Meet Vanderbilt’s Owen MBA Class of 2017

shothao zhang

Hao Zhang

Vanderbilt University, Owen Graduate School of Management

Hometown (City and State): Beijing, China

Undergraduate School and Major (Include Graduate School if Relevant):

Undergraduate School and Major: Tsinghua University, Electrical Engineering and Automation

Graduate School and Major: Tsinghua University, Electrical Engineering

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

Employer: State Grid Beijing Electric Power Company

Job Titles:

2014 – 2015, Deputy Manager, Power Cable Engineering Company;

2013 – 2014, Chief Engineer, Test Division of Maintenance Company;

2012 – 2013, Chief Engineer, Maintenance Division of Power Cable Company;

2010 – 2012, Coordinator, Production & Technology Division of Power Cable Company;

2007 – 2010, Junior Engineer, Maintenance Division of Power Cable Company.

Recalling your own experience, what advice do you have for applicants who are preparing for either the GMAT or the GRE? Review the “The Official Guide for GMAT Review” as much as possible. One of the hardest things about the GMAT for me was to figure out the best approach to thinking about and solving the questions. The Official Guide helped me to think about the questions from the viewpoint of the people composing the test content, therefore increasing both my efficiency and accuracy rate on the test.

Based on your own selection process, what advice do you have for applicants who are trying to draw up a list of target schools to which to apply? List what you want from the program and what is your priority at first (e.g. the ranking, the curriculum, the location, the size of class, the tuition and expense, the scholarship and so on). Then try to find this information from the websites or admission events of the schools, or through talking with alumni to learn their feelings about the program. These will lead you to your final list of target schools.

What advice do you have for applicants in actually applying to a school, writing essays, doing admission interviews, and getting recommenders to write letters on your behalf? Before you start writing all kinds of materials for an application, spend a couple of days reviewing your past experiences and listing them, no matter whether these experiences are relevant to academic or work accomplishment directly. It is not a waste of time. When you write essays and prepare interviews, you will feel the benefit of it and have a lot of resources to choose from when going through process of applying to schools.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? The quality of teaching and the reputation of Vanderbilt was the most important thing to me. These will arm me with the hard skills that I need and also help me in pursuing a future job in a new career. The size of the class at the Owen School was also very appealing. The number of students in my class is around 170, which ensures that the faculty can be pay close attention to everyone. In fact, I already feel that the faculty from my academic program, career management center, leadership development program and all the divisions are always ready to help me. The abundant services and resources provided by the Owen School are also excellent. For example, during the past two months, I have already talked with my career coach about my resume and career path three different times. Besides that, Owen provides a lot of unique resources, such as a leadership skill coach and a communication skill coach, which are all helpful for me.

What would you ultimately like to achieve before you graduate? I am going to make a career switch through the MBA program. My major goal is to master the relevant professional knowledge and skills, while also gaining a broader vision of business and management. During the program I will also have lots of chances for international experiences, and all of these will help me to pursue my future career.

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