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Sunday, 17 November 2013

Field Experience of Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s Mausoleum Management Committee in Nanjing, China---By Chen Yang

1. Background
The field experience took place in Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s Mausoleum that locates in the east of Nanjing, China.It is a burial site of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, a great democratic revolution pioneer in China and also the president of the Republic of China one century ago. However, it has become one of the most famous scenic areas in China as time goes on. Nowadays, Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s Mausoleum is an important part of the Zhongshan Mountain National Park covering a total area of about 31 square kilometers.

The Scenic Area of Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s Mausoleum, in its narrow sense, includes the mausoleum of Dr. Sun Yat-sen (the main body of the scenic area) and many memorial buildings around it, such as Guanghua Pavilion, Xingjian Pavilion,Yangzhi Pavilion, Music Stand and Scriptorium. Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s Mausoleum is not only a tomb of a great man, but also a piece of classic architectural works combining Chinese and western elements in the history of Chinese architecture. Due to the high reputation in China, It attracts millions of visitors every year.

I worked in Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s Mausoleum Management Committee. The committee was established in 1996 with the support of the government of Nanjing. It is a public sector which focuses on the management of this scenic area particularly. The whole committee staff are putting great effort to make Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s Mausoleum a world class leisure tourist attraction. The committee is responsible for making strategic plans for sustainable development, including how to control visitor volume, how to minimize ecological footprint according to the carrying capacity of the scenic area, how to decrease environmental pollution and so on. Also, it provides services to the visitors, for example, provide tour guide and information center to the tourists and provide interpretation to the foreign visitors.

The Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s Mausoleum Management Committee has made a great contribution to improve the quality of the scenic area and boost local tourism industry over last decade. 

2. Reflection of Field Experience
In this summer, I worked as the Assistant of the Director of Research on Sustainable Development Center in Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s Mausoleum Management Committee. The committee is a public sector which focuses on the management of this scenic area particularly. The field experience took place in Nanjing, China. It lasted from August 10th to September 5th, 2013.

What I did in this field experience?
The major work responsibility was to assist the director in managing the team and to provide services to visitors who speak English. The main tasks were summarized as follows:
I assisted the director with routine executive affairs in the director's office. For example, created daily schedule for the director and reminded the director important meetings or interviews.
I received and conveyed a number of documents and files to the director and the staff every day.
 I reported the progress of all undergoing projects to the director. 
 I was also responsible for preparing the organization’s meetings. For instance, I collected documents that could be used in the meeting, and arranged meeting rooms. 
 I provided services to business visitors who speak English, such as providing interpretation service.
Besides, I studied some official documents about how to make this scenic area more sustainable and serve visitors better, for instance, the rules and regulations of managing pollution, documents about how to control visitor volume. Also, I read some documents about tourist planning and interviewed 10 foreign visitors, asking their overall impression of this scenic area (like or dislike).
Moreover, I conducted an online survey that examining tourists’ satisfaction of visiting experience in Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s Mausoleum on the websites of the committee. There were 42 people responded the online questionnaire in one month. Based on the results, I provided a number of recommendations to the committee, in order to make improvements for this tourist attraction.
What I learned in the field experience?
Firstly, this job had a strong connection with core concepts of my program and the course work. It was a great chance to express my knowledge about sustainability and leisure I had achieved in class room setting to real work experience. And by doing this job, I revised and expanded my knowledge within a Chinese cultural context. However, people are much more complex in the real working place than textbook describes, so I took this into account everyday during my field work.

Secondly, during the field work, I always tried to learn how to be a good member of the team and how to maintain well relationships with other colleagues. And I started to understand the importance of complying with the orders from the leader and also the importance of co-operation with co-workers. I achieved the goal of “work with others successfully”. Thus, teamwork was a significant learning outcome for me.

Thirdly, I needed to communicate with different visitors to explain our services sometimes, and might encounter some unexpected situations or problems. Therefore, one of the most important things that I learned from this field experience is: How to deal with potential challenges and how to defuse negative situations. I found that it is really important to maintain a good attitude towards your job, so that it could be easier to solve those challenges, and it would be helpful if you keep smile when facing with different requirements from different people. 

Lastly, I gained some work skills which would be beneficial to my future job hunting, for example, I learned how to coordinate with the visitors and the operator; improved communication skills; trained myself, in term of document writing and meetings arrangement; boosted confidence. It was a good opportunity to explore my future career path.

Possible weaknesses
I also realized there are still a few possible weaknesses needed to be improved in my field experience. They could be summarized as follows:
Since I completed course work in Canada, so if I could finish the field experience in North America might be better. Because all the knowledge I learned in the class may fit settings in Canada better.
The duration of this work was 25 days, I think it is not too long, the possible weakness is something important may not be learned in such a short period of time.
● This job could not join the decision making about the sustainable development, so I could not attend the important meetings. 

Pictures of Dr. Sun Yat-sen's Mausoleum Tourist Attraction

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