Wednesday, August 13, 2014

JA in China 7/31 - 8/11

Dà jiā hǎo!

We did it! To China and back :)

A little bit about the program (more details on JA site:

Junior Achievement (JA) brought an innovative idea several years in the making to fruition last year by piloting a business exchange program with forty Chinese and American high schools students.  The focus was for the students to collaborate and create a mock global trading company from the ground up- applying principles of teamwork, innovation, problem solving, all with a unique underlying focus on Sino-US relations.
The Chinese students visited us last year, where the students worked together on business ideas at Yale University. A year later, it was the Wallingford's turn to travel to China. 

This trip to China was focused on:
- Exposing the American students to a vastly foreign culture and language
- Teaching concepts of business leadership and innovation in the global marketplace
- Collaborating in mixed Chinese/American teams to solve problems
- Learning about the identity of an American in China

Here is an info graphic Daniel Turcotte made for the journey:

Out of the hundreds of photos taken, here are a few that really capture the experience:

Student presentations on their mock global company to leaders in UTC, banks, government, and other global organizations

Visit to UTC HQ in Shanghai

At UTC HQ in Shanghai, students worked in groups to develop a board game for the blind (a modified version of Flying Chess). This workshop was to apply UTC principles of innovation and teamwork.

Part of the program was for students to work in teams to first buy products, develop a profit goal, and then sell these products in the streets of Zhu Jia Jiao in Old Shanghai. The cool thing was, the students used their newly learned language skills and bargained with locals only in Mandarin

Picture with Chairman of JA China and President of JA of Southwest New England at our main sponsor headquarters in Shanghai- United Technologies!

 Trip to Otis plant with students

 Our final night in Shanghai ended with a wonderful celebration of student talents

Our last stop was Xian, Shaanxi province- the ancient capital of China. One of our stops was at the Terracotta Warrior museum, where students learned about the 8th wonder of the world- a gift left over from the Qin Dynasty's emperor Qin Shi Huang Di

Overall, the journey was an enriching blend of business, education, language and culture with a solid UTC legacy supporting us