Arthur Li: My Internship in China
For three months, 35-plus Celsius degrees and 90% humidity in Guangdong, China. I knew that my IMBA internship offered much more than just a different culture from Canada.
Having spent nearly a decade in Toronto, I was extremely fortunate to have the chance to work in a top-tier hospital in my beloved home country. An internship in China at my age would not help me answer more trivia questions about Chinese culture, but I was totally in awe of the astounding advancements of the country.
What about riding a 300km/h train to start off my job? In the morning, I had a farewell brunch with my grandparents in a central mainland city. Before dinner, I could walk the poodle for my aunt in a city 1,200 kilometers south near Hong Kong.
Working in a hospital, I was astonished by the high efficiency of the Chinese healthcare – social media appointment booking system, fully implemented electronic medical recording, real-time digital prescription, and self-help express checkouts.
One doctor colleague started a WeChat bakery store in her kitchen. Within 24 hours, the cake she made in Guangdong was centerpieced in a birthday party in Shanghai. From street food vendors to five-start restaurants, a free WeChat account was all I needed for orders and payments, as well as opening my own store.
Chinese and Canadian cultures have been intertwining through my entire adulthood. Having a significant tastes of both, I ponder how businesses could operate so drastically differently. How much have FDIs and JVs helped China develop its transportation infrastructure at such a stunning pace? Is extreme centralization of power fundamentally critical for an efficient healthcare system caring for 1.4 billion people? What opportunities and risks can the frictionless access to the virtual marketplace bring to the life of an average citizen? Returning to Canada with numerous questions of international relevance (and hot weather resistance) was priceless to my IMBA experience in Schulich.
Zheng (Arthur) Li, MBA, MSc
Founder, Acroiss Business Consulting
Management Consulting for Science Ventures