China Internship Reflection Scott Smith
The Other End of the Spectrum
The Chinese Experience
My trip to China was a wonderful experience. There were so many good times accompanied with a lot of learning. Some would think it’s tough for an American to survive in China without knowing the language. In all actuality, it’s not too difficult; Chinese people are very friendly as well as welcoming. Beyond the cityscapes, China has beautiful colorful landscapes much different in wildlife and appearance than those found in the United States. I made a lot of new ...view middle of the document...
The major cities, such as Shanghai and Beijing, are much dirtier than the cities of America. This is due to the staggering amount of people inhabiting said cities. The sky is a strange shade of gray almost every day because of the amount of pollution being pumped out by the large factories. I believe that this could be the reason most people you see walking around the city look generally unhappy. Apart from the cities, the rural areas are much more beautiful and unpolluted. The people that live in rural China also seem to be in a better disposition than the city folk.
I moved around from place to place mostly by taking the subway in Shanghai. It is very cheap to ride but is always packed with people. Sometimes you’ll have to wait for several subway trains because of how many bodies are packed into such a small space. Another way to get around is via taxi. Taxis are more expensive than taking the subway but take you directly to your destination with more wiggle room. Communication, though, between the driver and yourself can be very stressful when you don’t know Mandarin Chinese; it’s best to have your destination written down in order to show the driver. I also rode on planes and trains within China that were similar to that of the United States.
The currency in China is so inflated that you can live comfortably on the equivalent of fewer than five dollars a day. You can buy a solid meal from a street vendor for under a dollar. A half hour taxi ride in Shanghai costs about eight dollars. To the Chinese people it’s still a solid amount of money to live based solely on the amount of money they make working. They work harder and longer hours than most Americans but only make a fraction of what we make.
Hartford Technologies is a company based in Hartford, Connecticut with a subsidiary in Shanghai. They mainly manufacture ball bearings but also make needle rollers, pins, shafts, and dowels. The ball bearings are made from a wide variety of materials including chrome, stainless steel, brass, plastic and glass. They come in a wide variety of sizes depending on what they’re being used for. There’s a long process and many facilities that the materials go through before the finished product is complete. I visited many of the supplying plants and met a lot of the people in different cities that each play a part in this process.
During my internship, I was moving around a lot. I spent time in Shanghai, Tai Zhou, Nanhui, Ruien, Wuxi, Guangzhou, Shaxi, Yingdi, Zhongshan and Guozhou. Each place was very unique in different ways. I usually met with one of three people each day to visit separate facilities: Edison, Jane or Kevin. From there, we would visit the supplyers together. I met with many people who either worked for or managed a plant. My favorite manager whom I met was named Peng. He had an open-air office with a very relaxed ambience to it. He was the head honcho of one of the metal ball...