Darden | Mr. Military Communications Officer
GRE Not taken yet, GPA 3.4
Stanford GSB | Mr. Fill In The Gaps
GRE 330, GPA 3.21
INSEAD | Mr. Behavioral Changes
GRE 336, GPA 5.8/10
McCombs School of Business | Mr. Texas Recruiter
GMAT 770, GPA 3.04
USC Marshall | Mr. Strategy Consultant
GMAT 730, GPA 4.0
UCLA Anderson | Ms. Qualcomm Quality
GMAT 660, GPA 3.4
HEC Paris | Mr. Introverted Dancer
GMAT 720, GPA 4.0
Georgetown McDonough | Mr. Navy Vet
GRE 310, GPA 2.6
Kellogg | Ms. Retail To Technology
GMAT 670, GPA 3.8
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Entertainment Agency
GMAT 750, GPA 3.8
Chicago Booth | Mr. Quant
GMAT 750, GPA 3.7
Ross | Mr. Top 25 Hopeful
GMAT 680, GPA 3.3
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Well-Traveled Nonprofit Star
GRE 322, GPA 3.0
Yale | Mr. Gay Social Scientist
GMAT 740, GPA 2.75 undergrad, 3.8 in MS
Wharton | Mr. MBA When Ready
GMAT 700 (expected), GPA 3.3
London Business School | Mr. Low Undergrad GPA
GMAT 760, GPA 65/100 (1.0)
Harvard | Mr. Aspiring FinTech Entrepreneur
GMAT 750, GPA 3.9
Chicago Booth | Ms. Hotel Real Estate
GMAT 730, GPA 3.75
Chicago Booth | Mr. EduTech
GRE 337, GPA 3.9
Columbia | Mr. Infra-Finance
GMAT 710, GPA 3.68
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Vigor
GMAT 740, GPA 3.0
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Hanging By A Thread
GMAT 710, GPA 3.8
Harvard | Ms. Comeback Kid
GMAT 780, GPA 2.6
London Business School | Mr. Family Investment Fund
GMAT 790, GPA 3.0
HEC Paris | Ms. Freelancer
GMAT 710, GPA 5.3
MIT Sloan | Mr. Sans-Vertebrae
GMAT 730, GPA 3.78
INSEAD | Mr. Business Manager
GMAT 750, GPA 3.0

Getting An MBA In China: An American In Shanghai

Annually, CEIBS holds a business plan competition called Innovate China, open to top business schools around the world. Last year, the competition was sponsored by a company Shimota was looking to work for, Tencent. Tencent owns the mobile messaging app WeChat, “like WhatsApp but with more features” and half a billion monthly users, Shimota says. WeChat held a competition to select a team to form the student organizing committee, and Shimota’s team won. Next thing, he’d talked his way onto a five-person team from WeChat going to the U.S. to promote Innovate China at schools including Harvard Business School and Stanford Graduate School of Business. Shimota saw his role as mixed: “one quarter face job, three quarters, like, representing CEIBS.”

Kevin Shimota with WeChat promo material

Kevin Shimota during the Innovate China competition

The trip required a week away from school, but Shimota was willing to risk potentially lower grades in exchange for a possible foot in the door at Tencent. “I want so much to establish a relationship with WeChat,” he says. “it’s easily the hottest product here in China.”

Meanwhile, CEIBS’ 50 clubs for 165 students provide many opportunities for students to organize employer visits. Usually, the companies send more-junior employees than they would for an officially organized visit, Shimota says. “You just get such a better idea about the company, and how they entered, and how they interviewed. It’s not a back door, but great for learning how to get into the company.”

Though keen on working for WeChat, Shimota’s main goal is simply getting his career in China started, possibly marketing exports. China’s weak currency, under fire by the U.S. over allegations of deliberate devaluation, keeps Chinese exports strong, for now. That situation may change, but Shimota figures he has “at least another four or five years to ride that wave.”