MBAs go where the action is. It’s always been that way. It’s part of their DNA. Curious, ambitious, and never satisfied, MBAs fear being late more than anything. They’re driven to find kindred spirits and test boundaries – to open new markets and create something new. That’s why they’re so attuned to uncovering the next opportunity. Being early – and understanding the landscape – has always been the recipe for amassing fortunes and leaving legacies.
These days, MBAs find the action is out east. No, we’re not talking Manhattan or Boston. Think East Asia – and China in particular. Everyone has heard the hype. Forget the myopic depictions of China as the land of smog and traffic jams. The country has emerged as the world’s largest economy, with a purchasing power of $17.6 trillion dollars in 2014 according to the International Monetary Fund. Think about it: The nation has over 640 million internet users – with 745 million expected to sport mobile devices in two years. In ten years, China is projected to be home to 10 cities as large as the Big Apple. It already has more English speakers than the United States. And more than a fifth of the Fortune 500 companies were founded in China. Here’s one more nugget: Disposable income has more than doubled in Chinese urban centers over the past decade.
“CHINA DEPTH, GLOBAL BREADTH”
That’s “action” in a nutshell. Question is, how can MBAs get their foot in this exploding market? How can they navigate the nuanced etiquette of doing business in China? For one, they can immerse themselves in Chinese business culture and practices. And there are few better outlets than CEIBS: The China Europe International Business School. Ranked as Asia’s top full-time MBA program by both Bloomberg Businessweek and Forbes, CEIBS operates by the motto of “China Depth, Global Breadth.” Translation: You not only learn the fundamentals of global business, but how to do business in China.
For Leela Greenberg, a Fulbright Scholar from Colorado who is among the 195 members of CEIBS’ MBA Class of 2017, China and CEIBS are a package deal that offers a glimpse into the Asian Century to come. “I chose China, and CEIBS is the best school in the country…I chose China because it is the market of the future, and of the past. China invented money and will soon have more of it than any other country in the world. China led over a billion people out of poverty in 50 years. China’s history, business acumen, leadership, government, culture and innovation are rife with potential and paradox: China is messy and orderly, future-oriented and past-bound, fiercely domestic and internationally aspirational. China is a fascinating country and one that will mediate your success and the world political and business stage in the future. Why not jump in?”
Oojin Tejung Mudgett, a Bronx native who studied international economics at Fordham, was drawn to the vibrancy and promise of the Chinese market. “The spark of life is here and growing, and to be a part of this transformational phenomenon is something that may only come once in a generation…What CEIBS offers is access to China that no other program can match—local industry knowledge and an alumni network that spans the entire region.”
Like China itself, the Shanghai-based CEIBS is an MBA program full of contrasts. Picture east meets west. Barely 20 years old, the school is the product of a partnership between the Chinese government and the European Commission. While courses are taught in English, students must have some fluency with Mandarin to be accepted. Rooted in the case method –including a heavy dose of Chinese cases – CEIBS deeply weaves experiential learning into the curriculum. In particular, students must complete an Integrated China Strategy Project (ICSP). Partnering with organizations like Coca-Cola and General Electric, ICSP consulting teams develop solutions to issues like supply chain bottlenecks and product launches within the Chinese marketplace. While many MBA students visit Shanghai for global exposure, the opposite is true at CEIBS, which features elective excursions to various regions (including Silicon Valley). And the school boasts an exchange program with over 100 schools too.
BALANCED CLASS BOASTS 37% WOMEN
The Class of 2017 is also a study in contrasts, where students hail from nations as diverse as Israel, India, Russia, Kenya, and Portugal. Overall, the class is represented by 27 countries, with 39% of the class arriving from overseas. 62% were born in mainland China, with North American and European students comprising 8% and 5% of the class respectively. Another 37% of the class consists of women, putting CEIBS on par with programs like the London Business School, Cambridge Judge, and Columbia Business School in that regard.
Academically, the 2017 Class averaged a 686 GMAT, slightly better than Spanish powerhouses IESE and IE Business School. Based on admissions, you could argue the CEIBS leans towards the quant side, with 51% of the incoming class holding undergraduate degrees in science and engineering. Business and management majors accounted for another 32% (with language and arts majors, at 11%, trailing well behind).
On average, the full-time class brings 5.8 years of work experience to campus, with nearly a quarter (23%) possessing eight or more years in the professional world. The class is also relatively balanced in terms of industry experience. Unlike most MBA programs, where finance practitioners comprise the highest percentage of first years, the largest bloc of the 2017 Class worked in technology (21%). They are followed by consulting (15%), financial services (14%), manufacturing (11%), retail (7%), pharmaceuticals (6%), energy (5%), and government (4%). In terms of job function, 21% of the class is made up of marketing and sales professionals. General management professionals come in second at 19%, with students from finance and accounting (15%), consulting (14%), operations and logistics (11%), entrepreneurship (8%), and information technology (7%) rounding out the class.
Go to next page to access student profiles of this year’s incoming class.