Straight from my comfort zone
Last December I jumped out of my comfort zone and decided to study abroad for two weeks. I attended their winter Southeast Asia seminar at IBS and it was one of the most unforgettable trips of my life. I chose this program because Thailand has been on my bucket list since childhood and it was the perfect time frame so I wouldn’t miss college memories. And now it’s months later and I’m still processing the two weeks that just seemed to have passed. First of all I want to say that I had to pinch myself when we got off this last flight in Bangkok at 6am. I was completely exhausted.
Business & Buddhas
On our second day we had our first business meeting AMCHAM. To be honest, meeting a foreign manager is nerve-wracking, especially if you spend your second morning with three other people in your group on a fire escape lol. After our meeting with AMCHAM we went to the Great Palace. Visiting the Grand Palace felt like a film set. The details in every building and every sculpture were exquisite, I was absolutely thrilled with the appreciation. When we went to the reclining Buddha, I was completely withdrawn. It was an honor to witness their culture and the various practices that were shown throughout the day.
On my birthday, Alyssa, J.D., Chris and I took a sky train to the last stop in Bangkok to visit the ancient city. We rode bicycles (for the first time in ten years), looked at beautiful structures and honestly sweated our butts. It was the first day I felt we could relax and I got closer to Chris and J.D. Later that day, Shannon, Allison, Alyssa and I went to the Marriott Sky Bar octave. It’s a four-story sky bar with uninterrupted views of Bangkok that was absolutely breathtaking. The drinks were fruity and delicious. We ended the night with a visit to the ladyboy bars near our hotel. The overall experience was overwhelming, but it reminded me a lot of New Orleans.
My favorite visit to the company
When it came to business, IKEA was probably my favorite. Your team members were so friendly and informative that I had to be fascinated by the various details and tricks that make the IKEA company efficient. I liked IKEA very much because they devote themselves to the customer in every respect. The company pays attention to every detail in a customer’s purchasing process in order to provide the best possible experience for both the customer and the company. It is fascinating to know that IKEA not only buys / owns shopping malls, but is also one of the tallest food retailers in the world. As a PR major, I would like to know more about their customer solutions and social media branding aspects. Overall, I really enjoyed visiting IKEA.
A long lasting impression
Culture is something I still miss about Thailand, everyone was just so friendly and still had a smile on their face. I do not think I saw a single person who expressed anger throughout the trip (except for J.D. before the AMCHAM visit). I found it very interesting to hear that in Thailand it is considered rude to point one’s feet at someone, since in the United States I believe that it is customary to point one’s feet at someone when speaking to to show that you’re listening.
Bangkok reminds me a lot of New York, it is a very busy, moving city with great nightlife. If I went back to Thailand I would travel more south and explore the coast. I think the water would be a completely different experience. A new adventure that I want to add to my Thailand bucket list.
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