To prevent this from happening, Mr. Horlock’s job is to consult, train, and provide companies with an important checklist to ensure they are complying with these regulations. He flew in to listen to our presentations as well as offer further insight from his perspective of our case study. We were fortunate to be able to further discuss our findings over dinner with him following our presentations. It was a fun evening as we celebrated all the hard work that went into this case study.

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