From North Carolina To Russia, Would-Be MBAs Descend On CEIBS

Kobelyatskaya had visited CEIBS in August, along with the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology School of Business, after she’d decided she wanted an MBA from Asia. She is already about to receive an MBA from the High School of Economics in Moscow, and has an undergraduate degree in Russian literature from Moscow State University.


“I want to broaden my view on many things, because, for instance when you spend time in Asia you mostly see many things from the local point of view,” she says. “It’s a unique opportunity for me to know something about financials here, about economics here, about business models, not from the more or less classical European . . . point of view, but from the opposite side, the Asian point of view. And China is an indicator of the Asian point of view.”

She plans to apply for the CEIBS MBA program, likely next year. Her visit and the boot camp convinced her that the diversity, experience, and knowledge of the faculty would provide an experience she wouldn’t get in a European or American school.

Kobelyatskaya intends to learn Mandarin. “It’s very important to know the language. It’s the first step to dip into the Chinese culture, to understand their behavior, their attitude to many things, even to greet your colleague in their own language,” she says. “To be honest, it will be of course very hard, but nevertheless it’s very interesting. It will also be a really nice exercise for my brain.”

Keon Williams, North Carolina

CEIBS boot camper Keon Williams listens to a presentation at McKinsey   - Ethan Baron photo

CEIBS boot camper Keon Williams listens to a presentation at McKinsey – Ethan Baron photo

One of the younger boot camp participants, Keon Williams, 22, is barely a year out of a BS in economics and finance at Gardner-Webb University, where he played defensive back for the Division 1 AA Runnin’ Bulldogs. Currently a financial adviser at Wells Fargo in Charlotte, North Carolina, he’s set on getting an MBA to accelerate his career.

Before attending the camp, Williams, who minored in French in college, was leaning toward Europe. But a mentor from Duke University suggested CEIBS as a possible MBA option. Williams still plans to visit INSEAD and HEC Paris this fall – with another CEIBS boot camper – however he says the diversity of the CEIBS faculty and the global focus of the school’s MBA reinforced his conclusion that going to school in China would be a good career move. And be says his experience in Shanghai, at the school and in the visit to McKinsey & Company, convinced him of the value a CEIBS MBA would provide.


“It’s a transformation taking place in China in innovation and entrepreneurship, and that’s something I’m looking to take part in. I’m thinking, no better place to start than in Shanghai.”

In the boot camp lectures, Williams found the information about the variety of markets and market preferences within China particularly fascinating, he says. “That was my biggest takeaway, not only wanting to come to China, but also to learn the market,” he says.

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