Meet The Top First-Year MBAs From China

Charles Jintao Jiang

University of Notre Dame, Mendoza College of Business

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: A curious scientist, a practical dreamer; a photographer, a reader.

Hometown: Xuchang, China

Fun Fact About Yourself: I love Chinese poetry (ranging for more than two millennia) and read one or two poems almost every day. I like comparing them with western literature.

Undergraduate School and Major: Zhengzhou University (China), BS in Chemistry; Brigham Young University, PhD in Chemistry.

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation: Research and Teaching Assistant at Brigham Young University; Research Scientist in Zhengzhou, China; Financial Analyst Intern at China Galaxy Securities, Co. Ltd.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: As a research scientist, I have built many things that never existed before with limited resources. The most notable accomplishment was the patent I developed as a lead inventor that aimed at improving the half-life time of small peptide drugs. Small peptide drugs are generally not orally bioactive, so patients need to administer the drugs in injectable forms. With the improvement of half-life time, patients can perform injections less frequently. Future applications of this patent also include the boost of bioactivity of peptide drugs. This work involved several research groups and I solved many difficult problems with effective communication and hard work. During the late stage of the research, I worked more than 90 hours a week for about two months to get it done.

Looking back on your experience, what advice would you give to future business school applicants? There is a Chinese proverb “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” Try to start the process early so you will have less regrets when you look back. Even if you cannot get a perfect score for GMAT due to time conflict with your work, do not disqualify yourself. Tell your story and show the admissions committee the total package of who you are with essay writing and the admission interview to balance the weakness of your application. No one is perfect and be true to yourself. Allocate enough time for self-reflection so that you can present yourself in a genuine and effective way. By doing this, you can also be sure that you are a fit for your future school.

For GMAT, try to score as high as possible. The quality of time spent is more important than the quantity. I found that analyzing the problems I did wrong and timing myself were very helpful. I only used the official guide and GMATPrep software and improved my GMAT by 70 points after studying about 25 more hours. Since GMAT is a computer adaptive test, spending more time on the first 10 problems in the real test might help, which is still a myth to me.

For writing essays, back yourself up with details. Without enough details, the admissions committee cannot form a vivid picture about you. Sometimes, even you can forget about your previous accomplishments. Prepare early and keep track of things while studying for the GMAT. Noah didn’t build the ark until it started to rain. It is painful to rush yourself when writing the essays.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? When I visited Notre Dame, I was immediately attracted to the beautiful campus and Catholic atmosphere. Notre Dame alumni forever feel connected with and love for this great institution. So I am very impressed by the strong alumni network of Notre Dame around the world. And I really like the mottos “Life, Sweetness, Hope” and “Ask More of Business.” I am also touched by Mendoza’s focuses on fostering future business leaders with personal integrity and giving back to the community for the common good. Since I am passionate about developing new life-saving drugs and making them affordable even in poor regions of the world, I feel my passion overlaps with the values of lifetime members of the Mendoza community.

Tell us about your dream job or dream employer at this point in your life? With my experience in chemistry, I would love to work for pharmaceutical companies as a manager of R&D. That would help me understand the big picture of the pharmaceutical industry. Even as a kid, I was fascinated with chemistry. The differences between men and women can attribute to the differences between phenyl and cyclohexyl groups in the hormones and organic compounds form the fundamentals of almost every life process. And chemists can obtain valuable compounds from cheaper reagents and have turned serendipitous discoveries of drugs into the art of scientific buildings.

To be more specific, I choose manager of R&D as my dream job for two reasons. First, I have immersed myself in the pharmaceutical industry since college and feel proud of my expertise in the field. Second, my long-term career goal is to build a large pharmaceutical company to develop drugs more cheaply and efficiently in China. China has about 20% of the world’s population, but domestic pharmaceutical companies only account for about 2% of the global market share. Although China is the largest producer of active pharmaceutical ingredient (API), it does not have the ability to produce a lot of new life-saving drugs.

What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program? I would like my peers to say that I am a passionate person with creativity who  contributed to their learning about the business operations in China and the pharmaceutical industry; that we helped each other grow to be better persons and inspired each other to think differently about business problems. In addition, I would like them to say that I played well with my peers and had a sense of humor. Go Irish!

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