Traveling to an exotic location has always been on my to do list. I consider myself fortunate to be able to have that experience here in Taipei, Taiwan. As a result of the opportunities afforded with being apart of the RIT EMBA program, I can check South East Asia off of my list.
Eight days sounds like a lot of time, but the reality of the matter is that it is not that much time at all. Today, I find myself on day seven and reflecting the busyness of the week. From scavenger hunts, corporate visits, to charity work, this week did not disappoint. Day six was by far my favorite day of the trip. We filled our morning with a cultural visit to the village of Jioufen. Boarding the bus for a short 30 minute ride, we found ourselves away from the city center of Taipei and in the mountains of Jioufen. A small mountain city, once was the home to some 20,000 miners, now home to about 2,000, this place is a travelers dream. Jioufen offered stunning views of the mountains, countryside, and beaches all wrapped into one. The narrow streets and markets provided the weary travelers exotic foods and quaint shops, to find the perfect gift for those back home.
After a brief stay, we headed back to the hotel to “suit” up for our company meeting. Our final group meeting of the week was at a small textile company called Hyperbola. Here, we were met with a warm greeting and a lovely presentation of their company, conducted by a very enthusiastic young woman named Robin. She led us through the history of the organization and spoke with such passion and conviction for the mission of the company. Tina, the company’s founder, and other various members of her team, were happy to dive right into our Q&A session. Out of all of the organizations that we visited, this one by far was my favorite. It was the organizations value for their customers and employees that has me sold. Their office space was inviting and trendy. The open floor concept encourages creativity among the team and enhances communication across departments. Hyperbola values their employees, by helping them to find an appropriate work life balance. However, above all it is their passion for textiles and customer relationships that undoubtedly has been a primary contributor to their success.
This has been the week of a lifetime and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in such an eye opening experience. If there is one main theme I can take away from this week's trip it is that relationships are incredibly valuable to the people of Taiwan. Entrepreneurs value hard work and passion, but it is the friendly culture of the people on this island that will have the largest impact for me. Their willingness to help a struggling traveler, their generosity towards one another, and their motivation and drive to carry out their passions are all qualities that hope to one day emulate to those around me, whether it be in an academic setting, or hopefully one day in an executive leadership capacity.
Stephanie is an EMBA student in online class 24. She is a senior contract specialist with Rochester Regional Health in Rochester, NY, managing corporate purchasing and procurement. She will complete her studies in May 2019.
Read more reflections and perspectives from the global study trip to Taiwan: