Columbia Business School
Hometown: Dalian, China
Undergraduate School and Degree: Tongji University, Civil Engineering
Where did you work before enrolling in business school? Penske Truck Leasing, marketing analytics manager
Where did you intern during the summer of 2015? McKinsey, marketing & sales practice, New York (Summer 2015) ; Tesla Motors, sales operations, New York (Fall 2015)
Where will you be working after graduation? McKinsey, marketing & sales practice, New York
Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School
VP of Membership, Hermes Society
Co-president, Cycling Club
Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? My proudest moment at CBS was probably when I managed the Fall 2015 intake process for the Hermes Society student club. Hermes recruits students to work with the admission team to share their experiences with perspective students. With an extremely tight deadline, I organized interviews for more than 200 students. It was tough but very fulfilling.
What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I was able to convince Google Maps engineering team to work with them to fix the Google Maps local business information update process.
Who is your favorite professor? Barry Salzburg, ex-global CEO of Deloitte. Barry is the most passionate professor I had at CBS. He teaches top management process and he gives detailed feedback to every student in the class, twice a semester. Also he invites amazing guest speakers into the classroom. We are lucky to have him.
Favorite MBA Courses? Barry’s class – Top Management Process
Why did you choose this business school? It was because of the people I’ve met during school visits – they are genuine, patient and left me with a very warm feeling.
What did you enjoy most about business school? You can make your own path – and use the free time to do something that would be too risky to try if you had a full time job.
What is the biggest lesson you gained from business school? To succeed, it’s all about communications and commitment.
What was the most surprising thing about business school? The word – FOMO. Fear of missing out is something everyone will experience while at business school. You simply can’t prepare for all the craziness and energy required at B-school so you will miss some activities. Don’t worry, it’ll all work out in the end.
What was the hardest part of business school? Prioritizing the things that matter to you – family, friends, academics, careers, health. It can be difficult to maintain peace of mind.
What’s your best advice to an applicant to your school? Be honest with yourself, come with a sense of purpose, and use this opportunity to do something that makes a difference to you and the people around you.
“I knew I wanted to go to business school when…I couldn’t see my career path in the next five years.”
“If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…living in central Pennsylvania and driving a nice car.”
Which executive or entrepreneur do you most admire (And why)? Roger Penske. He started with nothing and built a multi-billion dollar automotive empire.
What are your long-term professional goals? I want to be become a senior executive at a global car marker.
Who would you most want to thank for your success? My wife, for her support of me to try new things and take risks.
Favorite book: No Shortcuts To The Top: Climbing The World’s 14 Highest Peaks, Ed Viesturs
Favorite movie: Inglourious Basterds
Favorite musical performer: Sierra Boggess, The Phantom of the Opera
Favorite television show: Game of Thrones
Favorite vacation spot: Kauai Island
Hobbies? Hiking, mountaineering, cycling, watching movies
What made Alex such an invaluable addition to the class of 2016?
“In my capacity as career advisor to Alex and in my further collaboration with him as Director, International Advising and Business Development, my opinion is that Alex epitomizes exactly what a model Columbia MBA graduate should be….accomplished academically and in his professional career pursuits, with a keen sense of giving back to his peers and the broader Columbia community, while always operating with unblemished integrity. Moreover, Alex’s character and warm nature draw people to him effortlessly.
Over the course of his 2 years at Columbia Business School, Alex thoughtfully targeted his goals for a complete MBA experience, expertly balancing his commitments to his studies, career search, part-time/summer internships, clubs, community and social events. As a Career Fellow, he leveraged training from the Career Management Center to lead career groups to help 1st years through the job search process and provided regular one-on-one advising appointments to his classmates throughout the year. Most notably, as a stand-out Career Fellow and international student, I approached Alex to jointly conceive and co-present “Managing and Communicating Across Cultures,” a brand-new interactive workshop for Orientation. Working with him was seamless, and the outcome an acknowledged success. The bottom line is that I can’t recommend Alex Sun more highly for this honor as he certainly is one of the top MBAs I’ve had the pleasure to know and work with this year.”
Michael De Lucia
Director, International Advising & Business Development
Career Management Center
Columbia Business School
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