Adventures in China and India
Students in the Hogan Entrepreneurs program have been trekking off on business and cultural study missions to China since 2005 and to India since 2010. Their experiences are often life-changing. In 2016, the Hogan program did it again. Nearly a dozen Hogan students took the opportunity this past summer to learn more about the cultural and entrepreneurial aspects of these two emerging global giants.
Business professor, Caryn Callahan Ph.D., and eight students from the Hogan Entrepreneurs programs traveled through China from June 10-July 6 staying in Beijing for one week, in Shanghai for two weeks, and in Hong Kong for four days. They also took a day tour to Macau.
Beginning in Beijing, the group made several company visits and listened to presentations. They visited the upscale wine company, Dragon Seal Winery, and learned about the booming Chinese wine industry. They visited the Munich Reinsurance Company and learned about the challenges that a foreign-capitalized firm encounters when attempting to penetrate the Chinese financial service industry.
While still in Beijing, they visited important historical and cultural sites such as the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square. The students toured a hutong (traditional neighborhood), visited a home and shared a meal at the kitchen table with the local family living there.
“It was awesome to sit in the family’s kitchen and to eat their traditional Chinese food,” wrote Alexa Shah, Chaminade senior and business major. “I really enjoyed this dinner because I got to see how an average family lives. Their lives were so simple, but they seemed so happy.”
Students also visited Shanghai, as well as made weekend day trips to Wuzhen water town and the city of Hangzhou.
For Hogan students, Ana Acuna, Chantelle Aguilar, Ave Galeai, Brianna Georgia, Carlos Gutierrez, Judy Ng, Alexa Shah and Haelee Tallett, the business highlight of their China trip was participating in two-week internships with major entrepreneurial companies. The Hogan program had found these Beijing and Shanghai internships through its network of supporters in China and in Hawaii.
“The companies hosted the interns as an exercise in international goodwill, hoping to also expose their own employees to a more global environment by having the interns present for two weeks,” wrote Callahan.
After the China experience, students Acuna, Gutierrez, Ng and Tallet joined student Alilia Fataua in India. The five students accompanied by and Ginger Miller, assistant to the Hogan director, traveled through India from July 6-22, visiting Bangalore, Mysore, New Delhi and Agra. They toured cultural sites and learned about India’s history and traditions. They visited business companies in each location as well.
The group received special presentations and tours from major corporations, traditional industrial businesses, silk fabric producers, a hotel and restaurant conglomerate, and small businesses.
“One lesson that I learned was that in India, anything can be a business,” wrote Judy Ng, a senior accounting major. “Wherever there is a problem or need, a business can be made to solve it. Entrepreneurship is alive and well in India.”
The students visited nonprofit organizations as well as Karnataka Forensic Science Laboratories and the Bangalore Police Department. Gutierrez, a Hogan student who is also in Chaminade’s Forensic Sciences graduate program, was impressed by the educational level of their scientists but realized that they needed updated equipment. “I was able to teach some of the new techniques and ideas to improve their lab procedures,” Gutierrez remarked. “My final words are for the Hogan Program. Thanks for this incredible opportunity. I made new contacts and potentially new customers for my up and coming business. I also learned how to help the nonprofit organizations that we visited.”
Miller considered the trip to be a successful learning experience for the students and herself. During their trip, they met with CEOs and managers from more than 13 Indian companies, as well as visited the various cultural sites of four major cities. The India trip broadened the students’ views on entrepreneurial and business skills and stretched them beyond their comfort zones.