The 68 participants in China Europe International Business School’s 2015 Shanghai boot camp came from all over: the U.S., Canada, Guatemala, Peru, Jamaica, Germany, Switzerland, Russia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Bhutan, Mongolia, and China. For five days they sat in on lectures with some of CEIBS’ most popular professors, visited Shanghai offices of multinational companies McKinsey, Henkel, Morningside, and Fosan, and engaged in career development and recreational activities in their off-time.
Some of the participants had already decided to pursue an MBA, others were still considering it. All had an interest in Asia, and some had experience there. Some were determined to work in the region, others hadn’t considered it until attending the boot camp.
In the city of 24 million, they went sightseeing and dining out (and, of course, some went drinking). They visited the second-highest building in the world, the $3 billion, 127-floor, 2,000-foot-tall Shanghai Tower, and heard from CEIBS EMBA alumnus Jianping Gu, president of the Shanghai Tower Construction & Development Company.
Over the five days, participants took in a massive amount of information about doing business in China, and the Chinese economy and markets. CEIBS pitched China hard as the land of opportunity, and the lectures and company visits made it difficult to disagree. While how many participants will enroll in the CEIBS MBA program as a result of the camp is unknown, all who attended came away with a wealth of information about possibilities in China.
Connected to each other, on the school’s advice, via wildly popular Chinese mobile app WeChat, the boot campers not only coordinated social events on the fly, but built networks, and friendships, over the course of the camp. Poets&Quants caught up with six boot campers from a variety of backgrounds. Here are their stories:
Irina Kobelyatskaya, Russia
Irina Kobelyatskaya, head of digital and social media marketing for a Moscow PR firm, looks at the $90 billion in trade between Russia and China and sees opportunity – and a reason to get an MBA in Shanghai.
“It’s obvious for me that this is a convergence between our countries,” says Kobelyatskaya, 30. “I can assume that maybe in the near future I’ll get more opportunities to be in the center of these cross relationships. Many big or not so big Russian companies will transfer their headquarters to Shanghai and vice versa. Maybe the most important thing is to find a job which will give me real pleasure, and for me it doesn’t matter where the office is located, whether in Moscow or Shanghai.”