"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone."

In the spring of 2016 I called Hangzhou, China my home for four amazing months. Our group, consisting of five students from University of Wisconsin-Madison, studied at Zheijiang International Studies University, located about an hour train ride away from Shanghai.

Pictured on the left, our group led by professor Nancy Murray alongside executives of Artwell Knitting & Garment Factory. On the right, the group of around 50 international students for whom we shared a dorm facility with.

We had two Chinese culture classes taught by multiple professors from the university (Zhejiang International Studies University) , which covered Chinese society, history, economy, and culture. Professor Nancy Murray taught our Product Development course, which comprised of both in-class lectures and out-of-class field trips.

Photos from our in-class lectures (left) and out-of-class field trips (right).
Product Development & Strategies Field Trips

Macy's Offices- Hong Kong

We had the opportunity to visit the office of Macy's China Limited In Hong Kong, a joint-venture formed between Macy's and Li & Fung aimed at selling Macy's products online to Chinese customers. During our visit we had the pleasure of speaking with Dustin Jones, Executive Vice President and managing director of Macy's China Limited, and also sat in on the company's first team rally.
Also while in Hong Kong, we had the pleasure of visiting the office of Macy's Merchandising Group. During the visit we had the opportunity to meet with Claudia Wong, Executive Vice President - Asia/Europe at Macy Inc, where we discussed production flow, quality assurance, and Macy’s manufacturing guidelines.

Keqiao China Textile City

During our visit to Keqiao Textile City, one of the largest textile production and distribution hubs in China, we had the opportunity to tour the market and discuss the sourcing process with several executives.

Factory Tours


While visiting Artwell, a cashmere factory outside of Hangzhou, we experienced the complete production process of cashmere products, from the collection of the cashmere fibers all the way to the product assembly.


During our visit with Shinsun, a factory who largely produces garments for Kohl's, we had the pleasure of seeing the integration of new technology into the production process.


Honglui, a vertical factory outside of Shanghai, allowed us to see the production process first-hand of many bedding products for companies such as Kohl's and Walmart.

Throughout my entire experience studying abroad in Hangzhou, I had the amazing opportunity to learn and grow internally, while also gaining valuable information for my future. Specifically, seeing the sourcing and production process first-hand has allowed me a deeper understanding of the retail industry that I hope to bring to a position in buying.


Created with images by Unsplash - "oriental pearl tower shanghai city" • liu419160589 - "west lake sunset bridges"

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