Study Abroad: LER 497 G MHR China (Embedded Course)
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Christen Sheroff

Christen Sheroff

Majors: Labor and Employment Relations and Human Resources and Employment Relations
Minor: Dispute Management Resolution
Hometown: Ambler, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found out about this opportunity through my professor, Sumita Raghuram. The information was also distributed through the School of Labor and Employment Relation's undergraduate student's listserv.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

This experience was fantastic. We traveled to Nanjing for six days and Shanghai for three days. We were able to visit four different companies to learn about their human resources departments, which is going to really help prepare me for my career if I work for a company who has a business relationship with a firm in China. We also got to do a ton of sightseeing in Nanjing and Shanghai. One of my favorite locations was the Sun Yat-Sen Mausoleum, which was located in the suburbs of Nanjing. This site was my favorite because the area itself was absolutely breathtaking. The area was surrounded by mountains and you had to climb over 300 steps to get to the beautifully made tomb of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen. It was also a great site to visit because of its historic context. Dr. Sun Yat-Sen is credited, in the early 1900's, with bringing China into the modern age by helping to bring an end to the Qing dynasty.

"From this experience, I discovered that I would like to work for an international company so that I can be exposed to different cultures and business practices around the world."

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience allowed me to learn about a different culture and ways of conducting business. I became more aware of how a different culture handles certain social and business situations, which is very helpful if I ever were to conduct business with a firm in China. One of the most interesting differences was how business cards are presented. When accepting a business card in the United States, people tend to grab it with one hand and quickly stuff into their pocket. In China, business cards are treated with much greater care. When accepting a business card, the person is expected to take the business card with both hands and admire the business card before carefully placing it into a business card holder.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

My main career goal is to work for a private international firm. More specifically, I would like to work for a firm that would provide me with the opportunity to spend some time working abroad. I feel that working abroad would allow me to get a stronger sense of how to better work with a company's international partners and to learn how different nations conduct their human resources procedures and policies. This trip to China gave me some great exposure to some of the differences in cultures that I would need to consider before deciding to work abroad. This trip also gave me some insight into the differing business practices of firms that operate in China.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would definitely recommend a program like this to other Liberal Arts students. This program allowed me to have a more open and accurate view of China and the Chinese culture. Also, for me, this program helped me realize what I want for my career. From this experience, I discovered that I would like to work for an international company so that I can be exposed to different cultures and business practices around the world.

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