Meet Kenneth Rowey, a junior Logistics and Supply Chain major who recently studied at the MSU Dalian, China, campus. Rowey spent the summer 2013 semester taking two business courses in Dalian taught by MSU professors Michelle Hulett and James Philpot.
“It was exciting to be immersed in the Chinese culture and campus with different people, customs, and food that I wasn’t used to,” remarks Rowey. To negotiate the language barrier, Rowey used a Chinese language app on his phone.
Soon, Rowey realized the experience was “opening my eyes to a whole new perspective on life and potential career opportunities. I wanted to do everything I could to have more exposure to logistics, so I decided to call companies and see if any would be interested in hosting me for a job shadow experience.” His initiative paid off when he landed a five-day experience at KangNing (KN) Logistics that was better than he had hoped for.
After his first day of shadowing with a KN Logistics manager and discussing the company and operations, he was invited back for two more days during which he met with employees to observe operations in greater depth. Rowey made such a positive impression he was invited to take a trip to a shipping port in the city to see receiving and shipping at this location firsthand. “Seeing the shipping containers, boats and organization of the trucks was amazing. I even got to meet with those who work with customs clearance,” he mentions. On his final day, Rowey invited instructor Michelle Hulett to accompany him as he presented his reflection presentation to the KN Logistics manager about what he had learned.
“It was obvious that those at KN Logistics were very pleased for him to show an interest in and learn about their company, and they treated him as a member of their staff, not a stranger. I could tell he made many friends during his time there,” states Hulett. Rowey was also very pleased with his experience and recommends other students on study away seek unique and enriching opportunities.
Rowey is active on campus in student organizations such as REAL Bears, the Association of Information Technology Professionals and the Logistics and Supply Chain Management Association. After graduation, Rowey is considering graduate school or full-time employment and plans to keep his options open. “After this experience, I want to travel for work and for fun. I really want to challenge myself and international work or travel will do that.”