Smith Students visit Intel China, Four Seasons Hotel and Harrow Beijing International School

By: Ja’Nel Edens, MBA Candidate 2018

Our second day of company visits focused on China’s services sector within the IT, hospitality, and education industries.

Intel Labs China

Operating as a research and innovation center in Beijing since 1998 is Intel Labs China.

Intel Labs China focuses on artificial intelligence algorithms, autonomous systems, and smart infrastructure research. With the help of local Chinese universities, service providers and start-up companies, the research hub can tailor their research capabilities in visual understanding, analytics and deep learning to the Chinese market. Intel Labs has six function labs and nearly 60 researchers with expertise covering AI algorithms, wireless communication algorithms, robotics, storage system, system software, and system prototyping.  It was interesting to see how Intel Labs China is solving daily challenges in China through their innovative research and technology.

Four Seasons Beijing

In Beijing, a new hotel is opened every year. Thus, to stay relevant, luxury hotel companies seeking to do business in the city must closely monitor movements and shifts within the market at all times. According to Four Seasons Beijing, the Chinese luxury hotel customer wants quality and speedy service, values hygiene and enjoys breakfast offered during their stay.

Our visit to Four Seasons Beijing was exceptional. Students toured various floors within the hotel and got to see executive lounges, fitness facilities, and traditional Chinese restaurants uniquely tucked inside. This was a favorite visit for many of the students, particularly Franklin Phillips who said, “This was one of the most enlightening visits because it revolved around creating a unique customer experience that could not be found at any other Four Seasons location in the world. We learned that Four Seasons wants the customer to experience the Four Seasons Beijing, Beijing being the key word and experiential guide”.

Harrow Beijing International School

In China, education is the pathway forward. Day 2 concluded with a warm visit to the Harrow Beijing International School which consists of 1,000 students with a student to teacher ratio of 8:1. Smith students had the fortunate opportunity to engage in conversation with local students and staff at the institution to learn more about the differences between Chinese and Western education.

We also participated in a leadership style exercise which focused on the comparison between Western and Chinese values. We looked at how these beliefs impact how we define leadership and what makes a good leader. The exercise was thought-provoking and generated enriching discussions within the classroom. 


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