EMBA 48 Postcard from China: Days 5-7

Learning in the Executive MBA program extends far beyond classroom walls—in this case, to the other side of the world. As part of the curriculum’s four required residencies, EMBA 48 traveled to Shanghai this week for the last half of their International Management Residency, where they explore global economies, markets, and leadership.

Executive MBA Student Services Manager Cory Barron sends this update from the cohort’s last days in China (be sure to check out part one):


The last three days in China for EMBA 48 were a flurry of educational activities. Starting with a tour of the new Johnson & Johnson headquarters building in Shanghai, Dr. Hong Xin, Sr. Director of New Ventures, explained that a major focus of J&J innovation in China is developing drugs to combat China’s top health issue, lung cancer. But she says J&J embraces the non-pharma solution to lower the number of cases with prevention and interception.

EMBA 48 toured Johnson & Johnson’s new headquarters in Shanghai, China.

The class’ next assignment was to travel on their own from J&J to the afternoon business panel discussion on the other side of Shanghai. With maps and a little instruction at the subway station, all successfully traversed the city with little problem.

The afternoon business panel discussion consisted of several WashU Olin alumni, who covered major business topics in China like IP protection and joint ventures, along with expiate adjustments, making for an energetic Q&A with the class.

(Left to right): Jacklin Zeng, DeLage Landen, Shanghai Olin EMBA Class 11; Patty Sun Tsau, Windeson Enterprise, Olin Shanghai EMBA Class 12; and Gloria Rong Gao, Novartis Pharma, Olin Shangai EMBA Class13, listen to Flemming Mahs, Novus International, Olin MBA 1993, talk about life as an expat in China.

EMBA 48 in front of the Pearl Tower in the Pudong Financial District of Shanghai.

Friday was the field study day. A group, consisting largely of those in the health care sector, toured a large urban hospital and a community health clinic. They also had their evidence-based practices challenged when exploring the philosophy of Traditional Chinese Medicine. About ten other EMBAs visited four advertising companies located in the same high rise. The other half of EMBA 48 was assigned local Chinese markets and Western malls to try and discover new branding schemes and store or product concepts.

This day concluded with an optional market and cooking experience. The trip to the market included multi colored eggs, slithering eels, and unique Asian vegetable varieties. They then stretched and twirled the noodle dough, sliced and stir fried the chicken, while others filled and pinched-up dumplings, readying them for the steamer.

Kate Gase, EMBA 48, shares with Katie Hamilton, EMBA 48, some original education materials she found at the First People’s Hospital of Shanghai during the Health Care Field Study.

EMBA 48’s Dan Kohnen and Gail Presswood prepare soup dumplings for the evening meal during their cooking experience class.

We started our last full day in China on Saturday by joining Shanghai Olin EMBA Class 15 at Fudan University. Professor Panos Kouvelis prepped the class for a simulation that the two classes tackled together in teams.

Saturday concluded with the U.S.-based EMBAs presenting their teams’ Field Study findings.

Panos Kouvelis lectures to a joint class of EMBA 48 and Olin Shanghai Class 15 prior to an Operations simulation.

Learn more about the Executive MBA curriculum and residency opportunities

Guest blogger: Cory Barron, Student Services Manager, EMBA team

In Global, Student Life
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