Seventeen students of VUM agreed to work together with their Chinese colleagues on research topics, selected by them. Six different teams were formed, every team had a different topic which the students chose for themselves. The first part of the joint work was done online, and on 14-16 March the teams were working face-to-face in Beijing. Thus our students had the wonderful opportunity to work with their Chinese colleagues from CAPITAL UNIVERSITY OF ECONOMICS (CUEB) in Beijing. They did not only do joint research but they had the chance to communicate and be creative while getting to know their partners. The results from the research were presented on the 16th of March in Beijing in front of students and lecturers from CUEB.
The most important and crucial aspect of the collaboration with CUEB, is that our students worked in a multicultural environment and gained valuable experience that they will one day implement in their future international companies, which are most often globally prestigious companies.
For us, the meeting with N.P. Grigor Porojanov – the ambassador of Republic of Bulgaria in the People’s Republic of China was a great honor. During our meeting Mr. Porojanov showed great interest in the topics of our students and their foreign colleagues, the ambassador did not only show great respect to our students but he also expressed how glad he was to see young people from VUM form relationships with Chinese students and work on topics such as globalization, technology and multicultural differences.
In a meeting with prof. Fu – the president of CAPITAL UNIVERSITY OF ECONOMICS AND BUSINESS, the desire of the two universities to continue their collaboration was confirmed one more time. From the present moment, we begin the planning of the next visit during March 2018!
Besides having the discussions and the presentations, the students of VUM had the chance to go into a lecture about Chinese culture and history. After this our students Alexander Ivanov and Denitza Diankova had a special presentation for our colleagues from Capital University of Economics and Business. In this presentation they talked about the Bulgarian history, culture and traditions. Prof. Blagoev also held a presentation about the education programs in Bulgaria and in VUM as an educational destination. Once the presentations where finished both Bulgarian and Chinese students went to the cafeteria to make dumplings which they ate after. Not only did they learn to cook a new meal but they further got to know each other while having a new fun experience.
Besides the academic work, the students had the opportunity to explore the city. They went to the Forbidden City (The Winter Emperor’s Palace) and the Temple of Heaven, the summer Palace, the Tiananmen Square and the Great Wall of China. They also saw factories such as the silk, Jade (nephritis) and pearls factories. They even had the chance to see a traditional Chinese tea-ceremony in a traditional Chinese tea-house.
The team of students from the MBA Study Trip 2016 that visited Bangkok and Singapore has returned. In Bangkok the guest-lecturer was Stuart Kelly, the Director of the Australian-Thailand Trade Chamber and Executive director of Weber Shandwik.
In Singapore we had an excellent meeting with three wonderful ladies from the business sector – CEO, Asian Manager and Manager for the Business Development of Svitzer Asia, Singapore. With examples and analysis so that we understand better the business model and conditions for doing business in Singapore.
The team of students from the MBA Study Trip 2015 that visited consecutively Osaka and Tokyo arrived back to Bulgaria. The focus of the visit was on the motivation of the Japanese employees that allows the managers/companies to adopt systems like JIT (Just In Time), Quality Circles/Management and other, that however, work only in Japan. An example of this notion is the case of one of our students, manager of a Bulgarian company, that asked one of the executors of the delivery of our luggage from the hotel in Osaka to this in Tokyo (in Tokyo the passengers in the train-arrow Shinkansen and in the other trains cannot carry with them anything other than hand-luggage) how can he receive a guarantee that the luggage will be delivered in 14:00 o’clock on the other day, when the delivery depends on the human factor, a flat tire, a car accident? The eyes of the Japanese opened wide, his jaw dropped down, after which he honestly said: “I have never thought about this.” In Japan things are planned slowly and carefully… and they always happen.
The presentations were incredibly interesting, carried out by the chancellor of the Japanese—Bulgarian Economic Committee and former ambassador of Japan in Bulgaria, Mr. Koichiro FUKUI, prof. Juro NAKAGAVA from the Japanese Institute for Research, Mr. Nikolai PANDAREV from the department for development of projects in MEIJI Co., the general secretary of the Japanese-Bulgarian Economic Committee Mr. Fuhinori SASAKI, Mrs. Sachiko OI, President of the consulting company SAIL Co and Mr. Mitsuki TAGAVA, a leading specialist in Computer Engineering & Consulting. From behalf of the embassy of Republic of Bulgaria in Japan, present was the chairman of the Trade-Economic Agency Mr. Georgi Kostov, who made a wonderful statement.
Besides the presentations and discussions, the participants in the study trip could enjoy many of the landscapes of Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto and part of them were able to visit Kobe, Nara and Hiroshima.
The team of MBA students that visited Seoul and Beijing has returned. They were on an annual study trip that we organize with the aim to research the economic models in the fastest economies in the world. The idea is to hear the opinions of the members of the leading local organizations and after that to discuss which one of their models can be adapted to Bulgaria, which cannot and why would it not work in our country.
This year the meetings were with some leading representatives of company №1 in the world in the field of smartphones, chips and sensor screens – Samsung and company №1 in the field of technologies HP. The preliminary questions accented on the relationship between the national and corporate culture in all of the companies.
We were looking for eventual differences in the corporate culture, influenced by the independent development (Samsung) and the obligatory follow-up of the American corporate model (HP).
From Samsung we met prof. Rich Park, vice-director of Samsung Art & Design Institute, who besides developing products is involved in training engineers, from whom 10-12% are accepted to work in the corporation. Prof. Park himself coordinates a program for researching the consumer opinion, the results from which are given to the engineers, working on the new products of Samsung.
To make clear what the scale of Samsung is it is enough to say that the company forms 27% of the GDP of Korea. For comparison the enormous company Hyundai forms 5% of the GDP of Korea. Prof. Park acknowledges that the corporate culture/model of Samsung is built upon the internal and external competition as the team approach to innovation is not searched for outside the obligatory servicing to the leading engineers/ designers from their teams/departments. As a rule the directive approach is used in which the opinion of the manager is key in the developments. Just because of that the institute trains graduated engineers so that the best are picked among them so to fill the R&D departments.
Back to HP, the central thing is the team spirit. The guest-lecturer was Mr. Dae Kuon. Director of the cabinet of the Gen. Manager of South Korea with an annual output of 2 billion dol. The team approach of this company obviously is influenced by the corporate culture of HP, formed in the USA. The strictly kept hierarchy is a fact again, as far as it corresponds very accurately to the Korean national culture, but this is combined with the firm demand for teamwork during working hours.
In both events a lot of questions were asked from our side, as the guest lecturers did not answer very openly and concretely. After each one of the meetings we made internal discussions also, aimed at the major question for us: why with the Koreans it goes and with us everything happens with a lot more trouble and misunderstanding.
Besides from the study program we had a very interesting cultural program, that included The Great Wall of China, The Forbidden City, The Temple of Heaven and many other.
A team of MBA students that was at a study trip in Malaysia and Vietnam came back to Sofia after a series of meetings and an interesting cultural program (check Gallery Kuala Lumpur, Gallery Putrajaya, Gallery Saigon, Gallery On the delta of the Mekong river)
The main accents of the academic program in Malaysia were on the Blue Ocean Strategy, as our host was Malcolm Murray, Head Chief of Communications in Malaysia Blue Ocean Strategy Institute (MBOSI)
In Vietnam the accent was on the peculiarities of the socio-economic model of development and the influence of migration. Our host there was Mrs. Nguyen Thi To Nga, the dean of the faculty of Foreign Relations of the Vietnamese National University.
During the trip to Malaysia the students visited Putrajaya besides Kuala Lumpur and in Vietnam, Saigon and the delta of the Mekong River.
As usual, a lot of time was chosen for the research of the night life as part of the acquaintance of the local habits and culture. By unconfirmed data in this research a big percent of the time and money was invested for personal benefit. 🙂