By Dr. Jon Carrick
The trip was even better than I would have hoped it would have been. We got to feel the global economy on the ground-level of two of the most exciting economies in the world. Vietnam is a developing country with a war torn past and incredibly bright future. And although it is still very poor, we felt the economic development all around us; we felt not only the excitement that development brings, but saw first-hand how American companies can prosper from this development. While Singapore showed us the opportunities and challenges of operating in a highly developed country – arguably the most advanced economy in the world. In Singapore we also saw the prosperity that comes from an innovative country with a government that is committed to stability and economic growth.
The range and impact of the visits in the two countries was superb; from a nonprofit that touched the hearts of all of us, to a meeting with a high-level executive with a major multinational investment bank, and everything in between. What impressed us the most was the open access that we got; it is not often that you get high level directors giving you three hour tours of multi-billion dollar projects – like we did at both Universal and Marina Bay Sands. Closely related, the variety also helped the experience. We had a great mixture of lecture, Q&A, and operational tours. Furthermore, the Center for Creative Leadership provided some great insight on leadership and the hands-on activities we did with them was a nice change of pace from the business visits.
Although getting to Southeast Asia took 26 hours, it was well worth it. There is no region of the world that could have better brought to life what we learned in the classroom: the challenges of doing business with vastly different cultures; the impacts of fluctuating financial markets; the importance of efficiency in the global marketplace; and the challenges of adapting products for overseas markets. But not only did the trip provide a great learning experience, it also helped us in our own personal development; the trip pushed us out of our comfort zones and gave us new perspectives on life. Cohort 10 could not have picked two better countries to visit.
This last photo was taken inside the Singapore Flyer, the largest of three in the world. From the 25 minute ride, the cohort had a spectacular 360 view of the city, the amazing architecture, and the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. This activity was one that the entire group will remember and cherish as part of our Singapore visit.