The Great Wall Trek

I had to wake up at 6 AM today as we had a long day filled with company visits and seeing the Great Wall of China. The day started with breakfast in the hotel and then we boarded the bus to Lenovo. When we arrived at Lenovo they had a sign welcoming the University of Alberta and I took my photo with the big Lenovo sign.

IMG_5917

Our tour guide was Kelly and she started out by giving us a brief history of Lenovo. Did you know that they used to be called Legend, but they changed their name due to naming conflicts in North America? The name Lenovo is made up of two Latin words that translate to “new legend”– that’s such a brilliant name! The founders also cared a lot about their employees. Did you know they helped pay for the houses and mortgages of the first employees and they shared the profits in the form of bonus payments with them? They had lots of cool old computers which showed the evolution of Lenovo from the day they started to where they are today. Lenovo also has an in-house incubator called the “Dream Lab” where employees are allowed to start their own businesses and work on projects and initiatives that interest them. If the projects are successful, Lenovo will help finance the growth and expansion of the business while allowing the employees to retain majority ownership in the company. All these things are very different and innovative, which is goof since Lenovo’s new slogan is “Let the world connect”.

IMG_5930

After hearing about Lenovo’s history we went to see some of their new products. We saw a phone that had attachments for a projector, speaker and more quality camera. We also saw a a phone that had augmented reality. I got to see myself in a TV! It could also display objects like TVs and furniture in an augmented form so I could see how objects look in an augmented world. I can’t wait to buy one.

IMG_5951

IMG_5949

After we saw the new products, we went to Lenovo’s new campus. It was so nice, they had a rock climbing wall, with a cafeteria and they had a gym! I even took a try at climbing the wall. Sadly our time at Lenovo was finished but before we left, they let us know that they are always looking for top new talent from around the world to work at their campus, so maybe I’ll submit my resume.

IMG_5961

IMG_5971

Next we headed for lunch at the Jade factory. I got to take my photo with a jade dragon and a jade buddha. I learned that there are various colours for Jade, like black, blue, green and white. Jade has a very cultural and significant role in Chinese history and it symbolizes three things: wisdom, balance and peace. I also learned at the 2008 Beijing Olympics they changed the medals for the first time in a long time to include Jade on the back of the medals. Most of the Chinese athletes would took pictures showing the back of their medals so they could showcase their Jade. Hopefully one day I’ll win a medal in the Olympics.

After learning about Jade we got to eat some delicious authentic Chinese food, I still have to master the art of using chopsticks, so I always use a spoon.

IMG_5987

After lunch we had some time to shop at the Jade shop, but unfortunately I did not find anything that I liked. After lunch and the Jade shop we were off to the Great Wall of China. We had a long bus ride and we had to take two buses, but it was worth it to get to the Great Wall. At around 2:30 pm we arrived at the Great Wall.

IMG_6030

I walked with Ben, Josh, Lu, Robin and Shannon, they are my best friends in the world. We made it all the way to the 14th tower and we started at the 5th tower. I think we walked about 5 km! After almost 2 hours on the wall we had to head back down. Unfortunately we were too late to take the toboggan, but luckily we were able to get down via the chair lift and we didn’t have to walk.

IMG_6064

We then headed back to Beijing to have a much deserved dinner of the world famous Peking duck. Once we arrived at the restaurant I took my photo with some of the statues out front.

IMG_6077

The meal of Peking duck was delicious. I was even able to snag a photo of myself with the chef.

IMG_6085

They even had little desserts shaped like ducks!

IMG_6087

Today was such a great day, I can’t wait for tomorrow. We get to ride first class on a train to Xi’an!

Blog post submitted on behalf of Edy the Bear by UAlberta MBA students Shannon, Robin, Benjamin & Luyang.