【Interview】ACT Global Program：Patrick Liu（IBMBA）
1. Motivation and expectation for ACT program
ACT Global Program has always been the most popular program in IBMBA. Therefore, ever since I entered IBMBA, I kept thinking what I really want during my MBA career. Why not spend the same time and money as an exchange student, but receive to get an extra oversea master’s degree? Therefore, I made up my mind to explore the world through ACT Global Program. From ACT program, I could let myself experience the feeling of working and living abroad, and co-work on the same project with people of different cultural backgrounds. If I am used to the living style like this, or even enjoy it, then of course I would consider working abroad upon graduation.
2. The most impressive course at University of Victoria (UVic)
Professors at UVic tend to start from global viewpoints to compare with business environments in Taiwan, Canada, and Austria to make comparison between Eastern and Western cultures in terms of running business. Also, professors will use students’ future plans to design curriculum and make it fun. For instance, in the course ’’Global Supply Chain Management’’, professors let us make a seaplane through LEGO to have better understanding of supply chain. In the last class of the courses, we actually visited a seaplane company to learn the real supply chain model. This is the most unforgettable courses for me in the ACT Global Program.
3. The unforgettable experiences in terms of cultural aspects during ACT program
I would say the biggest challenge is cross-cultural cooperation and communication. For example, Taiwanese tends to speak cautiously in order not to offend others, but indirectness creates troubles. Unlike Mandarin-speaking cultures, western people prefer to talk directly, so the cultural shock impacted me a lot at the first time. However, from not understanding and not having good communication, I started to respect others and learned how to express my opinion in a proper way.
4. During company visits in Canada, what differences did you find between the ones in Taiwan and Canada
Business models in Canada are quite distinct from Taiwan. What surprised me the most was that managers in Canada are willing to share their business strategies and details with students, and they also introduce us to all their colleagues. Plus, they shared their experiences and the past and future plans of their companies with us.
5. What are your self-improvements after the program
Stronger tolerance of different cultures, and better interaction while communicating with others. Also, faster adaption to new places and cultures.
6. How does the experience of ACT program assist you in your current occupation?
BXB Electronics, the company which we had consulting project with, offered me a position after I finished the ACT Global Program. During the ACT program period, our task was to have projects regarding the customer relationship management. Since I used to have engineering background which helped me a lot in understanding their products, the chairman of BXB Electronics invited me to help them with oversea markets regarding customer planning after the program ended.
Due to the experiences I had during ACT, I could fluently communicate with clients and made lots of friends. In the oversea tradeshows, I also have a chance to speak some German that I learned from ACT program, and even I am not fluent with it, it could still be an ice-breaking tool when talking with clients from German-speaking countries.
7. How would you advise students who look forward to joining ACT program
I would highly suggest students who want to join ACT Global Program to reset themselves. Let yourself to be able to accept cultural shocks from exotic cultures. Do not limit yourself to the comfort zones that you are used to, and be brave to try all kinds of new activities. Imagine yourself as a sponge to absorb everything, and I am sure you will become a brand new person after the 9-month training from the ACT program.