Meet INSEAD’s MBA Class Of 2018

Shane Zhu


Describe yourself in 15 words or less: A serious economic journalist but loves most about writing travelling blog.

Hometown: Jiangsu, China

Fun Fact About Yourself: I was the first Asian man to stand on the wings of a biplane in order to demonstrate wing walking in an aerobatics flight.

Undergraduate School and Major: Dual degree in Accounting and English Literature, Beijing Foreign Studies University

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

  1. China Central Television, Business Reporter
  2. China’s 31st Antarctic Expedition, Director of News Production
  3. China Central Television, Multimedia Economic Journalist

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: As the youngest Chinese journalist ever been to Antarctica, I accompanied China’s 31st Antarctic Expedition to the highest elevation of Antarctica, working in blistering cold temperatures of -40℃, eating frozen food with no vegetables, and not showering for 55 days. In honor of my multimedia reporting of Antarctic Expedition (60-minute TV news reports, 36-minute documentary video, and 13 social media columns) which set records in length and diversity from 30 years of Antarctic reporting, I had an audience with President Xi Jinping of China.

 Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants? The MBA application is tough. GMAT, essays, recommendations and interviews all have to be taken seriously. Therefore you need to fully devote into every detail. It might be one of the most exhausting experiences I ever had: preparing GMAT and writing essays every early morning and every late night for more than half a year no matter what tight schedule I had over the day. But it’s truly rewarding. Here I use the word ‘rewarding’ not only due to the result that I got admitted into my dream school, but also for the fact that I learned much more about myself, including my ambitions, strengths and weaknesses, along with how I will grow through the help of school and classmates and what I can contribute to this welcoming community. So now I have a clear vision of MBA thanks to the application. I sincerely hope that others could also benefit from the process whether or not you will be admitted to your dream school. Just utilize the application as a way of learning and meditation, and stay 100% true to enjoy the process of self-torture instead of picturing yourself as someone else. Keep asking yourself until you find the answers hidden deep in your heart for essays and interviews, then your MBA learning journey already started before you enter school.

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? INSEAD became my dream school for its ‘international’ signature. For example, there is no single one dominant nationality in the school and the working group of 4-5 will most likely be students from totally different nationalities. What’s more, the temptation of learning a third language and travelling across Europe, Asia and Middle East campuses is hard to resist. In INSEAD, it’s impossible not to be international.

The rationale I’m so focused on the school’s international background is due to the global environment I have been involved in. I have been living and working in Hong Kong, Beijing, Antarctica and Rome, with frequent travels to other countries and regions. In my own experiences, no matter if it’s reporting on APEC or the World Economic Forum or interviewing IMF, World Bank or WTO executives, the key to fruitful outcome is smooth cooperation with international talents under diverse cultures. Meanwhile, I was once a Couchsurfing host in Beijing, hosting 46 entrepreneurs and travelers from 19 countries. Through the interaction, I enjoyed engaging people with diverse mindsets and knowing more about the world by sharing differences. Therefore when choosing the target program, I picked the one that can bring most cultures together and provide a global platform for future career. And such environment will definitely help me to thrive in global businesses.

 What would success look like to you after your first year of business school? The year in INSEAD will be super intensive with so many interesting classes, group works and travels. The success to me would be switching the career, obtaining state-of-the-art business knowledge and mastering the basics of French. One more: do as many travels and parties with future classmates as possible. Yes that’s quite an ambitious (maybe horrifying as well) goal in a year but that’s exactly what kind of life INSEADers anticipate. Actually I already have the feeling of

FOMO since I joined the online group of my batch, in which people have been discussing learning and travelling plans constantly. They already took language lessons and set a Marathon running in Paris and a trip to Oktoberfest in September. So far everything seems so exciting and I look forward to it.


Related Stories In Our Meet The Class of 2019 Series: 

The Pioneering MBAs In The Class of 2019

Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business

Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business

Vanderbilt University’s Owen School of Management

London Business School

University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business

Notre Dame University Mendoza College of Business

UC-Berkeley’s Haas School of Business

New York University Stern School of Business

University of Texas-Austin McCombs School of Business

University of Michigan Ross School of Business

Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business

MIT Sloan School of Management

University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business

University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Columbia Business School


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