Students Study Logistics and Business in China
Business students have read about the global economy, however, true understanding requires getting out of the classroom. That is why Scott Keller, associate professor of Marketing and Logistics, took 20 UWF business students to China for three weeks during the month of May.
“This experience enriched the students’ understanding of logistics and business at a truly global level,” said Keller. “They observed first-hand the growing importance of business and economic relationships between China and the U.S, and experienced China’s culture, people, history and infrastructure.”
An unprecedented study abroad experience, this was the first UWF student group to study in China, and the largest UWF student group to travel and study abroad. To prepare for their trip, the group took an eight-week course in Conversational Mandarin Chinese and Culture taught at UWF.
“The trip was truly the opportunity of a lifetime,” said Garrett Hodges, a junior majoring in marketing at UWF. “It was amazing how knowing a few phrases such as ‘wo bu yao’ (I don't want that) or ‘ni hao’ (hello) meant so much to the Chinese people we met. In a society built around relationships, it was a sign that we were trying to relate to them and were interested in some kind of Chinese relationship because we had taken the time to learn.”
Traveling more than 19,000 miles, the group visited many cultural sites in Beijing, including the Great Wall and Tiananmen Square. In Guangzhou, they received personal tours and saw firsthand the manufacturing of Honda automobiles, Pearl River grand pianos and Crocs shoes. The group visited more than 13 companies and heard numerous presentations from executives in the field. Their travels included a high-speed train trip to Hong Kong and Shanghai where they were among the few “outsiders” who have ever visited the Port of Yangshan, the world’s ocean “port of the future.” They viewed the loading and unloading of ships in the world’s second largest ocean port and toured product manufacturing plants and logistics distribution centers. Lastly, the group toured major commercial landmarks in each city, including the Oriental Pearl Television Tower.
“This is truly an educational opportunity of a lifetime for our students, many of whom have never experienced other cultures outside of our Northwest Florida region,” said Keller. “The success of our study in China clearly illustrates that UWF provides opportunities to students that far exceed the opportunities provided by other universities.”
The Supply Chain Logistics Program at UWF was launched by Keller just three years ago, and already, UWF’s Logistics Team has ranked first nationally in competition - outperforming some of the top logistics programs in the country. The Department of Marketing and Economics offers the Certificate in Supply Chain Logistics which is available to all UWF students. The certificate program is designed to enable students to earn additional credentials within the requirements of their current degree programs.