Meet Columbia’s MBA Class of 2018

vincent-xeus-poetsandquants-classof2018

Vincent Xeus

 

Columbia Business School

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: My life is guided by creativity, and my strongest passion is collecting great people.

Hometown: Napa Valley, California

Fun Fact About Yourself: Despite having a rather severe case of “Asian flush,” I love wine and the art of wine making.

Undergraduate School and Major:

University of California, Berkeley

Major: BA in Architecture

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

  • Company: Art of Vincent Xeus

Title: President

  • Company: Marque Design & Architecture

Title: Founding Principal, CEO

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I feel immensely grateful for accomplishing the transformation from a spatial creative to a versatile visual artist, and for being able to inspire others to think innovatively through this process. Painting during childhood fostered my desire to create. As I envisioned my career, however, I dreamed of becoming an architect creating humanistic designs. This dream came true when I founded Marque Design after graduating from Berkeley. I led an interdisciplinary team, and we designed several mixed-use condominium projects in China, with sales volume ranging from $35 million to $150 million. We created art-inspired designs to transform “concrete jungles” into environments where people could connect and celebrate life.

Through leading my team during this stage of making changes in the real estate development field, I matured as a leader in the creative industry. Despite our successes, it was heartbreaking to see our visionary designs repeatedly compromised during the construction phases in the bottom-line thinking culture. I realized that substantive changes had to come from deep within. These challenges drove my evolution from a spatial creative to a visual artist, having won international awards and exhibited my art in renowned museums and galleries around the world. Ultimately, this journey guided me to discover my calling—to inspire innovations beyond my own creations.

Looking back on your experience, what advice would you give to future business school applicants?

MBA application takes tremendous dedication. My advice is to treat the process as an in-depth self-exploration rather than simply a gateway to the dream B-school. In my application process, I closely examined the path I’ve chosen, and re-lived all the important turning points in my life that led me to follow my passion and life’s purpose. Learn everything about your values and what you want to accomplish in life. The personal transformation will begin before the MBA even starts. How often do we take months of time to review ourselves and plan for the future? Take full advantage of this opportunity and enjoy the process. The result of this deep self-exploration will guide you to the right place.

My second piece of advice involves the interview: go beyond thoroughly preparing the content. More importantly, when the interview day comes, relax yourself and be in the moment with your interviewer. I was very fortunate to be interviewed by an admissions director who gave me one of the most memorable days in my life. I prepared to answer tough questions, but I couldn’t have prepared for the experience of being admitted at the Centennial Showcase on the interview day. If my mind were fixated on presenting only the information, I would’ve missed the opportunity to really connect with the interviewer. The most important thing is to be the authentic self and look at everyone you meet as someone there to help you become a better person.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? Somehow life has always shown me the road to Columbia. From childhood stories of various legendary Chinese alumni to that first unforgettable trip to NYC, it’s much more than just intuition that inspired me to learn about CBS and finally come here. New York is the epicenter of arts and finance. Columbia Business School, at the heart of creativity and innovation, offers a robust finance program as well as access to the most forward-thinking leaders in fashion, film, architecture, and arts. With their close-knit networks, CBS and New York provide the perfect platform to bridge arts and finance.

Tell us about your dream job or dream employer at this point in your life? I believe my purpose extends beyond my own creations. Today’s visionary creatives aim to use mediums like film, architecture and engineering to underscore social issues, transform old economies, and integrate technological breakthroughs into meaningful human experiences. At the same time, creative professionals face great challenges as resource distribution is increasingly skewed. I aim to help a broad spectrum of creative professionals turn visions into successful businesses by bridging the gap between arts and finance. My dream work is to make this world a more beautiful place.

What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program? That I am kind, true, and dependable. One of many reasons to pursue MBA at Columbia is to meet exceptional people and to form life long friendships. After graduation I hope that I will have been a dear friend to many. I’d be delighted to use my ability to envision and create to add to the MBA experience. And I hope I will have contributed to my friends’ lives and helped making the two years fun and memorable.

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