Stanford GSB | Ms. Decision Scientist
GMAT 730, GPA 3.9
Harvard | Mr. Low GRE
GRE 314, GPA 3.7
Stanford GSB | Mr. Ambivalent Applicant
GMAT 720, GPA 3.7
Wharton | Mr. Data Dude
GMAT 750, GPA 4.0
Columbia | Mr. Reinvention
GMAT 780, GPA 2.3
Kellogg | Mr. Hopeful Green CPA
GMAT 690, GPA 3.96
Harvard | Mr. Infantry Commander
GMAT 730, GPA 3.178
Stanford GSB | Mr. Latin American
GMAT 770, GPA 8 of 10
Columbia | Mr. Brandless
GMAT 730, GPA 3.7
Tuck | Mr. Mega Bank
GMAT 720, GPA 3.3
Stanford GSB | Mr. Tier 2 Consultant
GMAT 770, GPA 3.65
Harvard | Mr. Latin International
GMAT 710, GPA 3.2
Harvard | Ms. Indian Deferred
GMAT Will take next month but expecting 750+, GPA 8.0
Stanford GSB | Mr. Immigrant Entrepreneur
GMAT 750, GPA 3.8
NYU Stern | Mr. Media Tech Hopeful
GRE 321, GPA 3.2
Stanford GSB | Mr. Future MBA
GMAT 740, GPA 3.78
Wharton | Mr. Biotech Social Impact
GMAT 720, GPA 3.4
NYU Stern | Mr. Indian Data Guy
GRE 325, GPA 7.06
Harvard | Mr. Tech Start-Up
GMAT 720, GPA 3.52
NYU Stern | Mr. Beer Guy
GRE 306, GPA 4.0
Harvard | Ms. HR To Finance
GMAT 760, GPA 7.65/10
McCombs School of Business | Mr. Microsoft Consultant
GMAT N/A, GPA 2.31
Columbia | Mr. MD/MBA
GMAT 670, GPA 3.77
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Social To Tech
GMAT 700, GPA 2.7
Harvard | Mr. CPG Product Manager
GMAT 720, GPA 3.5
NYU Stern | Mr. Brolic Bro
GRE 305, GPA 3.63
Tuck | Mr. Running To The Future
GMAT 720, GPA 3.5

Getting An MBA In China: An American In Shanghai

MBA candidate Kevin Shimota speaks about the Innovate China competition

MBA candidate Kevin Shimota speaks about the Innovate China competition

Why did the MBA student cross the Pacific?

Hint: it wasn’t just to get to the other side.

Kevin Shimota, a former supply chain manager for Boeing in Seattle, is now in Shanghai almost halfway through his 18-month MBA, and he’s planning to continue his career in China when he graduates.

In Shanghai, Shimota breathes polluted air, in a country where people speak one of the hardest languages in the world to learn, and where, according to Forbes magazine, doing business is more difficult than in Greece, El Salvador, or Guatemala. It’s just what Shimota was looking for.

“I was fortunate to know what I wanted,” says the 26-year-old Washington State native. “I need something big.”

SEARCHING FOR THE STEEPEST LEARNING CURVES

One definition of “big” is starting an MBA program at a respected institution such as China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) without even knowing what a balance sheet is.

“I had no idea, man, I just knew nothing,” Shimota confesses. But it’s the state of knowing nothing that Shimota has thrown himself into over and over, around the globe, immersing himself in new environments that offer the steepest-possible learning curves and the exciting novelty of different worlds. He applies a stepping-stone strategy to his education and career goals, trending ever forward and upward, but with some striking lateral hops and surprising leaps. College Latin class to post-genocide Bosnia? Data entry at Onvia straight to international supply chain management at Boeing?

No matter which step he’s reached, you can bet Shimota will have talked his way into it, talked his way through it, will talk his way out and end up far ahead on his journey of personal and career development.

Shanghai's Pudong district

Shanghai’s Pudong district – Wikimedia Commons photo

Words do not fail Kevin Shimota. They pour forth like the Yangtze. The language, however, may vary. He speaks English, Spanish, French, German, and Mandarin.

Shimota grew up in Bellingham, Washington, “a hippie town where everyone does way too much of what just became legal there,” he says. “A great place to grow up. Just absolutely beautiful.”