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Culture clash! Students of ACT Program learn how to manage an Asian company

(Provided by the College of Management)

Chair Professor Wanda Sung-Hwa Tseng started a course ’’The Asian Business Context’’ for the ACT Global Program at the College of Management, NSYSU. The course objective is to examine the politics, society, economic policies and conditions and commercial effects in different Asian countries, engaging the enrolled students in discussion, analysis, and multicultural exchange. The enrolled students attended some guided visits to local companies to gain a deeper understanding of their operation and problems. During the term, the students visited local companies of different sectors and sizes in Kaohsiung, including, Brogent Technologies, China Steel Corporation, and Ching Chan Optical Technology. Many key people in these companies are NSYSU alumni; the students could talk to them, gain more experience and understand how to apply what they have learned.

The founder of Brogent Technologies, Chih-Hung Ouyang, is an outstanding alumnus of the Department of Electrical Engineering, NSYSU. Thanks to his knowledge and abilities, he made Brogent Technologies become one of the leaders of simulation technologies. Jiang An, Director of the International Business Development Division at Brogent Technologies, made a presentation on the development of the company and mentioned that both he and Chih-Hung Ouyang are alumni of NSYSU. Several years ago, he was invited to join the Division and help expand the scope of the company overseas together. He added that this also proves the importance of networking and advised the students to learn how to expand and manage their social networks. Classmates shall value the time spent together as they may become future business partners. Another employee receiving the students was Andrea Ort, who is an alumnus of the ACT Program from Canada. After completing the Program, she got an internship opportunity at Brogent Technologies and later became a full-time employee of the International Business Development Division. She encouraged the students to maintain a positive and active approach, only then the company will notice their value as potential employees worth the trouble of applying for a working visa for a foreign professional.

Wei-Kun Kuo, the staff from the Department of Public Affairs, China Steel Corporation, guided the students to see the operation site and steel processing machinery. The students asked questions about the impact of the China-USA trade war. Kuo pointed out that the steel industry is not much affected by the fluctuations of the economy. Also, most of the customers of China Steel Corporation are in Taiwan and the export rate is quite low, thus the company is not directly influenced. With the raising concerns about environmental issues, the students were also interested in the issue of alarming carbon emissions of the steel industry. China Steel Corporation said that the company’s most recent ten-years’ program includes the acquisition of new machinery to replace the old ones to lower carbon emissions. Currently, China Steel Corporation is in the process of renewing its machinery, with a budget of NTD 10 billion allocated for this purpose. Replacement of the entire machinery will result in lower carbon emissions. The manager of the HR Department of China Steel Corporation replied to a student’s question about the requirements for a future employee of the company, saying that professional abilities are the most important recruitment criterion and that honesty is valued as well.

Students of the ACT Program visited Ching Chan Optical Technology Co. in the Hunei District in Kaohsiung and observed the process of production and selection of screws in the factory. The students noticed that a great amount of screws is eliminated in the process. Manager’s Representative of Ching Chan Optical Technology Co. said that defective goods used to be eliminated in the last manufacturing stage, thus, a decision was taken to implement more restrictive standards in the initial phase of the process. This embodies the company’s mission to exceed customer’s expectations. Besides, some students also asked questions concerning issues such as the environment, energy sources, and sustainable development. Ching Chan Optical Technology Co. installed solar panels on the rooftop of its manufacturing plant; the panels supply more than 90% of the energy consumed by the plant.

The students appreciated the visits and the fact that they could personally watch all the different processes in the production plants. Mario, a student from Johannes Kepler University in Austria, said that steel companies are operating in the proximity of his alma mater. He now had the opportunity to visit a company of the same sector in Taiwan, get to know its operation model and compare the working environment, safety regulations, and gender equality issues in Austria and Taiwan that made the visit a valuable experience.

(Edited by Public Affairs Division)
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