This week was our final rounds of visiting organised by the ALP coordinators. This week, some of the ALPers had a chance to visit the Ford factory. It was an interesting seeing how the factory carried out its operations. Unfortunately though, phototaking was not allowed within the factory itself, so I’ll try my best to describe what I saw in the factory in words. The factory is divided into two floors, the top floor is for shifting of components around, and the bottom is for the assembly of components. Once inside the factory, there is a dedicated pathway for visitors to walk on, where we will be able to observe the workers working to assemble the cars on a production line. The production line had workers first starting with spray painting the external body of the car, which proceeded to securing the windows of the car, done manually, and then securing the doors, in-car audio set and engine components, done via machinery, and finally the final check on how secure and working the components of the car are. Once done with assembly, the car is then sent for testing of its rigidity, where it is made to accelerate from 0 to 120km/h.
Our final tour ended off with a trip to Alibaba headquarters. It is a definitely must-see since Hangzhou is where Alibaba was founded, and missing out the opportunity to visit the world’s sixth largest internet company while in Hangzhou would be a sad thing!
Once inside the campus, we were awe-struck by the grandeur in the office. Polished marble floors and neatly arranged furniture lined the pantries, waiting areas and rooms, making me feel like I stepped into a five-star hotel.
We were introduced to Alibaba’s policies on how they deal and adapt with changes in the tight economic situation in today, and how they go with their customers’ suggestions to improve on their products. For me, it was interesting getting to know how large companies operate and set forward thinking strategies in order to progress in today’s competitive market.
Lunch proceeded afterward. Alibaba’s canteen is more international than the school’s canteen, and even had the option of our local chicken rice for sale. We were also greeted with a pleasant surprise when an Indian chef and two other dancers, supposedly workers in the office came out to dance to the lunch-crowd. Our tour-guide claimed they come out just to relax and have fun, but from their expressions as we watched the dance, it seemed the Indian chef was more astonished and lost during the dance.
A tour around the campus followed. They have the most expensive Starbucks Cafe on their campus as well, yet it is popularly received by their employees since most of them work late or need a breather from work. They even have a pond and a small nature park, where we walked on for a little breather. At the end of the day, everyone left the headquarters, satisfied by the trip.
My friends and I also headed out to Walmart store once again to do shopping, and as usual, we stumbled upon funny looking items that we had fun playing with.
Presentation day looms ahead in 12 days. For all teams, the anxiety heats up as the stakes are stacked highly up on each member and they struggle to piece together parts of their projects. Smart Beauty was no exception. The theme toiled hard through nights, staying beyond sleep hours to finish their work. The sleepless nights and tiring days have just yet begun……….
For my subteam, having managed to get our materials to make the table, we begun doing the table top to be sent to a factory to be attached to its metal legs. One interesting experience I had during the trip was when the van which was used to transport the table had no aircon at all, despite that it was 40 degree celsius outside! Everyone was indeed sweating profusely in the van and felt uncomfortable, but it was all part of an interesting experience!
Oh wait, did I mention 40 degree celsius? I happened to look at the weather forecast at one point in time where it compared Hangzhou’s temperature and Singapore’s temperature.
As for myself, I started to feel heavier responsibility on my shoulders this week. It was my responsibility to plan out a timeline for what the team needed to achieve for the final presentation day, as well as get updates from each subteam in order to facilitate planning. This was on top of the tasks that I had to do, but as they all say, with great power comes great responsibility.
Now that we have settled in for a busy week, it is time to pamper myself to a Nanjing trip before the officially busy week begins next week.
Nanjing museum, where I got to understand some of the historical events that happened in Nanjing.
Oh yes, getting around was easy for me as well. 百度地图 provided me with as much accurate information as possible.
The Ming Xiaoling mausoleum, situated within an large garden. The mausoleum is located atop a hill.
The Presidential palace. They have a large garden, as well as exhibition areas set up, featuring some of the challenges China encountered financially in the 50s to 80s, lives of citizens, warfare, achievements.