It’s been ages…

I can’t believe that it has been over a year and a half since my last post. I swear the last year and a half has gone by so quickly I don’t even know where it went. It seems like last week I was writing my dissertation and living in China.

Well I finished my dissertation, finally, in May of 2017. It was reviewed, approved (with great difficulty- that could be a post by itself) and presented. Read the preview below!

Coffee Market in China: Investing in Chinese Coffee 

This paper consists of eight chapters that look at previous research, the background of coffee, the coffee market in China and Nestlé to get a better understanding of the market. This study also looks at the perception of Chinese coffee to see if this coffee will be well received. An independent study was done that shows whether or not people will buy or drink coffee produced in China, what price it should be, where the quality is ranked compared to other coffee producing countries, and what they taste the participants thought Chinese coffee would have. Nestlé is already very successful in China, but there is significant room for growth in the brewed products. Nestlé should focus more on this market since the middle class is expected to grow drastically and this market has the most potential. Overall, improving the quality of the coffee beans from Yunnan is suggested if Nestlé wants to use the coffee beans from Yunnan in their brewed products since quality is valued more than the price. Read it here!

I was approved for graduation and given my official Master of International Business diploma. The graduation was at the end of June, which was a month after we were done with everything. I didn’t stay for graduation because I wanted to go home and start looking for a job.

After moving back to NY, I continued my search for a job. I had actually started looking in April of 2017 because I knew that it could take a while before I found something. I had applied to numerous jobs and only gotten a few responses. I wasn’t back from China yet, so that wasn’t helpful for the people who actually responded. They all wanted someone in the next month.

I was lucky, because one of those responses emailed me again in July asking if I was still interested in the position. I was! This was a perfect job for me! So I responded and got a phone interview with my now boss. After the phone interview, I went for an in person interview where I interviewed with my boss, people I would be working with, and the COO of my division.I won’t name my company, but I was impressed that so many people I met or found online had been with the company for so long. Most people have been with the company for 10, 15, 20, even 40 years!

I didn’t hear back for almost two weeks, so I called the HR recruiter and said, I’m not trying to be pushy, but I have another offer (which I did) and if you are going to offer me the position, I would like to take it, if not I completely understand I will take the other position. So he said he would get back to me and the next day I had an offer for a job at my company.

I work for the International Division doing International Marketing and Product Development. I really like my job because I do so many different things from website development, social media, graphic design, project management, etc. and I work with people from all over the world. I’ve even gotten to visit a few places since I started working at the company! I will do a blog post on each place I visited, but exciting is that there are two new countries to add to my list.

 

Pengyou visit in Savannah, Georiga

So after a nice birthday and mother’s day, (I’m 24 now can you believe it? time is flying!) I headed to Savannah to visit my pengyou Jenny! (pengyou or 朋友 is friend in Chinese) We became friends on my first day in China. We were roommates at our hotel for orientation. We quickly became good friends and even though we lived about an hour away from each other, we frequently had dinner dates and wine nights! Now that we were both in the United States, we wanted to see each other and I was more than happy to leave the frigid New York end of winter for sunny and warm Savannah.

I went for a week long visit. I was greeted at the airport by a big smile and a big hug. It was really warm too thank you Lord! After a nice scenic drive to the complex where Jenny and her mom live, we decided hey why not lay out by the pool and catch some rays! Perfect afternoon after getting up before the crack of dawn and traveling all morning! That night we went to have dinner in downtown Savannah along the river. We stopped at a little store that was selling some jams and we must have tried 10 and they were all delicious! I bought 3 of them. Two were to bring home for me and my mom. They were a peach amaretto jam with pecans and the other was a apple strawberry rhubarb jam. The last one was for me and my hosts and it was a raspberry mustard dip that was to die for. It was beautiful at night, with the lights reflecting on the water. We stopped and listened to a group of guys singing on the side walk and they were really good.

The following days were spent laying out by the pool and going to the beach. Tybee Beach is a nice beach but we drove up to Hilton Head and that beach was much nicer. The pool was great too I mean whats not to love about laying out and getting kissed by the sun. We visited downtown Savannah again and this time got to explore the sights. Savannah is a great city! It has the trees with the Spanish moss and I think I could grow old looking at those trees and with the flowers, it’s just incredible. We went to Paula Deans restaurant and to be honest it wasn’t that great. We had a few sandwiches and they were ok. I did try sweet tea for the first time and it was delish! I’ll make a like of all the southern things I tried later on.

The next day we decided to take a day trip to Charleston. And I am so glad we did because I absolutely loved it! Charleston is amazing! On the way we decided to stop at a plantation that is now basically a museum open for viewing. It was really quite interesting being able to see the plantation. The property was very beautiful and well kept. There were some slave cabins and they each were restored to a different time in history. The guide actually goes around to old slave cabins and spend the night in them. I love history so this was pretty cool for me, it was sad of course and slavery was a terrible part of our history. I recently watched 12 Years a Slave and it really makes you think about how things used to be and why there was a Civil War in the first place. After a few hours we went into Charleston and explored the downtown area. It was great. There were so many colors and Charleston has the trees with the Spanish Moss in a few places which I loved. The waterfront was filled with expensive houses and walkways for visitors and residents. We had lunch in Jim ‘N Nicks and IT WAS AMAZING! Like seriously! I had a beef brisket sandwich and Jenny had a pulled pork taco that was banging like best thing I’ve ever had good!

On Sunday there was a low country boil that was great! It was out by the pool and there were fresh oysters we got to crack open (I was terrible and could barely open one), corn on the cob, potatoes, chicken and shrimp. Everything had a cajun spice and you all should know I love spicy! Yumm. Then a group of us went to a bar to have a few drinks were the gnats and rain couldn’t get us. We made a new friend who is a helicopter pilot and he invited us to the military base to see the aircraft. We went 2 days later and it was cool seeing everything and getting a private tour.

My last night there we decided to try a hot pot restaurant. Yupp that’s right folks there is a hot pot aka REAL Chongqing style food in Savannah. It was pretty damn good too! It was spicy just the way I like it and the owner even gave me some Sichuan peppers to take home with me. I got a bubble tea and it was like being back in China again me and my pengyou. Anyway, that was my trip. It was great and Jenny and I talked about China a lot. I came home with a great tan and lots of memories.

Southern First Timers:

1. Sweet Tea

2. Boiled Peanuts

3. Chic-Fil-A

4. Grits

5. Shrimp and Grits

6.  Real BBQ

7. Chicken salad

8. Fried Okra (ewwww)

9. Glazed Pecans

That’s all I can think of but hmm I’m hungry just thinking about it.

Until next time,

Alexis