Putting the “I” in IMBA: My Internship in Guangdong

arthur-liby Arthur Li, IMBA candidate

For three months I enjoyed 35-plus Celsius degrees and 90% humidity in Guangdong, China. But I knew that my IMBA internship offered much more than just a different climate from Canada.

Having spent nearly a decade in Toronto, I was extremely fortunate to have the chance to work in a top-tier hospital in my beloved home country. Given my familiarity with the location, I knew that an internship would not help me answer more trivia questions about Chinese culture! Nonetheless I was in total awe of the astounding advancements of the country.

Highlights included riding a 300km/h train to start off my day. In the mornings, I had a farewell brunch with my grandparents in a central mainland city. Before dinner, I could walk my aunt’s poodle in a city 1,200 kilometers south, near Hong Kong! I wondered as I walked, about how much FDIs and JVs have helped China develop its transportation infrastructure at such a stunning pace.

At work, I was astonished by the high level of efficiency of the Chinese healthcare system, whmetro-1209556_1280ich featured social media appointment booking systems, fully implemented electronic medical recording, real-time digital prescriptions and self-help express checkouts.

My colleagues were also efficient and innovative. One doctor started a WeChat-operated bakery in her kitchen! Within 24 hours, a cake she made in Guangdong was the centerpiece of a birthday party in Shanghai. From street food vendors to five-star restaurants, a free WeChat account was all I needed for orders and payments as a consumer, as well as opening my own store as a business owner.

At work, I was astonished by the high level of efficiency of the Chinese healthcare system, which featured social media appointment booking systems, fully implemented electronic medical recording, real-time digital prescriptions and self-help express checkouts.

Chinese and Canadian cultures have been intertwining through my entire life. Having had a significant taste of both, I reflect on how businesses could operate so drastically differently in each environment.

Is the extreme centralization of power fundamentally critical for an efficient healthcare system supporting 1.4 billion people?

What opportunities and risks can the friction-less access to a virtual marketplace bring to the life of an average citizen?

I returned to Canada with these and numerous other questions of international relevance – and a strong resistance to hot weather! These questions, curiosities and experiences gathered while working abroad in China are invaluable to my IMBA experience at Schulich, and my development as a global business leader.

2016-12-05T11:57:25+00:00 November 14th, 2016|Categories: International|Tags: |