It’s the project that spans the whole year, and it’s followed us to Barcelona: the team-based thesis project. Throughout the UVA and Lingnan terms, we have all been making continual progress on our theses on top of the other classwork we have. Suddenly, we see our thesis defense deadline coming up in just over two months (!), and we’re all gearing up for the final push. Although there are fourteen different teams that are working on a variety of different topics, here we’re giving a deeper look into two teams’ projects that are quite different, but interesting in their own rights.
In June, the first cohort of students in the McIntire School of Commerce’s innovative, new M.S. in Global Commerce Program—the Global 3 Program—will graduate with two exceptional degrees and a certificate from three top-ranked business schools, plus an amazing network of classmates, business leaders, professors, and alumni from all over the world.
We can’t quite believe it, the M.S. in Global Commerce (MSGC) program is already in its last city: Barcelona. Spain may be the country of the siesta (and the fiesta!), but the program has hit the ground running at ESADE. While everyone is polishing up their Spanish (and trying to learn a few words of Catalan), we’re also taking out our notebooks and resumes again after the brief break between the Lingnan and ESADE terms.
We had thought our time at UVA in Charlottesville had gone by fast, but the past nine weeks at Lingnan (University) College in Guangzhou, China, really flew by! It literally felt as if we had just settled in, and then it was time to pack our suitcases again and get ready for the final leg of the M.S. in Global Commerce program in Barcelona, Spain.
Another week in this program, and another interesting story to tell. And, like most stories, this story takes us to the different places we went and the people we met along the way. Last week, we went to Hong Kong for a study trip. Although Hong Kong is officially a part of China, the two places are worlds apart. One can easily see the colonial British influence in Hong Kong in the prevalence of English as one of the languages spoken there, and also in a lot of Victorian architecture like the St John’s Cathedral and Murray House. But, the focus of our trip was the company visits that were lined up for us over the coming two days.
For the first study trip with Lingnan College, the M.S. in Global Commerce (MSGC) program headed down to Shenzhen, China, another major city in the Guangdong province on the Chinese side of the border with Hong Kong. As a Special Economic Zone, Shenzhen has enjoyed high levels of foreign investment and is one of the major financial centers of Southern China; it’s also known as “China’s Silicon Valley.” As such, it was fitting for the group to spend two days there visiting some of China’s largest corporations.
From Texas A&M to the University of Virginia, from the Quad to the Lawn, from Sully to Thomas Jefferson, from “Gig’em” to “Wahoowa,” from yell leaders to cheerleaders, and from the South to the “North.” Despite the differences, the transition from Texas A&M to UVA has been an easy one. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the two schools share the same focus on integrity and collaborative culture. The fit seemed almost natural (Virginians even say “y’all”)!
My name is Diya Zhang, and I was born in a southern city in China called Yangzhou. I graduated from Lingnan College at Sun Yat-Sen University, majoring in International Business. I worked as an intern in the Marketing Department at HSBC (China) in 2015, and in the Consulting Department at Deloitte (China) in 2016. For fun, during my undergraduate years, I served as the head of the SYSU Chinese Orchestra and the Captain of the Lingnan International Dragon Boat Team. I love learning about new cultures and making friends with people from different cultures, and, (importantly!) I love to explore tasty foods from all over the world! All of these things motivated me to do the M.S. in Global Commerce (MSGC) program.
Our M.S. in Global Commerce (MSGC) students have had the opportunity to further their explorations throughout Asia with a break from classes for observance of Chinese New Year, or “Spring Festival,” celebrations. As the largest holiday celebration in China- that also includes one of the largest human migrations in the world- Chinese New Year sees people from all over the country returning to their childhood homes and families to welcome in the year of the Rooster.