“It’s one thing reading about China, but it’s a totally different thing to experience it,” says Emanuel Rinaldo Miller, one of three third-year students from Jönköping International Business School (JIBS) who won the first ever internship at Ramo Groups offices in Ningbo, southeast China. Back home from their five-week trip, the students reflect on what has been a huge learning experience.
Fresh from their internship at Ramo Group in Ningbo, China, Claudia Tirado and Emanuel Rinaldo Miller are amazed by all they have seen and done.
“China can be a culture-shock; the language, the traffic, the food - everything is so different. But I was surprised by how super-friendly the Chinese were to us, complete strangers would stop and help us if were lost in the city, using their mobile devices to translate directions into English for us,” says Claudia Tirado.
“I was impressed by how far they have come with technology,” adds Emanuel Rinaldo Miller. “It felt like they are far ahead of us. Everyone uses ‘Wechat’ to pay for things with their mobile phone. Not just the younger generation, the older too.”
For Emanuel and Claudia, and fellow student Kristina Peric, their journey began in September with a two-week visit to Ramo Group’s HQ in Värnamo. Here, the students got help preparing for their trip to China.
“We got a thorough introduction to Ramo Group during our time in Värnamo. They really helped us get ready – we got to work with different departments, could ask them questions and discuss how we wanted our internship to work,” explains Emanuel.
The terms of the competition meant that flights, accommodation and mandarin lessons were paid and provided by Ramo Group. Upon arrival in Ningbo (population 8 million) the students were greeted and looked after by Ramo Group’s Chinese office.
“We learnt so much about the business culture there. A Chinese company is very hierarchical, a total contrast to Sweden’s flat organisations,” says Claudia. “The general manager there had the last word, and everything had to be approved by her before it was done. Employees are also very respectful towards each other; they use each other’s surnames and are far more formal. I learnt a lot about the correct way to communicate with business colleagues in China, in order to get what you need from them.”
For these students, the opportunity given to them by the Ramo Academy has been invaluable and they strongly encourage other students to consider entering this year’s competition.
“Doing an internship at a smaller company in China, such as Ramo Group, means you get to really interact with people there and learn about their culture,” explains Claudia. “They really took care of us. The CEO took us sightseeing, introduced us to her family. You might not get that treatment from a bigger multinational.”
For Emanuel, learning about China will give business students hoping for an international career a competitive advantage: “There will be more and more trade with Chinese companies, they are gaining market share in all kinds of industries, all over the world. It’s vital to know about their business trends and learn about their culture. We hear a lot about China from a western perspective, but we need to learn about how the Chinese themselves perceive things. This internship is a chance to get more open-minded.”
JIBS students can apply for a place in the Ramo Academy Case Competition 2019 by sending in their CV and a motivational letter to JIBS' Case Academy by 4th November.
The competition will take place on 25th November at Jönköping University, and the winning team will be revealed at a prize-giving ceremony in January 2020, also at Jönköping University.
For more information, visit the Ramo Academy website or contact Tilda Lindén on +46 70 625 4509