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Special Thanks and Reflections from GSAP Students

    (July 1, 2023) In June, students from the Center for Business Studies and Innovation in Asia-Pacific’s (CBSI) Global Student Ambassador Program (GSAP) traveled to China where they attended an academic conference and networked with high-level business leaders. The trip, organized and led by CBSI Executive Director Dr. Xiaohua Yang, Associate Director William Ktsanes and Executive-in-Residence Ker Gibbs, was made possible through the support of donors.

    Below are reflections and expressions of gratitude from the students, in their own words:


    I am extremely grateful to CBSI and GSAP for providing me the opportunity to attend the conference in Ningbo and corporate visits in Shanghai. I learned more from one week in China than I did from many of my full semester courses, which is a measure of how great it was. The access to top-level management and the unparalleled candid discussions were exceedingly valuable, and gave me deep insight into the challenges and opportunities that international firms face in a rapidly changing global economy.

    – Jack (undergraduate student double majoring in International Business and Finance)


    Life is enriched with experiences, and this was truly an amazing experience in which I gained insights into sustainability and competitiveness in business…. Most exciting were company visits which provided great opportunities to interact, ask questions and hear the view of stakeholders at various levels, including CEOs and Partners…. I thank Professor Yang, Professor Ktsanes and Ker Gibbs for providing us this opportunity. They, together with the students who went with us, made this trip so successful and memorable.

    – Hemil (MBA student)


    China was a remarkable learning journey and transformative experience for me…. The conference provided a theoretical foundation of the challenges and opportunities in sustainable business practices, while the company visits served as living case studies providing tangible examples of how sustainable development practices contribute to the success and resilience of businesses in the global marketplace…. I witnessed firsthand best practices that help businesses successfully navigate global challenges, integrate sustainable practices and compete successfully. The exposure to diverse business practices in China also broadened my cultural intelligence and understanding of global markets. The insights and perspectives I gained inspire me to be an advocate for sustainable development, good governance, and corporate social responsibility. I will apply the leadership lessons learned.

    I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to CBSI for organizing this remarkable learning opportunity. I deeply appreciate the support, guidance and dedication of Professor Xiaohua Yang, Professor William Ktsanes and Ker Gibbs.

    – Chia (undergraduate student majoring in Business Administration with a focus on entrepreneurship and innovation)


    My trip to China with CBSI was the most valuable experience of my academic career…. When we visited CDP, we sat with CEO Wei Lu for two hours discussing her current business strategy and plans for the future. She greeted us as colleagues, which helped me feel honored and confident in what was my first time in a setting like that – sitting at a conference room table with the CEO of a major company. Mrs. Lu’s authenticity, expertise and command of the room inspired me. I loved her leadership style and calming, yet powerful presence. I left with the ambition and determination to be like her as I start my career.

    I am incredibly grateful to CBSI, Professor Yang, Ker Gibbs, Professor Ktsanes, and all the donors and sponsors for making this trip possible. It is one thing to have such an amazing trip itinerary; it is another to make it accessible to students from all financial backgrounds. I simply would not have been able to attend without the funding provided by CBSI and its supporters, and for that I am extremely grateful. I wish every student could have this amazing opportunity.

    Thank you so much CBSI and the CBSI family!

    – Antonia (dual MBA and Masters of Asia Pacific Studies student)


    I was extremely fortunate to be one of the GSAP students selected to participate in the CBSI trip to China this summer…. From academic discussions to business insights, the wide range of things we saw, people we met, and topics discussed were truly incredible…. There was never a moment wasted.

    On a personal level, I felt especially connected to this trip because of my culture and ethnic background. I am a child of two Chinese immigrants, born in Australia, and spent half of my time growing up in the United States. The trip was an absolutely invaluable opportunity in which I observed life in China through a different lens and solidified my bond with my Chinese heritage.

    I thank the CBSI team for organizing the trip, designing the program and taking care of the logistics. They were alongside us every step of the way, answering any questions we had, and providing guidance and encouragement to grow. I thank CBSI and its donors for making this remarkable experience possible.

    – Alex (undergraduate student majoring in Computer Science)


    The trip was a unique opportunity to enrich my understanding of China’s role in the global economy…. Before the journey, I held perceptions of China shaped by media portrayals and popular narratives. The trip proved to be an eye-opener, with the reality on the ground far different. The modernity of Ningbo and Shanghai were striking, showcasing China’s commitment to progress and innovation…. The warm hospitality and friendliness of the people challenged stereotypes, leaving a lasting and positive impression on me. We were immersed in a fascinating fusion of ancient traditions and modern innovations. From the serene landscapes of ancient temples to the futuristic architecture of iconic skyscrapers, China’s cultural heritage is clearly as diverse as it is rich.

    Our corporate visits in Shanghai provided invaluable opportunities to witness China’s dynamic business environment up close. At CDP, we learned about the intricacies of international talent and human resource management. Our visit to GM’s automotive joint venture with SAIC showcased collaborative efforts between international and Chinese companies, underscoring the importance of partnerships in global business. FedEx provided insights into logistics, global supply chain management, and China’s critical role in global trade. Engaging with entrepreneurs at Orbit Startups shed light on China’s thriving startup ecosystem and the vast opportunities for innovation and growth.

    It was a transformative experience…(that) highlighted the importance of cross-cultural understanding and collaboration in an increasingly interconnected world. I am grateful to Professor Yang, Professor Ktsanes, Ker Gibbs, and CBSI donors for making this remarkable learning experience possible, giving us real world exposure to international business, and creating memories I’ll cherish forever.

    – Poonam (doctoral student in Education)