As part of the course I am enrolled for being in this study abroad program I am required to complete a few journal assignments that reflect on my experiences in both my internship and the foreign country. My first prompt was “What are my goals for this summer?” and I had to identify and justify two to four specific goals that I could evaluate as achieved or not by the end of the program (SMART goals, anyone?) I apologize if the writing sounds awkward. I was kind of in academic mode and didn’t really write the random stuff I usually write in blog posts.
There are an infinite number of experiences that I am looking to get out of this unique study abroad and internship program. Not only will I be working in a corporate environment in my field of interest, but I will also be immersing myself in an Asian culture, reflective of my Asian Studies minor. If I had to choose a few concrete goals that I could measure and evaluate as achieved or unachieved at the end of the trip I would select one professional, one cultural, and one personal goal.
When I had my initial interview with GE Healthcare, my interviewer explained to me some possible projects that I could be working on. Two specific projects that I could be assigned are the implementation of a new communications program and inventory analysis. Thus, my professional objective for this summer is to work on these two projects and to observe how operations management topics such as project management, materials requirement planning, lean manufacturing, quality control, etc. are applied in an actual company. Despite my lack of operations management coursework, many of these terms come up in coursework for other subjects and I would like to further my understanding even before I take my first operations management course this fall. I will be able to determine if I am successful in achieving this goal at the end of the summer if I am able to explain these topics using the projects that I worked on as an example. I have chosen this goal because I want to have a “leg up” in my academic pursuits that I can take back with me to the classroom and to the Operations Management Association RSO, where I hope to be a more active contributor next year. The achievement of this goal will result in an enriched learning experience both in my internship in Hong Kong and in class when I return to Delaware.
My second goal for this summer is to enrich my Asian studies by having at least two “cultural” experiences. I could fulfill this goal by visiting one of Hong Kong’s museums, visiting a Buddhist temple, participating in tai chi or martial arts, watching a Cantonese opera, or anything else that conveys a sense of Hong Kong’s cultural history. My interest in Asian culture started at young age when I was introduced to the Japanese pop culture of animations, comics, and music. I soon developed an affinity of all kinds of Asian popular entertainment, which grew into a desire to learn more about Asian culture and history as a whole. This led me to take Japanese history as an elective my first semester at the University of Delaware and that class had such an impact on me that I decided after that first semester that I wanted to pursue an Asian Studies minor. Being an Asian American presents its difficulties in cultural identity. There is often a feeling of being an “outsider” in both your heritage and your nationality and I filled that “incompleteness” with Asian entertainment and education. At last, the opportunity has come for me to experience the richness of an Asian culture first hand, undiluted by an immigrant mentality.
My last goal is a personal commitment to maintain my study abroad blog regularly and to supply my readership with quality photographs and insightful content. I have been in the blogosphere for quite some time now and I enjoy the experience it gives me in writing, communications, and marketing. I consider blogging as a large part of my identity. While I am sometimes shy and quiet in person and I am not always the most eloquent of speakers, I am not short of thoughts and insight. I find that when I write, I am able to express myself to my fullest ability. So far, blogging has proven to be a very marketable skill for a really good talking point and me when I do job interviews since I include my blog in my resume. Regularly sharing content is a goal that I have for my crafting/personal blog during the rest of the year as well. However, the goal is difficult to keep up since all my time is taken up by schoolwork and extra-curricular activities and I had little to write about when I was not working on any craft projects. I was feeling a bit discouraged about that endeavor so I saw this study abroad program as an opportunity to create a new blog with a new purpose. Specifically, I wish to share content, whether it is writing or photographs, at least three times a week. I chose this as a goal for myself because I want to continue to work on this skill. In a way, this goal forces me to get out, experience Hong Kong fully, and take may photographs so I can document my time and share it with my readers.