The Pioneering MBAs In The Class Of 2019


Linsha Yao 

Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business 

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: A hardworking and warm-hearted foodie who loves travel and reading.

Hometown: Beijing, China

Fun Fact About Yourself:  If I’m not on a trip with family or friends, I must be reading somewhere. I enjoy traveling to try different real foods and reading to explore spiritual food. So far, I have been to over 100 cities/towns in China and over 30 cities/towns aboard.

Undergraduate School and Major: Capital Normal University, Chinese Literature and Culture

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:, Human Resources Junior Business Consultant

Manpower, Human Resources Business Consultant

Siemens, Outsourcing Services Program Manager (contract)

Amazon, Recruiter/Recruiting Manager/Leader of China Operations Recruiting

SmartConn (A start-up), VP, Operation and HR

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: At Amazon China, I led a team to successfully recruit more than 600 direct hires (30% being technical talents) during Amazon China’s exponential growth between Apr. 2010 and Mar. 2015. My team’s average recruiter productivity was 20-35% higher than worldwide average data. I also led the team in effectively executing campaign recruiting-related programs, including campus hiring, interviewer education, and supporting associate hiring that led thousands of hires across China Operations and Global Tech. The successful integration of Chinese technical and managerial talents provided strong support for Amazon’s sustained lead in the global market.

Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants? Good interview preparation starts from your decision to pursue the MBA. A decent GMAT score is important, but it would be more helpful to spend more time thinking through what you want from a MBA program than to improve GMAT from 660 to 700+ (noting that consulting is exempt as many top firms require certain level GMAT scores). Please start to think about your own story from the very beginning and put it into words in a SPECIFIC and LOGICAL method (e.g. STAR). Write down your answers to core questions and review them again and gain. Some core questions may include the following:

1) Who am I? What are my strengths and weaknesses, and some key points that set myself apart from peers?

2) What are one or two significant achievements and lessons learned?

3) Why do I want an MBA?

4) Where do I want to improve immediately?

5) Why do I think a certain program can help?

6) What’s my short-term/long-term career goal?

7) What can I bring to the community when admitted?

All those questions will be deeply explored by the admission committee during the application review and interview. In your preparation, I suggest everyone talk to current students, alumni, and business professionals who you respect and trust. Listening to their feedback will help you understand how other people perceive you.

What was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? Tepper is very well known for its strong analytics, where I expect to improve. Working for tech companies, I witnessed how important data analytics is in our business decision-making process and daily operations. I did take time to grasp some data skills and practiced them in my work, which proved very useful. However, I noticed there are still gaps when I moved to a senior role with growing responsibilities. What attracts me most is that Tepper offers more than simply taking a few quant classes. Our students will be given “the tools for economic understanding, optimization, predictive and prescriptive modeling, as well as responding to uncertain, complex business issues.” At this point, I received a lot of positive feedback from current students and alumni. And I’m really looking forward to my advancement in this area.

What would success look like to you after your first year of business school? 

1) Improved my leadership and analytical skills and built some reputations in our classmates through practicing them. I hope my classmates find me helpful and supportive.

2) Got an internship opportunity that I can work on complex organizational problems and make significant, positive impacts.