Muralee Kanagaratnam

National Division Manager – Software; National Sales Manager - Business Development (during tour),
Express Data, part of the Dimension Data Group and sister company to Datacraft Asia.

The MBA program at Macquarie Business School (MGSM) offered me with a diverse set of skills and experiences that has proven to be critical in my current role as well as future career goals. The China Tour in 2009 was the most beneficial subject I undertook throughout my MBA. It was like doing a thesis or capstone project that encompassed all of the learning from the other 14 subjects into a real life experiential learning. There were elements of finance, marketing, operations, organizational learning and even philosophy.

China as we all know it will be crucial to Australia's economic progress and will be prominent in all vertical lines of business as we move into the next few decades. I and all my colleagues that attended the tour felt that their roles will be greatly influenced by China/APAC and the valuable teachings of Dr Yiming as well as the first hand experience of being in China will place us in a fantastic position to succeed in these territories. We knew 99% more about China after the tour than we did before and there is no book or research paper that can take the place of "on the ground experience".

I cannot be more of an advocate of the tour as I also was able to meet with the executive team from my sister company Datacraft and was able to bring back certain processes and procedures that we have since applied in our own business. Further, there is a group on LinkedIn where all tour participants share ideas and have set up a community that is above and beyond the normal networking opportunities offered by MGSM. I will certainly recommend the tour to anyone interested in participating and urge MGSM to continue the program as I strongly believe it is a very worthwhile initiative.

Emilia Stojanoska

Product Manager – New Release,
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment (Part of News Corporation)

I don’t know where to begin singing the praises of the China study tour. It has been by far the best decision I have ever made with respect to my education and personal development. In fact it only took me 4 months to capitalise on the investment. A major promotion to our Asia Pacific office was offered to me as a result of my new understanding of doing business with Asia and more specifically China. It was no surprise that my experiences and subsequent knowledge of this growing market were discussed at great lengths during the interview process.

On a personal note, the trip was absolutely fantastic and I had so much fun exploring both China’s new and old worlds. It is truly an experience I would not trade for the world. Dr Tang has a real winner here and I thank Macquarie Business School (MGSM) for providing such a great opportunity. I will continue to recommend this tour to all.

Eric Chng

Senior Vice President & Head of Trading,
Asian Equity Finance, Daiwa Capital Markets

The Study Tour option is a unique selling proposition of the Macquarie MBA and I personally benefitted tremendously from the China Study Tour 2009. A lot of thought leadership, planning and co-ordination by the various faculties made these various options available yearly and I strongly encourage students take up the trip to gain “on-the-ground” experience.

During the 2 weeks, we had an intensive schedule where we visited various State Owned enterprises and foreign companies operating in China. I was impressed with the strong industry connections Macquarie has developed as we were given the opportunity to speak with senior management staff of respective companies. During my stay, I was able to fully appreciate the distinct cultural differences between Chinese and foreign companies and the complexities first hand of doing business in China!

Llewellyn Tsang

Communications Consultant, AMI Technology,
CitiPower & Powercor Australia Ltd,  Member of Cheung Kong Group (HK)

“What A Trip!!” The 2009 China Tour is surely provided me with a once in a life time experience. We had privileges to discuss business strategies, challenges and best practices to operate in China with top executives from our hosted FIEs and SOEs such as Mr Jim Sheriff (CEO and Chairman of Cisco Shanghai) & his executive team, Mr Stephen Farquer (MD of Qantas Shanghai) and Mr Lim Bao (MD of AVIC, subsidiary of CATIC).

We also put some of the theories into practice – bargain shopping in Beijing using Guanxi; and having a cup of “not-too-bad” coffee from SBC rather than Starbucks Coffee. And we also checked out the local culture and lifestyle as part of our “market research” – we had an 8-course contemporary Chinese dinner for RMB350 excluding beverages; we also found out expats had been doing a business deal at No. 14 The Bund at 2:00am. We walked The Great Wall and The Forbidden City, and we met the troops and tanks of People Liberal Army when we walked back from Wangfujing Street with scorpions on skewer. All of these present the real China.

Given that Australia-China connection is undoubtedly growing stronger, we need to build up our knowledge about China. The MGSM China tour has been proven itself to deliver students the best “on-the-ground” experience in China business, culture, people and lifestyle which will be useful when developing business strategy in China.

Chris McCullam

Queensland State Manager (currently); NSW Dealer Business Manager (during tour),
Mazda Australia

I am honoured to be able to provide a testimonial for the China Study Tour. I chose Macquarie Business School (MGSM) for the sole reason that the school offers overseas study tours. Colleagues of mine that graduated from Macquarie Business School (MGSM) said that it was the highlight of their course and it is the main point I bring up when questioned about my MBA studies. I intend on taking the European study tour as well next year and will be very disappointed if these unique tours are no longer offered.

After completing the China Study Tour in 2009 I have an even firmer belief that these courses offer MGSM a unique USP. There are no other courses available in Australia which has faculty that have built up such strong relationships with leading companies based in the most dynamic business environment in the world. There is less differentiation between management schools nowadays and the contacts and the itineraries that the lecturers have developed over time will be wasted and impossible to renew if the courses are cancelled. Since returning from China I have promoted this course with countless students and I am sure you will have a full course if you decided to run it in 2011.

The in-country component should remain at two weeks because in the case of the China Study Tour you have two very distinct cities which offer different ways of running companies and the trips around the two cities reflect their unique dynamics. Two weeks are needed to visit a reasonable number of companies and make the trip worthwhile. It enables enough time to visit the organisations but also to participate in cultural activities. The schedule is quite gruelling and you need the occasional afternoon off so the itinerary was perfect in my mind.

Shaun Morgan

Manager,  Business Development Unit & Fairfax 360 Creative Media Solutions,
Fairfax Media.

The Study Tour to China was everything that I had hoped for in the MBA experience from Macquarie Business School (MGSM), as it provides the critical linkage from theory in the classroom to the practical reality on the ground.

Having very little knowledge on China and the challenges that doing business there presents, the Study Tour delivered me valuable insights and understanding that has created a strong interest in continuing my study in this area, for which I am very grateful to Dr. Tang and his exceptional teaching and knowledge.

There are so many highlights from the tour from, first-hand accounts of the business challenges facing a diverse range of industries, deep cultural experiences (I recommend trying the BBQ Scorpion and Star Fish in the Beijing Markets!), and the opportunity to share this with a great bunch of people, plus Dr. Tang is a champion table tennis player!

In a practical sense I have been able to directly apply the knowledge and understanding from the Study Tour into identifying and creating new business opportunities for my company in Asia, and for my professional development have had the opportunity to represent Fairfax Media at several Asian Publishing conferences as a key speaker. I have no doubt that without the China Study Tour I would not have been able to pursue these.

For anyone considering the China Study I cannot recommend this highly enough. You are in for an invaluable experience that will remain the highlight of your studies at Macquarie Business School (MGSM) and if you’re like me begin a journey of continual interest in China.

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