This post was written by Varun Raval, a member of Foster’s Master of Supply Chain Management inaugural class.
The Supply Chain study tour to Hong Kong and Vietnam is hands down one of my best experiences at the Foster School of Business. As a student in the Master of Supply Chain Management program, when I heard about this study tour which focused on supply chain in Asia I knew that it was an opportunity I could not miss. In March, along with 15 other business school students, I embarked on a trip that would leave an indelible impact on me and my world perspective.
I was absolutely amazed by how well the entire trip was planned. The pre-departure sessions gave me an opportunity to get to know my fellow tour mates and included information sessions during which knowledgeable experts spoke about the history, culture, economic and geo-political background of Hong Kong and Ho Chi Minh City. The school really put in a lot of effort in ensuring that we had all the knowledge and resources that we would possibly need to ensure a positive educational experience.
The following few weeks of the study tour were truly enriching. We were given a tour of the ocean and air cargo terminals, and visited global companies such as Expeditors, DHL, Starbucks, Nike, and Coca-Cola – to name a few. I not only got to observe the operations first hand but also got to interact with experienced executives that worked in the industry. During our visit to Li & Fung Group we got to spend our afternoon with Dr. William Fung himself, the managing director of the multi-billion company. The intellectually stimulating conversations with supply chain management professionals and top executives gave me a completely new perspective about the industry.
Apart from business visits, the school had also arranged local guided tours of the city and we had ample free time for tourism as well (On our last day in Hong Kong, some of us took the ferry to Macau!). A few of the highlights were the Cu Chi Tunnels, the Presidential palace and historical museums in Vietnam, the symphony of lights cruise in Hong Kong and its vibrant nightlife. Another highlight of the trip was attending the Foster Alumni reunion in Hong Kong. I got to network with local professionals that had been students at Foster. It was a moment of pride when I realized how global the Foster family really is!
I am truly grateful to the Foster School for making it possible for students to have this exceptional experience. I got to witness how my coursework is being applied in the real world by industry leaders and got to build a global professional network, while simultaneously exploring new cultures, having a great time and building lasting friendships!