Students Learn the Power In Chinese, the word guanxi literally means “relationships.” It is a critical component of the business world in China, which is built on a fragile network of relationships between business, society and government. Before a company can successfully conduct business in China it must first forge relationships with these groups. This was just one of many important lessons that nine graduate students learned while participating in a new program called “Doing Business in China.” The students traveled with Dr. Carolyn “Kelly” Ottman to China in
“The work that was completed in Spring Quarter was key to the success of the trip. The first part of the class allowed us to learn more about the partners that we visited in China. It gave us the U.S. perspective of doing business in China, followed up by the trip, which allowed us to learn the Chinese perspective,” said Jully Sieglaff. She is pursuing a master’s degree in marketing and export management at MSOE and is an assistant manager in sales administration at Briggs and Stratton in Milwaukee. The program featured several key business partnerships
“The trip far exceeded my expectations and was the most significant learning experience of the entire MSEM program.” June 2009 as part of MSOE’s Rader School of Business graduate management programs. Students began their adventure on campus during Spring Quarter as they studied strategy, human resources, ethics and other management issues related to China. Leaders of local, national and international companies shared their knowledge and expertise related to China. Additionally, students toured GE and Brady Corp. in Milwaukee, which facilitated comparison and contrast of the same corporations in China. The 11-week course prepared students for the first-hand experience they gained during 11 days of travel in Shanghai, Suzhou and Beijing. They networked with Chinese business professionals, U.S. expatriates, Chinese and U.S. government officials and local leaders during corporate tours and meetings in China.
including Brady Corp., General Electric, Kohler Co., Manpower, Motorola, Michael Best and Friedrich, Microsoft, Oshkosh Corp., Sun Hydraulics and Williams Controls. Ottman used MSOE’s existing guanxi with these multinational companies to secure small, one-on-one meetings with the MSOE students and top Chinese business executives to discuss everything from the challenges of intellectual property theft to differentiated market strategies. “The trip to China was an enormous success. I cannot tell you how much I learned about the Chinese culture and doing business in China,” said Tim Yellick ’09, an electrical systems engineer at Harley-Davidson Motor Co. who earned a master’s degree in engineering management in November. “Each company we visited spent considerable time and resources on their presentations and treated us professionally.
Through MSOE’s existing relationship with Oshkosh Corp., students were able to visit and tour the company’s corporate headquarters in China. Left to right: Debra Verbeten, Kyle Grahn, Dr. Kelly Ottman, Jon Seboe, Kaonou Latham, Tim Yellick, Jully Sieglaff, Sara Kadow, Thomas Fohr, Rosanna Dyer, Jason Anibas.
16 Dimensions Fall/Winter 2009-10
Fall - Winter 2009