ThotWave Analytics Training Goes Overseas

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Michelle Buchecker, Director of Technical Training for ThotWave, teaches for a customer in Shanghai

Michelle Buchecker, Director of Technical Training for ThotWave, teaches in Shanghai

Recently I had the opportunity to teach some technical training classes in Asia Pacific for a Pharma client of ours. This was my first visit to the region. I love traveling and have been to 46 states, and several European countries. It was an amazing experience and I wanted to share some of my thots.

Leaving on a Jet Plane

After a long 13 hour flight, I arrived in Tokyo speaking all of two Japanese words (Hello and Thank you). While waiting in line for Customs, a woman from Russia asked if I could help her fill out her Customs form. She spoke neither Japanese nor English (except for the word “Passport”) and I speak no Russian. But I was able to assist her by crossing out her birthdate that she put in the Passport number field and pointing as needed. It started me wondering how difficult it must be trying to navigate not knowing either English or the language of the local country.

After spending some personal time at Tokyo Disneyland, I jetted off to Osaka and took a car service to Kobe where I met up with the clients.  In retrospect, I should have taken the train from Tokyo and seen more of the beautiful country. Living in the mid-western US, trains don’t even cross my mind as a form of public transportation.

Technical Analytics Training in Kobe

In Kobe, I was teaching in a room at the client location. We got there early to set up and needed all of that time because in addition to the 20 or so students in class, some were calling in via phone and WebEx. We had difficulty getting the WebEx phone part working. Turns out we just weren’t patient enough waiting for the connection to go through.

japan classThe class went wonderfully! The students were very engaged in the training and asked lots of good and insightful questions. In case you were wondering, everyone in class spoke fluent English.  This was helpful to me since the one day training is jammed-packed and I was concerned that I might have to slow down while students translated in their minds. I speak a little French, Italian, and Spanish but my mind always needs the time to translate.

The customer in Japan was kind enough to order in lunch and it was delicious. I don’t eat seafood, and one of the employees from the US is Gluten Free, so being able to accommodate both dietary issues was fantastic. The customer also took us to a good restaurant for dinner where we ate way too much yummy food.

Off to Shanghai

Tplane lunchhe following day I flew from Osaka to Shanghai on Japan Airlines. It was a 10:15 AM flight that last 2.5 hours. And I got a full meal. In coach. That certainly doesn’t happen in the US anymore.

Arriving in Shanghai, Customs was a breeze and I taxied to the Langham hotel downtown. I walked around the area for a bit but was so exhausted just ended up ordering room service. When I checked out the next day they asked how my room was and I said “It was horrible. Because it was so nice I am now ruined for any other hotel.” I mentioned earlier in this blog post that I like to travel, and this was seriously the nicest room I’ve ever stayed in.

Technical Analytics Training in Shanghai

Because there were no training rooms available at the customer site, the customer booked us into a conference room at a nearby hotel.

Once again we had both in-person students and WebEx. We learned to be patient when dialing in and were more successful.

The hotel did have Wi-Fi, but they limited the number of connections, and even if you could get on it was painfully slow. So unfortunately, the students were unable to do the hands-on activities to reinforce the material. This resulted in just me talking, as well as the poll, quizzes, and discussions that we build into each class. This is not the way that ThotWave likes to do training. We understand the value of frequent interactions, and hands-on exercises in your environment that solidifies the lecture material so that when you get back to your desk you are able to implement what you have learned.

However, circumstances occasionally prevent this from happening. I was pleased that the students were still engaged, and like their Kobe counterparts, asked many questions that showed they were understanding the concepts.

I did give the students hands-on case studies to do once they got back to their desks so they could practice on the training programs and data before needing to use it on their own.

Almost Home

shanghai disneyAfter class, I checked into the Toy Story Hotel at Shanghai Disneyland and spent the next day at that theme park, which had only been open a few months. The weather varied between rainy and torrential downpour for all but 3 hours. I still enjoyed it though.

Then it was the 13 hour flight home with a good tailwind.

The next day, I was back at work in my home office reflecting on what an amazing time I had, how wonderful the students were in class, and eating the apple flavored Kit Kats I picked up in Japan. If I have the opportunity to do this again, I’d do it in a heartbeat.

Interested in learning more about the importance of analytics training? Download a copy of our research summary,We Need Data Champions in Healthcare: Attracting, Training, and Retaining Talent for Your Organization’s Data Needs today!