CEIBS Looks To Extend Grads’ Reach

CEIBS MBA director Shimin Chen speaks to pre-MBA boot camp participants - Ethan Baron photo

CEIBS MBA director Shimin Chen speaks to pre-MBA boot camp participants          – Ethan Baron photo

Shanghai business school CEIBS has lately rolled out in its MBA program an entrepreneurship concentration, a new leadership module, and a series of one-week elective courses that take students overseas. But while the China Europe International Business School has been busily broadening its MBA curriculum and overseas-study options, one major challenge remains: opening up more and better career opportunities outside China for its graduates, says CEIBS MBA director Shimin Chen.

It’s not that international grads have a hard time finding jobs. Among the 203 MBAs from the class of 2014, 92% had job offers within three months of graduating. For all foreign CEIBS 2014 MBAs, the rate was 85%, and for the 10 Americans and two Canadians, the rate was 100%, according to the school. “Very few players in this market do as well as we do in placing students,” Chen says. “Probably nobody can compare with us in our capacity in placing students in China.”

Overall, Businessweek reports, 96% of CEIBS MBA graduates have job offers within three months of graduation. At the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, 82% of graduates receive job offers within three months of graduation. Another school in Shanghai, the Fudan University School of Management, cites a 96% rate for its 2014 graduates, for accepting a job offer within eight months of graduation. The University of Hong Kong Business School, according to the Financial Times, has an 86% rate of employment by three months post-graduation.

By the Numbers: Asian MBA Programs Taught in English

School Program tuition cost Poets&Quants 2014 Best International Business Schools rank Financial Times global 2015 MBA rank Median MBA starting salary (Class of ’14) Financial Times global 2015  MBA value-for-money rank Average GMAT of admitted applicants
CEIBS, Shanghai $63,200 13 11 $62,500 31 690
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Business School $69,900 11 14 $86,000 2 671
Fudan University School of Management, Shanghai $36,700 N/A 55 $39,000


National University of Singapore Business School $45,617 14 31 $63,000


Nanyang Business School, Singapore $40,200 29 40 N/A



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However, 80% of CEIBS MBAs stay in China, including half of international graduates, and Chen says the school must increase its ability to place students globally. “Most large companies in the U.S. do business in China. They always have a need for people with good education, with China experience and knowledge,” Chen says. “We’re not very well known by every company, we don’t have access to them.”

Although multinationals recruit at CEIBS for local positions, and the school enjoys strong connections with many companies’ offices in China, it lacks entry points into the HR departments in firms’ U.S. headquarters, Chen says. He expects that the outflow of foreign graduates from CEIBS into positions around the world, in combination with the school’s marketing work, will raise the school’s profile globally, including in the U.S.


Within China, the job market for MBAs has changed from favoring expatriates to favoring Chinese, especially as growing interest in the degree has fueled increases in number of MBA programs and the number of MBAs and EMBAs, Chen says. Most of CEIBS’ Chinese MBAs want to stay and work in China, he says. Typically in their late 20s, many have families. And the international MBA, which can include overseas exchanges and electives, makes them attractive to local offices of multinational employers as well as to Chinese companies, he adds. “(Chinese graduates) see better opportunities here with their skills and profile,” Chen says. “They do much better if they stay here than they would in the U.S.”

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