Two-week trip shows TAFE students it's business as usual in China

ONE WORLD: TAFE Western business and management students toured DSE Medical in Shanghai as a part of an outbound global mobility program. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

ONE WORLD: TAFE Western business and management students toured DSE Medical in Shanghai as a part of an outbound global mobility program. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

A TAFE Western class recently returned from an educational trip to Shanghai.

Business and management students took part in a two-week outbound global mobility program and visited high-profile Chinese businesses, universities and organisations in Shanghai.

The aim of the trip was to provide students with team-building, leadership and management skills in a cross-cultural environment.

Some of the organisations the students visited included Suntech Power, Legend Sportswear, SILC business school, Bluescope Steel and Shanghai Disneyland.

Student Renai McArdle described the trip as a “once-in-a-lifetime experience”.

“It was amazing, lots of personal and professional experience gained by myself and the whole group,” Renai said.

“They were very generous with their time and sharing of information.

“We learnt a lot about similarities and differences in their management practices.”

Head teacher Jo Smith said the trip taught the group to think globally in a business context.

“I think it’s a matter of not being afraid to open your eyes,” Jo said.

“They may be different but we’re all on the same page.

“It’s about getting out of your comfort zone, thinking bigger and looking beyond Australia.”

Ms McArdle said getting to know a business was essential before making a judgement on an organisation.

“Look past the stereotypes, I think that’s one of the key things,” Renai said.

“Until you’ve been to a business, you don’t fully understand it.

“I think it gives us a bit more of an open mind and [encourages us] to take into account different thoughts, feelings, practices and be able to relate.”

Host businesses provided their employees with above minimum wage rates, allowances for two meals a day and above workplace health and safety conditions.

Some businesses also provided its employees with an all expenses paid one week international trip annually.

Ms Smith said Chinese and Australian businesses and managers were on the same page.

“What makes a successful business in China is the same in Australia. We found a lot of commonality,” Jo said.

“They talked about innovation, valuing employees, safe workplaces, all of the same things [as Australian businesses].”

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