Greenville native visits China

Published 2:58 pm Monday, July 18, 2011

A group of Alabama State University students recently visited Beijing, China, and got a real-life lesson in international business.

While many students headed south to the beach for spring break, 14 ASU students headed to the Far East – to China.

Chris Harris is a senior majoring in computer information systems in ASU’s College of Business Administration. The Evergreen native said the trip to China will help prepare him to compete in the global arena.

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“The major companies are looking for individuals who have real life experience. This trip will give me an advantage over people I’m competing with because it shows that I am not afraid of challenges, that I have a diverse mindset and that I have firsthand international experience,” Harris said.

The students, along with faculty and staff members, visited Beijing March 15-23. They toured several companies including Lenovo Computers, Hyundai Motors, Mengniu Dairy and the Coca-Cola Bottling Company.

Dr. Kamal Hingorani, acting chair and associate professor of computer information systems, traveled to Beijing with the students. He said study-tour experiences are invaluable.

“Experiential learning has been long used as a tool in business education to provide students with hands-on learning exercises that complement their in-class education,” Hingorani said. “Our goal is to train our students to succeed in the global economy of the 21st century.”

The trip wasn’t limited to business students.

Joe Smith, a political science major from Greenville, said he was thrilled to have an opportunity to visit China.

“This trip will definitely help me as I pursue my goals to become an attorney,” Smith said. “The trip enlightened me. I will be able to connect with different people better because I have a new understanding and perspective about people, their differences and how business is done outside of the United States.”

The China study-tour is part of a Business and International Education grant awarded to ASU by the U.S. Department of Education.

Smith is the son of Adrian Shambray and the great-nephew of the late Oscar E. Shambray, the person for whom the Butler County Alabama State University Alumni Chapter of Alabama was named.